homicide was to have their son, once more, speak for himself. Their attorney, Chevene King, Jr., hired forensic pathologist, Dr. William Anderson, to perform the second autopsy.
He did, on June 15, 2013. When he released his findings six weeks later, on September 4, 2013, Anderson told me that the GBI would not even look at them.
"How can the GBI stand by their report? How can they reject my findings without even looking at them? How can you say you are a scientist and an investigative agent and not even look at the findings!?" Dr. Anderson wonders, his voice straining with incredulity.
And now, the official response to Kendrick Johnson's murder has shifted from the county and state level to the Federal government.
Michael J. Moore, the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Georgia, had already been reviewing the case at King's urging. King sent him a copy of Dr. Anderson's second autopsy report.
I spoke with Mr. Moore.
"This is unique for us," Moore told me. He added that the U.S. Attorney, "Typically doesn't acknowledge a [case] review. This is a little unique."
The Federal government sees over civil rights and state/local corruption cases through the Office of the United States Attorney. All fifty states are divided into Federal districts. Each district has a U.S. Attorney, in charge of enforcing Federal laws within his district. Moore's job is itself uniquely defined in a letter President George Washington sent to Richard Harrison.
“The high importance of the judicial system in our national government, makes it an indispensable duty to select such characters to fill the several offices in it as would discharge their respective duties in honor to themselves and advantage to their country,” Washington wrote to Harrison, in asking him to accept his appointment as U.S. Attorney for the District of New York.
Moore doesn't regularly travel his district on horseback as Harrison did. But he does regularly drive through it, willing to meet with anyone, people who can help him on the cases his office reviews and investigates. His clients are the people of the Middle District of Georgia, including Valdosta.
Moore is currently reviewing the official files on the Kendrick Johnson case, including Dr. Anderson's second autopsy report.
"I'm serious in saying I want to do the right thing," Moore continues.
Upon the conclusion of his review, Moore can open a full scale investigation into KJ's murder and enforce civil rights violations. Or, he can charge those he deems responsible with violations of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO). Originally intended to prosecute mobsters, Federal attorneys have also used the act to focus on, "any act or threat involving murder, kidnapping, gambling, arson, robbery, bribery, extortion, dealing in obscene matter, or dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical which is chargeable under State law."
We will report back to you when the Federal attorney makes his decision.
Fred Rosen is a reporter and author, whose current book Lobster Boy, is available at Amazon Kindle