Attorney Chevene King speaks at the news conference in Valdosta
VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) -
The parents of teenager Kendrick Johnson want the public to come forward with information. With their attorney Chevene King, Jackie and Kenneth Johnson appeared at a morning conference in Valdosta Tuesday.
Kendrick Johnson died under cloudy circumstances in a high school gym in 2013.
At the conference, and in a prepared release, they appealed to the parents of 25 former and current Lowndes High School students, asking for help to uncover how their son died.
The Johnsons said they had learned the school's wrestling team had not left campus for a tournament the afternoon their son went missing, as previously thought.
The parents say that school officials excused 25 Lowndes High students from class approximately four and a half hours before the chartered bus left the school parking lot headed to Macon.
"We are asking you to talk to your children to urge them, if they saw something, to say something," said family lawyer Chevene B. King, Jr. "If they heard something, please have them share it with the U.S. Attorney's Office."
King showed a copy of an attendance record showing that Lowndes High officials released the athletes and others from class starting at approximately 11:30 a.m. on January 10, 2013.
He also referenced a school bus travel log that confirmed 4 p.m. as the departure time of bus driver William P. White, 66, who drove wrestling team coach Spencer Graybeal, his wife, Jennifer, a Lowndes High teacher, two other adults and the 25 students on the trip to Macon.
The document was secured from the school board under the Open Records Act, and suggested the group left nearly three hours after Kendrick Johnson was last seen on school surveillance video at 1:09 p.m. His body was found the next morning.
King said the departure time was important, partially because of misinformation widely reported by the media based on the investigative file.