VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Superior Court Judge Harry J. Altman, II of the Southern Judicial Circuit, sent a letter to interested parties of the Kendrick Johnson death case, indicating that neither he, nor any member of the circuit will participate in the case of thee Johnson family versus Lowndes County Sheriff Chris Prine.
The Johnson family has been leading their own investigation of the teen's death at an old gym at Lowndes County High School in 2013.
The letter was sent to Attorneys Chevene King, Benjamin Crump for the family, Eric Shroeder, L. Warren Turner, Jr. who represents the school system, and Jim Elliott.
Here is the text of that letter--
We have valiantly attempted to mediate the presently outstanding issues in the Kendrick Johnson matter, but it appears at this point that we have reached an impasse. After much consideration, contemplation and discussion with the other judges in the circuit, I deem it appropriate to recuse in the matter, thus necessitating the matter being assigned to another judge or judges.
The other judges in the circuit have likewise agreed that they should and will recuse.
Given the fact that officials with whom the judges in the circuit deal with everyday are involved, it is not fair to the parties for any judge in this circuit to rule on contested matters of importance to the parties and the community. While I had hoped that at least the preliminary matters would be dealt with through our informal mediation, I do not see that happening.
I want to commend and thank each of you for your help in working with me in attempting to amicably resolve the presently existing issues. I look forward to working with each of you on other matters in the future.