Funeral services held to star athlete

Published 1:30 am Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More than 800 people attended the weekend funeral service for Billey Joe Johnson, the George County High School football star who died during a traffic stop.

Friends, family and teammates gathered Saturday at the George County Middle School’s gymnasium to remember Johnson. Several described the 17-year-old high school junior as an amazing football player with strong faith and a respectful demeanor.

Meanwhile, the probe into his death continues.

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Johnson died Dec. 8 of a single gunshot wound after being stopped for a traffic violation on Mississippi Highway 26.

Authorities have suggested Johnson shot himself, possibly by accident.

His death is under investigation by Jackson County District Attorney Tony Lawrence, the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations, the NAACP and an attorney hired by his family.