Valdosta Daily Times

Kendrick Johnson

October 31, 2013

Sheriff Prine answers questions about KJ investigation


VALDOSTA — THE TIMES: Did you ever have any reason to search for a suspect?

PRINE: “No. Had any information been learned, including the development of a suspect during this investigation, those leads would have been exhausted. Nothing was learned during the investigation.”

THE TIMES: Have you ever received any credible information that would point to Kendrick’s death as non-accidental?

PRINE: “No. All information learned and documented during this investigation supports the investigative findings that this death was an accident.”

THE TIMES: How many interviews were conducted during the investigation?

PRINE: “During the investigation, numerous interviews, including students, coaches, teachers, janitorial staff and parents were conducted. This included every student who was identified as having been in the gym between the time Kendrick Johnson disappeared through the time that he was discovered. This also included members of the basketball team and winter color guard both (of) whom practiced in the gym on Jan. 10.”

THE TIMES: Have investigators identified anyone they would like to interview but have not been able to locate?

PRINE: “No. We have followed every lead that was learned including many rumors that were checked into.”

THE TIMES: Who initiated (Wednesday’s) hearing ...?

PRINE: “The Johnson family filed a suit in June 2013 seeking a hearing concerning the application of open record laws. In August 2013, County Attorney Jim Elliott filed a motion seeking a hearing on the matter.”

THE TIMES: Kendrick’s family believe their son was murdered and that there has been a cover up to protect people involved. (It has been) stated that a cover up of that magnitude is implausible and that in a search for answers, an injustice has been perpetrated on those who have investigated the case and who work for the school system by suggesting that they are a part of a cover up. Do you agree?

PRINE: “Yes, I do. I have all the confidence in the world that this investigation was handled with necessary diligence to assure that all leads were examined and exhausted. This investigation included the interviewing of witnesses, the documentation, examination and forensic testing of physical evidence, including over 800 photographs of the scene that were taken, the completion of a new procedure that captured a 360 degree digital scan, that allows for the scene to be later digitally recreated, and completion of an autopsy by the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. In order to provide additional assurances that all avenues were examined, investigative agents from the GBI were requested at the initial onset of this investigation. Any such cover up would require the collaboration of any number of Sheriff’s Office employees, agents from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, personnel from the Medical Examiner’s office and crime scene technicians from the Valdosta Lowndes Regional Crime Laboratory.”

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Kendrick Johnson
  • KJ’s parents claim racial bullying in lawsuit

    The parents of Kendrick Johnson have sued the Lowndes County School System, claiming officials neglected to protect their son from racial harassment and bullying that they said led to his death.

    May 15, 2014

  • Anonymous email in KJ case based on rumor, says author

    The teenage girl who authored an anonymous email claiming someone had confessed to murdering Kendrick Johnson says it was strictly a rumor that she felt conscience-bound to share with the sheriff’s office.

    March 27, 2014

  • keyboard.jpg Authorities: Confession in KJ case not credible

    An anonymous email claiming a former classmate of Kendrick Johnson had confessed to killing him was investigated and determined not to be credible, the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.

    March 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • social.jpg Mom says sons harassed, threatened in KJ case

    Karen Bell has had it with the rumor-mongering about her family’s connection to the death of Kendrick Johnson on social networking sites like YouTube,  Twitter and Facebook.

    February 9, 2014 1 Photo

  • Johnsons file civil suit against funeral home

    Kendrick Johnson’s parents have filed a civil lawsuit against the Harrington Funeral Home, claiming it negligently handled their son’s remains and deliberately withheld information about the condition of his body.

    February 6, 2014

  • 140121-Floyd_Rose001.jpg No response to KJ reward

    A local civil rights leader returned reward money to its donor Tuesday after it failed to yield any significant information pertaining to the death of Kendrick Johnson.

    January 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • State capitol rally today for new KJ probe

    A three-hour rally for a new investigation into the disputed death of Lowndes High student Kendrick Johnson 11 months ago is planned today on the front steps of the Georgia Capitol building.

    December 11, 2013

  • Kendrick_Johnson.jpg Where was Kendrick?

    About this series
    This is the third of four stories by the Valdosta Daily Times reviewing the official police file on the investigation into the death of Kendrick Johnson. Today’s report is about the confusion surrounding Kendrick’s whereabouts the day before his body was found, explains police handling of a report that a person was attacked and falsely accused of killing Kendrick, and tells about the dissatisfaction of Lowndes County Coroner Bill Watson with how authorities handled the immediate investigation.

    November 23, 2013 1 Photo 2 Stories

  • kendrick-johnson.jpg Finding Kendrick

    The Times continues its in-depth look at the investigative case file into the January death of Kendrick Johnson at Lowndes High School.

    November 22, 2013 1 Photo

  • kendrick-johnson.jpg Kendrick’s Final Walk

    A review of Lowndes High School video footage shows more than the moments Kendrick Johnson entered the old gymnasium where his body was discovered Jan. 11 in a rolled wrestling mat.

    November 21, 2013 1 Photo

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