Justice For Kendrick Johnson: FSU Football Recruit At Center Of $100 Million Lawsuit

Kendrick Johnson

The death of a Georgia teen is getting closer to getting some closure.

Per Tallahassee Democrat:

A Florida State football recruit was named as a co-defendant in a $100 million wrongful death suit filed in the state of Georgia last week.

The parents of Kendrick Johnson, a 17-year-old who was found dead inside a rolled-up mat in the Lowndes High gym in January of 2013, allege Brian Bell and his brother – along with three other students – were responsible for the death of their son.

The suit names 38 defendants total, including workers from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, the Valdosta Police Department, the city of Valdosta, the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department and the Lowndes County School District.

Bell is currently a senior at Lowndes High School in Valdosta. He has not been charged with a crime and was never listed as a suspect by the local authorities.

The Johnson death was a story that made national news two years ago when the Lowndes County Sherriff’s Department ruled it an accident, saying the teenager died of positional asphyxia after he got stuck trying to retrieve sneakers he had stored inside the mat.

The Johnson family however has long believed it was a homicide and that Brian Bell and his brother, Brandon, were involved. Bell’s father, Rick, an FBI agent, has also been named in the suit.

The Bell family’s attorney, Brice Ladson, also told CNN that all three are targets of an ongoing investigation by the Department of Justice into Johnson’s death.

The online hackers group “Anonymous” posted a nine-minute video in late December about the controversial details surrounding the case.

Brian Bell, who took his official visit to Florida State last weekend, committed to the Seminoles in February of 2014. He had scholarship offers from Clemson, Georgia Tech and Louisville, among others.

Per NCAA rules, university representatives cannot comment publicly on a recruit until he has signed a national letter of intent.

“All student-athletes face the same admissions review process that any other student who is applying would face,” FSU spokesman Rob Wilson said on Thursday.

National Signing Day is Feb. 4.

 

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