On Thursday, August 28, Michael Moore, U.S. Attorney for the Macon-based Middle District of Georgia, was quoted in the Chicago Tribune in regard to what progress is being made in the Kendrick Johnson case.
On March 13, 2014-- fourteen months after Kendrick Johnson was found upside down inside a gym mat at Lowndes County High School in January 2013--a federal grand jury was convened and people of interest via a subpoena were summoned to the federal courthouse here in Macon. No indictments have been issued thus far and reportedly there are more interviews being done nearly four months after the federal grand jury has convened.
According to CNN, the summons to appear before a grand jury involved current students at Lowndes High School and current and former students at Valdosta High School. Moore told CNN the following back in March:
"We're working methodically, and sometimes we remember we're running a marathon instead of a sprint. So, we're working on it. It's better to get it right than to get it fast.
One month before the federal grand jury was convened in Macon, a Lowndes County High school parent --Lake Park Georgia's Karen Bell--had spoken out for the first time publicly to the media about the alleged involvement of her own sons in the Kendrick Johnson case and how it has impacted her family in an interview with the Valdosta Daily Times' Adam Floyd. This story was published on February 9.
Bell also declined to allow her sons to be questioned after FBI investigators sought to speak to the brothers in regard to U.S. Attorney Moore’s review of the Johnson investigation. Bell and her husband spoke to the FBI on their children’s behalf.
“We were very willing to work with (the FBI), but they did not like the fact that we had attorneys, and they asked rumor questions instead of fact questions,” said Bell.
Bell did acknowledge in the February 9 story that her family knew Kendrick Johnson and admitted that one of her sons were involved in an incident with Kendrick Johnson which happened on a school bus nearly three years ago which resulted in a suspension for Johnson. With the federal grand jury in Macon still deliberating, details of what is being discussed and reviewed are not known to the public.
CNN had talked to Kendrick Johnson's parents back in March and they had said the following about the federal government getting involved:
Johnson's father, Kenneth Johnson, said, "We really won't feel anything until justice comes for Kendrick. We're glad they're here, but my feelings won't be there until we get justice for our son."
Jacquelyn Johnson also talked about the involvement of the federal government.
The Bell family --Rick and Karen Bell of Lake Park-- have taken a pro-active stance and filed a lawsuit in a different federal jurisdiction outside of the Middle District of Georgia -- in the city of Brunswick. The lawsuit challenges a series of stories about the Kendrick Johnson case that appeared on the website Ebony.com which were written by Fredric Rosen.