Feds seek videos from gym where Ga. student died

Published On: Dec 21 2013 10:38:28 AM 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. -

A federal prosecutor is seeking more surveillance videos from a gymnasium where a south Georgia teenager was found dead inside a rolled-up exercise mat.

The Valdosta Daily Times reported that U.S. Attorney Michael Moore issued a subpoena for computer hard drives containing the original surveillance videos of the old gym at Lowndes High School.

Moore began his investigation into Kendrick Johnson’s death in October after his family and others questioned the conclusion of the sheriff’s office and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation that the 17-year-old died when he became trapped upside down in the rolled, upright gym mat while reaching for an athletic shoe.  His family doesn't accept conclusions of local and state investigators who say the teen died accidentally after being trapped upside down in a mat in January.

Relatives claim the youth was the victim of foul play.

There were questions about gaps in the copied videos that likely caused Moore to issue a grand jury subpoena on Friday for the original hard drives from the high school’s surveillance cameras from Jan. 10-11.

Warren Turner, legal counsel for Lowndes County Schools, told the Times in a conversation that took place in November that the school system “has always thought it was best for the federal government to take control of the servers instead of providing it to a third party, family, the press or anyone (else).”

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