Defendants seek over $400k from KJ parents, lawyer for dropped lawsuit (UPDATED)

| March 10, 2016


VALDOSTA – The $100 million wrongful death suit filed by the parents of Kendrick Johnson was dropped earlier this month, and now defendants named in the suit are seeking to recover over $400,000 in attorney’s fees.

Kendrick Johnson’s body was found upside down in a vertically-stored gym mat at Lowndes High School in January 2013. A state autopsy ruled the 17-year-old’s death accidental. The Johnson family insists their son died of foul play. A federal review of the case is in its third year.

Johnson’ parents filed a civil suit in January 2015 which accused 38 individuals of either causing their son’s death or conspiring to cover it up.

The suit’s defendants filed for summary judgement in February, citing a lack of evidence.

The Johnson’s dropped the suit March 1. Chevene King, the family’s lawyer, has said he plans to refile.

In the meantime, the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office and the Bell family are seeking to recoup attorney’s fees from the Johnsons and King.

Sheriff Chris Prine and several LCSO employees were named as defendants in the suit. Last week, Jim Elliott, LCSO legal counsel, filed documents seeking $152,741.83 in attorney’s fees that were used to defend his clients from accusations he described as “substantially frivolous.”

“There existed such a complete absence of any justiciable issue of law or fact with respect to (the Johnson’s) claims against Prine and the LCSO Defendants that (the Johnsons) and their attorney could not have reasonably believed that a court would accept the same,” the filing stated.

FBI Agent Rick Bell and his two sons have also filed to recoup attorney’s fees. Bell was accused of directing his sons to murder Johnson. Documents filed Thursday ask for $241,358.50 from the Johnsons and King, citing the Johnsons’ admission in sworn testimony that “they had no evidence to support their claims against the Bells.”

(UPDATE) The Johnsons’ suit also accused Owens Transport of mishandling Kendrick Johnson’s remains. On Thursday afternoon, Owens filed to recoup $47,274 in attorney’s fees.

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35 Comments on "Defendants seek over $400k from KJ parents, lawyer for dropped lawsuit (UPDATED)"

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  1. blacksheep says:

    Hey, Bart do you think they can resist I bet you a 12 pack of Landshark

  2. Shane says:

    I see the chickens have started coming home to roost. What a shame.

  3. W. Vanderwoodsen says:

    Shouldn’t the lawyer’s charges to the county and taxpayers of $152,741.83 in attorney fees for defending a frivolous lawsuit also be investigated?

    • Nope says:

      Three years’ worth of legal work for 19 LCSO employees at $200 per hour and you think that’s excessive? I am not sure you understand that the Johnsons filed suit against most of the detectives and deputies and scho resource officers and crime lab employees as well as the Sheriff. The Johnsons filed suit without one shred of evidence. Taxpayers ought to seek Chevene King’s disbarment.

  4. faketony says:

    Is that a member of Louis Farrakhan’s security forces… the Fruit of Islam (FOI) wearing a hat in the top center of the above photo?

    Nice hat.

  5. Dallas says:

    What a bunch of idiots. Poor, stupid, gullible people being led by other poor, stupid, greedy people…but this happens over and over…not a big surprise….Good luck getting any money from anyone…what a sick joke all of this is…….

    • Bart says:

      There definitely seems to be a fair share of dumb going around.

      • Shane says:

        I agree! I can hardly believe that the members of the Johnson family were foolish enough to think for one second that they would get any traction with their outlandish and unproven claims. I guess this will be a painful and expensive lesson for them…maybe they’ll be less dumb when they’re compelled to fork over a significant percentage of their paychecks.

  6. Jumpship says:

    Chevene King has already been fined 95k in another frivolous lawsuit he filed years ago in an Albany courtroom. Judge sands issued the fine. How does this atty continue to practice law in Ga? I bet he never paid the fine. And the Johnson’s were ripe for the picking when they hired Chevene. He gave them terrible advice to come up with a murder/conspiracy story. The Johnson’s should sue their atty.
    For 3 years, the Johnson’s AND their attys have run gofundme accts, appeared on talk radio shows, run numerous FB accounts, appeared on CNN with Victor Blackwell, hired investigators, gave numerous interviews with newspapers, TV stations and held rallies all in an effort to SELL their story. It failed !! Because the truth ALWAYS ALWAYS outshines the lies. There was no murder, there never will be a murder no matter how much the Johnson’s stomp their feet and yell. It was an accident from the beginning. The Johnson’s made up lies and sold the lies to the gullible news stations who reported it as news worthy material. We as the public need to become very aware that the news media only tell us half the story and if the story is sensationalized enough, it makes the local 6pm coverage. Victor Blackwell from CNN should be ashamed of himself as I remember he tried to act like sheriff prine kicked him out of his office therefore creating an illusion of a “small town sheriff covering up something”.

  7. Eric "Da Blacksheep" TrixNDix says:

    Better call Ken Nugent!

  8. Only Truth says:

    Oh Jumpship, I could hug you!!!! Perfectly said. I couldn’t have done it better myself. In the end these people will go back to their meek existence and no one will likely get much of anything. As you all know the adage, “you can’t get blood from a turnip”. Well these folks haven’t had anything their whole life, likely spent all the donation money on their current “lifestyle”, and now will have to truly and unfortunately learn how to properly grieve their son. I have always said in this that I can’t imagine what it’s like to lose a child. But I do know that I would keep my morals, ethics and integrity in tact regardless of the situation.

  9. blacksheep says:

    Hey, Bart I think she has changed her name

    • Bart says:

      She can TELL by the way she CAPITALIZES several words to make sure she properly EMPHASIZES specific parts of her OUTRAGE!!!

      Still crossing fingers for the trifecta third person praise speech.

      • blacksheep says:

        Yes you can but remember we are not suppose to be able to figure that out they are too smart for us

        • Eric "Da Blacksheep" TrixNDix says:

          You just mad cause she points out the facts. Then again don’t let the truth get in the way of a story and a payday, amiright?

  10. Rex Reed says:

    I can see it now, all the defendants sitting downtown in lawn chairs with signs stating, “Justice for the Defendants”.

  11. According to the lawyers I’ve talked to, they’re going after CV King’s estate money. All you can get from the Johnsons is a small garnishment from their welfare check.

    The large judgment against Mr. King in Early county has yet to be paid. The judge in the case was forced by the appeals court to fine him. Trial judge has shown no interest in helping the lawyers to collect.

    Of course, the Johnson’s could sue Mr King for being stupid enough to take the case to begin with. That one may have merit

  12. Only Truth says:

    Even if the 38 defendants DID sit outside the court house, which they won’t bc they have integrity, it would at least be an honest protest. Unlike that of the Johnson Clan sitting out there with photoshopped pics of their dead son. Or the pic of him post autopsy, claiming that is what he looked like when first found. These people are the most vile and disgusting scum of the earth I have ever seen. And we wonder why racism perpetuates in America- it’s bc of ignorance like the Johnsons.