PASCAGOULA MS (WLOX) - Jackson County D.A. Tony Lawrence today released an official statement concerning the death of George County High School football star Billey Joe Johnson. This after Lawrence met with members of Johnson's family to answer their concerns and questions. The following is the press release issued by Lawrence.
OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY
ANTHONY N. LAWRENCE III, DISTRICT ATTORNEY
NINETEENTH CIRCUIT COURT DISTRICT
JACKSON, GEORGE AND GREENE COUNTIES
Date: December 15, 2008
STATEMENT OF DISTRICT ATTORNEY TONY LAWRENCE ON BILLEY JOE JOHNSON, JR. CASE:
"This morning I met with the Johnson family and Mr. Willie Gaines from the George County NAACP concerning the shooting death of Billey Joe Johnson, Jr. Also present at the meeting was Investigator Joel Wallace of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation. I advised the Johnson family of the status of the investigation and answered, as best I could at this early stage, any questions they had.
It is too early in the process and therefore, impossible, to conclude anything as to the manner of death. We cannot conclude anything until forensic testing is complete. At this time, we have not received a final autopsy report or any other report from the many forensic tests that were performed. Further, the investigation will include information and witnesses relevant to the shooting some of which still need to be interviewed.
Additionally, in accordance with Miss. Code Ann. §25-61-3 and 25-61-12, portions of which were enacted by the Mississippi legislature this past session to apply to law enforcement records and effective July 1, 2008, I am providing the incident report in this case. The incident report represents the on-scene officer's version of events and is one part of the investigation. It does not represent any conclusions as to this investigation.
At this time, I anticipate the investigation will be completed in January 2009. The next scheduled session of the George County Grand Jury will be on February 12, 2009.