U.S. Department of Justice grand jury is investigating Kendrick Johnson’s death
Brian Bell, a highly recruited linebacker at Lowndes County High School in Valdosta, Georgia, had his scholarship revoked by Florida State University pending a federal investigation into the death of 17 year old Kendrick Johnson in 2013 in the school gymnasium.
While not yet named a suspect in the death of Kendrick Johnson, federal investigators have found enough reason to investigate 17 year old Bell, his brother Brandon and their father, FBI Agent Rick Bell; all named in the wrongful death lawsuit that was filed by Johnson’s parents, Kenneth and Jackie Johnson.
Johnson, also 17, was found dead in the high school gymnasium on January 10, 2013. His body was found rolled up in a cheerleading mat. A multiple sports player, Johnson was a hurdler, small forward on the basketball court, and a safety that could hit like any linebacker, but his promising career was cut short in what his parents say was murder.
What happened the day Kendrick Johnson died is unsure, however, the suit alleges Rick encouraged his two sons to assault Johnson. The suit states a white female classmate lured Johnson into an unnamed location of the school where he was fatally beaten by both Bell brothers and one other student. It goes on to say Johnson’s body was put inside the gym mat, where it was found the next morning when a student climbed on top of the vertically standing mats and saw two feet. The high school’s head athletic trainer Philip Pielow pushed the mats down onto their sides and Johnson’s lifeless body rolled out of one of them along with vomit and blood.
Two years prior in 2011, Kendrick and Brian had gotten into a fight on the school bus when the football team was heading home from an away game. The suit states Brandon, the older Bell brother told Johnson “It ain’t over,” referring to the fight.
Randy McPherson, the high school football coach at Lowndes released a statement to the Valdosta Daily Times saying,
“Last Wednesday morning Coach Jimbo Fisher told me that the FSU Athletic Director and the president would not let him give Brian Bell a scholarship. We went to meet with the FSU president the next day. The next morning, Jimbo called me that they still were not going to let him give Brian a scholarship.”
Grantland, a popular sports and pop culture blog written by expert writer and sports journalist Bill Simmons published an in-depth story in 2013 that highlights all accounts involving the case including the inconsistencies and mysterious circumstances that surround Johnson’s death.
click on the link to below to read the story, “A Death in Valdosta”
http://grantland.com/features/the-mysterious-death-17-year-old-football-player-valdosta-georgia/” title=”A Death in Valdosta
The U.S. attorney’s office is still investigating the case, check back often as we bring you the latest updates.
-Sara D (@evolaras4real)