Classmate confessed to killing Black teen found dead in gym mat
An assistant district attorney in Lowndes County, Ga. is investigating a claim that a classmate of Kendrick Johnson, found asphyxiated in a gym mat, confessed to causing the teen’s death.
According to CNN, investigators have ordered a communications company to turn over records after receiving an anonymous email that an ex-classmate confessed to killing Johnson.
In the email, received on Jan. 27, 2014 the anonymous tipster reveals that although s/he did not witness the killing, they were told by someone that another classmate had confessed to the crime.
Johnson’s body was found rolled up head first in a gym mat on Jan. 11, 2013 at Lowndes High School. Investigators initially concluded that Johnson’s death was accidental, resulting from the teen getting trapped inside the gym mat after reaching for a shoe, then dying of asphyxia, but an independent autopsy contradicted the conclusion reached by the sheriff’s department.
The second autopsy found blunt force trauma to the right neck and soft tissues, “consistent with inflicted injury.” EMTs who arrived on the scene also noted bruising to Johnson’s neck in their report.
Investigators have inter-viewed two of the four people mentioned in the anonymous email, according to an incident report obtained by CNN. Both students denied having any involvement in Johnson’s death.
“Although our case has been closed, if evidence comes for-ward, specifically testimony, then we’re open to hearing that and certainly we’ll act accordingly,” Lt. Stryde Jones, supervisor of the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office’s, said during the investigation.
A federal probe of the case was initiated in October.