VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Jury selection began Monday in a case against the family of Kendrick Johnson for a protest in which they are accused of illegally blocking the entrance to the courthouse.
Johnson's parents and three other family members were arrested for obstruction on April 25, 2013. Investigators said they blocked access to the courthouse and protested without a permit.
The family believes that 17 year-old Kendrick Johnson's death inside a rolled up gym mat at Lowndes High School in January 2013 was not an accident and that local and state agencies botched the investigation.
The judge refused to allow any media inside the courtroom during jury selection Monday, but a spokesperson for the Johnson family who had been inside the courtroom during the selection process said the case never should've gotten to this point.
"I'm very surprised that we're goin' to this step; the jury selection, the actual trial process. It seems, to me, a waste of tax payers' dollars," said Johnson Family spokesperson Marcus Coleman. "You see these things all the time and a lot of times they can be thrown out. So, I'm disappointed that that has not happened."
Jury selection began around 10:45 a.m. and ended just after 5 p.m. After jury selection was over, Coleman said the Johnson family is not going to let this trial distract them from their goal of finding what they believe to be the truth about Kendrick Johnson's death.
"I hope [the Johnson family] does not receive any type of punishment, but again, no matter what happens here [Tuesday] it don't change the main goal. That's to find out what happened to Kendrick Johnson," Coleman emphasized.
The trial against the members of the Johnson family charged with obstruction was expected to begin Tuesday.