Wrongful Death Lawsuit Dismissed in Case of Ga. Teen Found Dead in Rolled-Up Gym Mat

Kendrick Johnson (Facebook)

The wrongful death lawsuit that was filed by the parents of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson, the Georgia high school athlete who was found dead in a rolled up gym mat, has been dismissed.

CNN reports that U.S. District Judge W. Louis Sands threw out the case because Kendrick’s parents, Kenneth and Jacquelyn Johnson, failed to serve the defendants with their amended lawsuit in a timely manner.


Kendrick was found dead more than four years ago in the gymnasium of Lowndes High School, rolled up in a wrestling mat. A state autopsy ruled that his death was accidental, caused by “positional asphyxia.” His parents believe he was killed, and a forensic pathologist hired by the teen’s family ruled the death a homicide, saying that there was evidence of “unexplained, apparent nonaccidental blunt force trauma.”

In January 2015, Kendrick’s parents filed a $100 million lawsuit against several local and state officials and also named Kendrick’s former schoolmates Branden Bell and Brian Bell and their father, FBI Special Agent Rick Bell, as defendants in a wrongful death claim.

In March 2016, the Johnsons’ attorney, Chevene King, filed a motion to dismiss the suit as the Department of Justice proceeded with its investigation into Kendrick’s death. However, ultimately, the DOJ declined to file charges, and the Johnsons’ suit was refiled months later.


The Bells have routinely denied any involvement in Kendrick’s death.

“We’re pleased to see the case dismissed once again. The case was meritless from the beginning and has now been dismissed twice,” Patrick T. O’Connor, an attorney representing the Bell family, told CNN. “The only thing remaining is for the Superior Court of Lowndes County to make an award of attorney’s fees in favor of the defendants.”


Read more at CNN.

Share This Story

About the author

Breanna Edwards

News Editor at The Root, animation nerd, soca junkie, yogi