Valdosta Daily Times

Kendrick Johnson

April 26, 2013

Demonstrators arrested

Kendrick Johnson’s parents among those charged

VALDOSTA — Following weeks of daily demonstrations and a series of rallies demanding justice for a student found dead earlier this year in Lowndes High School, seven demonstrators were arrested Thursday for blocking the doors of the Lowndes County Judicial Complex.

The mother and father of the late Kendrick Johnson, 17, were among the people arrested, according to the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office.

Early Thursday afternoon, seven of the demonstrators left what has become the usual demonstration sites along downtown sidewalks and nearby street corners to stand in front of the Lowndes County Judicial Complex doors. They held hands refusing to let people in or out of the public building, said Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine.

When the demonstrators refused to move, sheriff’s deputies took them into custody, Prine said.

Kenneth Johnson, Kendrick’s father, Jacquelyn Johnson, Kendrick’s mother, Lydia Whitlock, Barbara Jones, Keisha Moore, Anastasia Roe, and Tesha Marshall are each charged with misdemeanor interference with government property, said Lowndes County Sheriff’s Lt. Stryde Jones.

As of Thursday evening, they were still in Lowndes County Jail awaiting a bond hearing.

In January, Kendrick Johnson was found dead in the old gymnasium on the LHS campus. Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office proclaimed no foul play in the case on the same day as the teen’s body was discovered.

Authorities believe Johnson was alone in the gym, reached for a loose shoe and fell into a rolled-up wrestling-type mat, became trapped, and died from being upside down for an extended period of time.

The family does not agree with this finding and believes Kendrick was killed. Family and supporters believe the photo of Kendrick’s face after death supports their claim. The official autopsy has not yet been completed, and the sheriff’s office has said the case remains open.

Earlier this month, family and supporters became regular downtown fixtures holding signs demanding “Justice for KJ,” and others showing the bloated condition of Kendrick’s face and head after death. They have gathered along downtown sidewalks and street corners daily for nearly three weeks. Two large rallies attracted hundreds of supporters last week.

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Kendrick Johnson
  • 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

  • 131107-Johnsons call#107597.JPG Johnson family appealing judge's decision

    “I think the tapes show that there is some conspiracy to conceal the truth from this family and to the public as to who killed Kendrick Johnson,” said Benjamin Crump, lawyer for the Johnson family.

    November 8, 2013 2 Photos

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