VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - After the judge apologized for a miscommunication that caused the media to be barred from the courtroom Monday during jury selection, the trial got underway Tuesday morning, with the prosecution delivering its opening statement first.
"All seven of these individuals seated at the defense table broke the law," the prosecuting attorney emphasized.
Then, it was the defenses turn.
"They now come to this courtroom seeking justice. the only kind of justice they ever were desiring," said Chevene King, defense attorney for the Johnson family.
17 year old Kendrick Johnson's body was found inside a rolled up gym mat in the Lowndes High School gym in January 2013. His family believes he was murdered, but the sheriff's office concluded that his death was a tragic accident. On April 25th, 2013, after months of not getting what they felt was the truth about Kendrick's death, Johnson's parents and five family members began a peaceful protest outside the Lowndes County Judicial Complex, even going so far as to bar people from getting into the building. The Johnson family members were ultimately arrested.
"You're gonna hear from a lady named Tracy Chatman. She happens to be a felony prosecutor. She works in the DA's office. She's on the video and she can't get in," pointed out the prosecuting attorney.
But, the Johnson family's attorney said the protest was justified and was only meant to call attention to Johnson's death in hopes that what the family believes is the truth about his death would come to light.
The trial was expected to resume on Wednesday.