Decision delayed on inquest in Ga. teen's death

Published On: Nov 06 2013 12:49:52 PM EST
Updated On: Nov 06 2013 12:50:13 PM EST
Kendrick Johnson

An initial autopsy ruled Kendrick Johnson accidentally suffocated in the mat.  A second autopsy,
conducted by a pathologist hired by Johnson's family, found he died from a blow to the neck.

VALDOSTA, Ga. -

Attorneys say a Georgia Superior Court judge told them he wants to know what federal authorities discover before deciding whether to order a coroner's inquest into the death of a Valdosta teenager found inside a rolled-up wrestling mat at school.

Benjamin Crump, attorney for the family of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson, and Jim Elliott, lawyer for the Lowndes County coroner, say Judge Harry J. Altman told them Wednesday he won't rule until the U.S. attorney's office in Macon completes a review launched last week. Elliott said he expects the judge to file a formal order Thursday.

Sheriff's investigators decided Johnson died in a freak accident after getting stuck inside upside down inside the mat. Johnson's parents suspect someone killed him.

Crump says he plans to appeal the judge's decision to wait.

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