published Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

Judge orders video released in Georgia gym mat death

By RUSS BYNUM

Associated Press

SAVANNAH, Ga. — A south Georgia judge has ordered authorities to release all surveillance video that investigators reviewed in the death of a Valdosta teenager found inside a rolled-up wrestling mat in his high school gym.

The father of 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson, whose January death was ruled a freak accident by investigators, said the ruling today in Lowndes County Superior Court brings his family "one step closer to the truth." Johnson's parents believe someone killed him.

Sheriff Chris Prine had previously released surveillance footage of Johnson entering the gym, but withheld other footage. The sheriff's attorney, Jim Elliott, says Prine was trying to protect the privacy of minor students shown in the footage.

Elliott says it's his understanding that the video does not show Johnson's death or the events leading to it.

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