Third Autopsy Shows Kendrick Johnson Suffered Blunt Force Trauma

The results are another tragic twist in the mysterious case of the 17-year-old who died in 2013. 

New details in the death of Kendrick Johnson, the 17-year-old who was found dead in a rolled-up gym mat, have revealed the teen's death wasn't accidental like previously reported.

Obtained by the Valdosta Daily Times and WALB Thursday (Nov. 15), a third autopsy was done to the teen's body in June, revealing blunt force trauma to the right neck and right thorax as the official cause of death. Forensic Dimensions of Orlando was hired by attorneys working for Jackie and Kenneth Johnson, the teen's parents. The autopsy rejects the results of an accidental death by asphyxiation, which was conducted in 2013. The parents ordered a second autopsy of their son's body later that year after his organs went missing.

The body of the teenager was found in a wrestling mat in the gymnasium of Lowndes High School in January 2013. State medical examiners determined the athlete suffocated after getting stuck in the mat while reaching for his sneaker. His mysterious death gained national attention over the many mishandlings in the case.

After the first autopsy, the teen's body was stuffed with newspaper instead of his organs. Surveillance footage also showed the teen being followed by brothers Brian and Branden Bell, who Kendrick's parents believed killed their son. The parents also accused local officials and the FBI of covering it up.

A federal review of the case ruled in 2016 that the teen's death was accidental with the Department of Justice stating it didn't find “sufficient evidence to support federal criminal charges.”

“After an extensive investigation into this tragic event, federal investigators determined that there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that someone or a group of people willfully violated Kendrick Johnson’s civil rights or committed any other prosecutable federal crime,” the closed case reads.

The Johnsons later dropped a $100 million wrongful death lawsuit against the state and the Bell family and were forced to pay over $200,000 to the Bell family to cover their legal fees. Surveillance footage and witness accounts supported testimonies of their whereabouts the day Kendrick died. Branden Bell was heading to a wrestling tournament four hours away in Macon and Brian was in class on the other side of campus.

Read the latest autopsy below.

READ MORE: DOJ Declares No Charges Will Be Filed In The Death Of Kendrick Johnson

From the Web

More on Vibe

Getty

Joyner Lucas Blames Juice WRLD’s Death On Rappers Who Glorify Drug Use

Joyner Lucas blames Juice WRLD’s death on fellow rappers who glorify drug use. Lucas tweeted his thoughts about Juice WRLD's passing on Monday (Dec. 9) writing in part, “He was a product of our generation of rappers who glorified drugs and made it cool.”

Lucas added, “[I’m] blaming [ya’ll] n**gaz for this s**t. All that lean and pills n**gaz glorify and talk about. You teaching the kids to do it. Smh you happy now? RIP @JuiceWorlddd. Gone too soon.”

Juice wrld was 21. He was a product of our generation of rappers who glorified drugs and made it cool. Im blaming Yal niggaz for this shit. 🤦🏽‍♂️ all that lean and pills niggaz glorify and talk about. You teaching the kids to do it. Smh you happy now?Rip @JuiceWorlddd. Gone too soon

— Joyner Lucas (@JoynerLucas) December 9, 2019

Lucas also shared a Juice WRLD interview where the Chicago native shares how Future’s music inspired him to start using drugs at 12 years old.

Rip young legend... To my generation, we gotta be accountable for the shit we glorify. Difference between juice & other niggaz is juice wasn’t proud of it. he talked about being ashamed of using. That’s art. I’m not mad at it. I’m mad hip hop for steering him in that direction. pic.twitter.com/MzYCAsCg7a

— Joyner Lucas (@JoynerLucas) December 10, 2019

Juice WRLD, whose birth name was Jarad Anthony Higgins, suffered a seizure upon at Chicago’s Midway airport last Sunday (Dec. 8.). The “Lucid Dreams” rhymer was headed back home to Chicago after working over the Thanksgiving holiday, and celebrating one of the “best birthdays” ever last week.

Although an initial autopsy on the rapper’s body came back inconclusive, Juice WRLD reportedly swallowed several prescription pills as federal agents were confiscating drugs and weapons from the suitcases on the private plane that he was on, along with his entourage and girlfriend. According to the Chicago Tribune, Juice WRLD began convulsing and went into cardiac arrest at the airport. His girlfriend told authorities that he had a “drug problem” and had taken the painkiller Percocet. He was given a Narcam shot, which is administered in the case of an overdose, but pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Authorities found dozens of vacuum-sealed bags of marijuana, six bottles of prescription codeine cough syrup, two 9 mm pistols, a .40-caliber pistol, and ammunition in the bags on the plane. Two of Juice WRLD’s bodyguards were arrested at the scene for misdemeanor weapons and drug possession.

Juice WRLD was open about his battle with addiction to prescription pills and codeine, both in his music and beyond. Over the summer, he promised to get help for his drug habit in a tweet to his girlfriend. In addition to battling his sobriety, the recording artist was mourning the loss of his father who died earlier in the year.

Continue Reading
Allen Berezovsky/Getty Images

Lauren London Pays Homage To Nipsey Hussle In "Forever Stronger" PUMA Campaign

Lauren London is teaming with PUMA as she steps into next chapter in her journey.  London debuted “Forever Stronger” on Tuesday (Dec. 10), a visual campaign paying homage to her late boyfriend, Nipsey Hussle, and his indelible love for Los Angeles.

The 35-year-old actress created the emotional piece, which is described as a “creative vision Lauren wanted to bring to life to signify the continuation of her marathon alongside PUMA.”

Set around the streets of Los Angeles, London narrates the visual with a poem by Samantha Smith. “We are flowing, we are growing, we are open like the red sea,” reads one passage of the poem. “We walk through with confident uncertainty. We kneel here. We heal here. We open our hearts to the heavens. We use our tears to cleanse our canvas. The fear floods us, the love is electric.”

“Pain is the light,” the poem continues. “Pain is insight. The body hurts, but the spirit grows. The flesh is starving, while wisdom overflows. I got a question only Lord knows: does life break us twice?”

The campaign was directed by Danny Williams (Top Shelf Junior), edited by Matt Tolkin and produced by AJR Films. The musical score comes courtesy of Rance of 1500 or Nothin.'

PUMA previously collaborated with Hussle on capsule collection that was posthumously released in September. The collection sold out within 24 hours.

Watch London’s “Forever Stronger” campaign below.

Continue Reading
From left to right, Kennedy Center Honor recipients Verdine White, Philip Bailey, and Ralph Johnson original members of Earth Wind and Fire photographed at the Eighteenth Street Lounge in Washington, D.C. on November, 16, 2019.
Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Earth Wind And Fire Hint Towards Duets Album At Kennedy Center Honors

Earth Wind & Fire's music has stood the test of time and it seems like more tunes might be on the way. On Sunday (Dec 8), the iconic band was officially inducted into the Kennedy Center Honors, making them the first African American group to receive the honor. The group's original members Philip Bailey, Ralph Johnson and Verdine White were in attendance at the 42nd annual event with the exception of the group's founder Maurice White, who died in 2016.

In addition to celebrating White's creation and the group's legacy, the remaining members hinted towards a new project. “We’re making a list, and checking it twice," Bailey told Billboard of a possible duets album. “And you’ll hear about it soon.” We can only imagine many artists would clamor for the opportunity. During the event, the group was treated to reworkings of their biggest hits by Cynthia Erivo, John Legend, the Jonas Brothers and Ne-Yo. The group has remained mum on the details of the album but were proud to celebrate their rich legacy and how proud White would be of the feat.

“You can’t play any Earth Wind & Fire songs without Maurice’s DNA being on it, so he’s always here and we’re always celebrating him and his vision,” Johnson told Billboard. “People are still coming together and having fun.” Since the release of their first album in 1971, the group has strongly influenced R&B, disco and soul. The biggest artists in the world have sampled the group including Jay Z, Drake, the late Mac Miller, Missy Elliot and Nas.

Next year will celebrate their 50 years in the industry with many more to go. The 42nd Kennedy Center Honors will air on CBS on Sunday, Dec. 15 at 8pm.

Continue Reading

Top Stories