Judge: Parents owe $292,000 for suit in son’s gym mat death


VALDOSTA, Ga. (AP) — A judge is ordering the parents of a Georgia teenager found dead inside a rolled-up gym mat and their attorney to pay more than $292,000 in legal fees to people they accused of foul play in a lawsuit that was later dropped.

Classmates in Valdosta found 17-year-old Kendrick Johnson’s body in 2013. Sheriff’s investigators concluded he died in a freak accident. Johnson’s parents insisted he was murdered.

Kenneth and Jacquelyn Johnson filed a lawsuit accusing two brothers of killing their son. They also claimed law enforcement and school officials covered up the crime.

Superior Court Judge Richard Porter said in a ruling Monday that Johnson’s parents admitted under oath they had no evidence to support those claims. Their attorney, Chevene King, did not immediately return a phone message.

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