Prosecutor to investigate Kendrick Johnson's death

Prosecutor to investigate Kendrick Johnson's death

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Kendrick Johnson (photo from WAGA file) Kendrick Johnson (photo from WAGA file)

A federal prosecutor announced plans to investigate the death of Kendrick Johnson, a Valdosta teenager whose body was found inside a rolled-up wrestling mat in his high school gym earlier this year.  

U.S. Attorney Michael Moore held a press conference at his Macon office on Thursday to make the announcement.  He asked that anyone with facts "not opinion" about the death of Johnson should call his office.  He did not take questions from reporters.

Johnson, 17, was found on Jan. 11 inside an upright wrestling mat that was propped up behind the bleachers in the gym.  The Lowndes County Sheriff's Office ruled that Johnson fell into the gym mat in search of a shoe and died of accidental positional asphyxiation.   

Johnson's family has insisted someone must have killed him. A second autopsy performed by a doctor that the family hired seems to support the idea that the death may not have been an accident.

On Wednesday, a judge ordered authorities to release all surveillance video in the case.  Four cameras captured more than 19 hours of footage, but only a few clips have been released to the media. None of the released clips show standing gym mats or the moment Johnson ended up in one.

The federal government does not have jurisdiction over the case. After the review, a recommendation will likely be issued.

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