Judge won't pause civil suit in Georgia gym death for feds

AP News
Posted: Nov 05, 2015 9:49 AM

VALDOSTA, Ga. (AP) — A federal judge has denied the Justice Department's request to temporarily halt evidence-gathering in a civil lawsuit by the parents of Georgia teenager found dead at school in a rolled-up gym mat.

Federal prosecutors have been investigating the January 2013 death of 16-year-old Kendrick Johnson for two years. Sheriff's investigators concluded Johnson died in a freak accident, but his parents say he was killed by classmates and have sued them in civil court.

Justice Department attorney James Bennett told a Superior Court judge Wednesday that an "active grand jury investigation" could be jeopardized by civil attorneys questioning witnesses in the case, WSB-TV reports (http://bit.ly/1PpzWIG ).

Judge J. Richard Porter refused to halt the civil proceedings, the Valdosta Daily Times reports (http://bit.ly/1OqLoFp). He noted no criminal charges have been filed.