Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

November 7, 2013

Coroner inquest on hold

VALDOSTA — The petition for a coroner’s inquest into the death of Kendrick Johnson has been put on hold until federal investigators conclude their review of the case.

Kenneth and Jacquelyn Johnson filed a petition of mandamus against Lowndes County Coroner Bill Watson seeking a court ordered coroner’s inquest Oct. 23.

A decision was expected to be heard Monday, but Jim Elliott, council for Watson, said Wednesday that Judge Harry Altman will not rule on the petition until U.S. attorney Michael Moore finishes an official review of the investigation into Johnson’s death.

“In light of the U.S. attorney’s decision to conduct a formal review, the coroner requested the court to stay the petition for mandamus pending the outcome of the review,” said Elliott.

Judge Altman is expected to sign a written order today.

“We welcome the U.S attorney’s review of the matter, and given the fact that the U.S. attorney seeks to answer the same questions that would be brought before the coroner, we feel that it is prudent for the attorney to finish the investigation,” said Elliott.

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