Johnson family will proceed with independent autopsy

By Patrice Clark - bio | email

LUCEDALE, MS (WLOX) - An independent autopsy will be performed this week on Billey Joe Johnson, the 17-year-old football star from George County.

Jackson County NAACP President Curley Clark would not say who is doing the autopsy, but he did tell WLOX that he met with the Johnson family Saturday. And they decided to have it done because they don't believe their son would use his own shotgun to kill himself.

"There are tears in the eyes of the family. There are tears in the eyes of the community. And there are tears in my eyes because you had this man who had a promising career ahead, and for something like this to happen unexpectedly with no true explanation, it's a sad situation," Clark said.

To refresh your memory about the case, early Monday morning, a George County deputy pulled Billey Joe over on Highway 26 because he reportedly ran a stop sign and a red light. While the deputy was checking his licence information, the sheriff says the deputy heard a gunshot, and then noticed the football player lying on the ground with a gunshot wound.

The first autopsy results have not been released.

NAACP President Curley Clark says Johnson's mother and father are confident that there's more to this shooting death, and all they want are answers.

"This incident will not be swept under the rug. We are going to make sure all the facts are brought out. We are going to provide the proper assistance necessary to sure no civil rights were violated."

Billey Joe Johnson's family is scheduled to meet with District Attorney Tony Lawrence Monday at 10:00 am.