Justice Department Says No Federal Charges Issued in Death of Georgia Teen Found On Wrestling Mat


The Department of Justice announced Monday that they found “insufficient evidence to support federal criminal charges” in the death of Kendrick Johnson, the Valdosta, Ga., 17-year-old found dead inside a wrestling mat at his high school in January 2013. 

Johnson’s family met Monday with the U.S. Department of Justice in Macon to hear their findings in the case.

The DOJ said investigators interviewed nearly 100 people, reviewed “tens of thousands of emails and text messages,” and looked at surveillance video from the school over the course of the investigation.

“After extensive investigation into this tragic event, federal investigators determined that there is insufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that someone or some group of people willfully violated Kendrick Johnson’s civil rights or committed any other prosecutable federal crime. Accordingly, the investigation into this incident has been closed without the filing of federal criminal charges,” a release read in part.

Johnson’s family argued that he was murdered. But local investigators called it an accident.

The U.S. Attorney formerly based in Macon, Michael Moore, was heading up the investigation. But the case was passed to federal prosecutors in Ohio after Moore left his post last year.

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Source: USA Today | WXIA-TV, Atlanta and WMAZ-TV, Macon, Ga.