VALDOSTA, Ga. —
“In this instance, we believe that based upon the two autopsy reports, which conflicted, that he has a duty to convene a hearing whereby jurors can decide whether Kendrick Johnson died as the result of an accident or whether it was the result of a homicide," said King.
During an inquest, the coroner could subpoena witnesses and examine evidence in front of a six-person jury. That jury would then deliberate and deliver a verdict as to the cause and manner of death. Though not a criminal trial, the inquest's findings would be public.
The family also wants access to surveillance video from the gymnasium.
“If the sheriff’s investigation is correct, if he climbed into that wrestling mat, we will see it with our own eyes," said King. "But if that is not the case, as we suspect it is not, then we will see that."
Stuart Taylor writes for the Valdosta, Ga., Daily Times.