Parents of Kendrick Johnson Can Appeal Ruling on Attorney Fees

| October 22, 2017

VALDOSTA – The Georgia Court of Appeals handed down an order that gives Kenneth and Jackie Johnson, parents of Kendrick Johnson, until Oct. 28 to file a notice of appeal for the almost $300,000 they were ordered to pay.

The family of Kendrick Johnson was ordered to pay $292,102  in attorneys’ fees and expenses in August of this year. Those fees were to cover attorney’s fees and expenses representing the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office, the Lowndes County Board of Education, the City of Valdosta, Steve Owens Transportation and the family of Brian and Branden Bell, according to court documents.

The body of Kendrick Johnson 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.

Johnson’s parents filed a $100 million civil suit in January 2015, which alleged former local FBI agent Rick Bell, his two sons and 35 state and local officials either directly caused or covered up the cause of their son’s death. The family later voluntarily dropped the suit.

In the August filing, Judge Porter noted the Johnsons’ claims were “substantially frivolous, substantially groundless, or substantially vexatious.”

Porter also noted that “some actions” taken by the Johnsons’ lawyer, Chevene King, appeared to “have been taken for the purpose of delaying the Court from rulings which were forthcoming.”

More information: AJC 

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