Grand jury hears evidence in athlete’s death

Published 1:07 am Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A George County grand jury has begun hearing testimony in the Dec. 8 shooting death of a high school football star.

Authorities have said 17-year-old Billey Joe Johnson died after being stopped by a deputy for running a red light in Lucedale. Law enforcement records have shown that Johnson had been identified as a suspect in an attempted break-in moments before the traffic stop.

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation has gathered evidence in the probe.

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Johnson’s mother, Annette, and Curley Clark, president of a Gulf Coast chapter of the NAACP, were among those subpoenaed to testify on Monday.

Johnson was a junior running back at George County High was considered a top potential college football recruit.

Johnson’s family and the NAACP are conducting independent investigations of his death.