VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - The law firm representing the parents of Kendrick Johnson called a press conference Friday and revealed what they called “new developments” in the case.
Johnson’s body was found inside a rolled up gym mat at Lowndes High School in 2013.
“It’s very painful to know that my child died in place where he should’ve been the safest," said Jackie Johnson, Kendrick’s mother.
Since the discovery, Johnson’s parents have always maintained their belief their son was murdered.
To this day, Jackie said, she’s going to do whatever it takes to get justice for her son.
The lawyers announced they are filing a petition for a Mandamus action to have the Superior Court of Lowndes County compel the coroner to conduct a coroner’s inquest. In a coroner’s inquest, evidence would be presented to a jury and a jury would decide if there has been foul play in connection with the death of an individual.
Within the petition of Mandamus that WALB News 10 received Friday, it reads that surveillance video from Lowndes County High School was sent to United States Forensics. The petition stated the forensics digital analyst for that company believes the video was edited.
Attorney Chevene King said if a coroner’s inquest happens it could bring some justice to this case and answer the many questions that still remain unanswered.
The lawyers said they believe the evidence is “overwhelming as to there being something more akin to a homicide rather than an accident as (Kendrick Johnson’s) death certificate reads.”
They said they want to change the cause and manner of death on Johnson’s death certificate from an accident and positional asphyxia to one having to do with blunt force trauma and assault.
Johnson’s body was recently exhumed for a third autopsy.
“I feel like I’ve had three funerals, three different funerals. And the hard part is not bringing him up. The hard part is letting him go again," said Jackie.
The results of the third autopsy, which was funded by the family, were released back in November.
In what appeared to be an addendum to a second report done in June 2013, the doctor who performed the third autopsy determined Johnson’s cause of death was non-accidental blunt force trauma to his right neck and right thorax.
Findings in both the second and third autopsies contradict the first official one, which ruled Johnson’s cause of death as positional asphyxia.
Over the years, the community’s support continues to give Jackie strength.
“It’s good to know that somebody is standing with us, because it seems like so many times our family has been alone," Jackie said.