Published on Apr 22, 2013
On Thursday, April 11, new details have become publicly known and confirmed in regard to what happened when Kendrick Johnson’s body was found in the Old Gymnasium at Lowndes County High School — allegedly trapped inside wrestling mats.
For the first time in three months, the Lowndes County Coroner Bill Watson spoke out about what happened on January 11 in which transparency and protocol took a backseat as he explained to the Valdosta Daily Times that he wasn’t notified by the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department initially.
So how long did it take for the Lowndes Sheriff’s Department to notify Watson — two hours, four hours, six hours? Was the body moved? Was evidence taken prior to Watson’s eventual arrival?
“This was not fair to the decedent, his family, and the citizens of Valdosta and Lowndes County, Ga. And it’s wrong as rain,” Watson said in January when he spoke to The Times.
Was the District Attorney of the Southern Judicial District, J. David Miller, aware of the actions of the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department on January 11?
The Valdosta Daily Times may have talked to Watson ‘off the record’ in January, but why didn’t this newspaper publicly report or print that the Lowndes Sheriff’s Department — led by Sheriff Chris Prine– didn’t contact the county coroner?
In essence, sweep this detail under the rug, and there may be more things as well.
Ninety long days have passed since Kendrick Johnson was found, then the newspaper finally divulge this very significant detail to this investigation to the public.
Coincidence or not, this is the first time that Bill Watson’s name has appeared in a story by the Valdosta Daily Times or any South Georgia media since Kendrick Johnson’s body was found.
Why is it significant?
Because it appears the Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department broke laws –if Watson’s account is true– the question that may have to be asked how many laws were broken on January 11 and will there be accountability by the justice system?
It begs the question, how many times previously has The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Department –led by Chris Prine– chose to ignore calling the county coroner in the event of a death at a crime scene?
Watson provides further insight about his relationship with the Lowndes County Sheriffs’ Office to the Valdosta Times’ April 11 story.
“You may not want me on your crime scene, but it’s a law. It’s not something you can change your mind about.”