For three years, Kendrick Johnson’s family has battled for answers regarding the death of their son.
Parents, aunts, students of VSU and supporters all over the nation have asked, “What happened to KJ?” In that time, rallies, protests, prayers, investigations, court hearings and more have been held on behalf of the mysterious death of the young teen who was found in a mat at Lowndes High School.
Despite the family still struggling to cope with the death of a young soul, it seems the judicial system wants them to cough up the cash to cover legal fees for the students suspected to be involved in the mysterious death.
According to Jennifer Dandron of Valdosta Daily Times, Judge Richard Porter is ordering the Johnson family to pay the legal fees for the attorneys of Brandon and Brian Bell. The Bell brothers were accused of being involved with the death of Kendrick Johnson.
The $100 million lawsuit, that was dropped in March by the Johnson family, has led to nearly $850,000 in requested fees to be paid to the Bell family’s attorney team. The follow-up hearing will be held this week, updated information will be available soon.
On January 11, 2013, Kendrick “KJ” Johnson was found dead, wrapped in a gym mat at Lowndes High School in Valdosta, GA. The death initially received a “no foul play” tag from state medical exams but the family suspected otherwise. The “positional asphyxia” label on KJ’s death from the state medical examiner did not line up with the “blunt force trauma” findings of a private pathologist. The search for answers picked up steam from there and has since raged on.
In this time, the family has not only experienced contrasting autopsies but also learning and suing Harrington Funeral Home for burying Kendrick with his internal organs replaced by newspaper. After that, a $10 million lawsuit was filed against the Bell brothers, their father and over 20 more people were listed as conspirers in covering up the death of KJ. That lawsuit was dropped earlier in the year, which led to the Bell family searching for their legal fees to be paid.
The Johnsons have since worked with Benjamin Crump, Chevene King, NAACP and more to help gain answers and justice for the death of Kendrick. For more information, follow the new from Valdosta Daily Times.
This entire process, on the outside looking in, can be so discouraging to other families that have their own cases to follow. It can make more and more families lose trust in our justice system because so many things tend to stand in the way of truth and justice. Tanasia Kenney, of Atlanta Black Star, called it “an uphill battle” and I can’t help but agree.
Photo credit: Atlanta Journal Constitution