Attorney for family of teen found dead in Dawson County jail begins investigation


DAWSON COUNTY, Ga. –AJ Richman, the lawyer for the family of the man found dead in the Dawson County Detention Center on June 2 issued a statement today (June 18) regarding the death of 18-year-old Jonathan Sanford.

Richman said his law office has started its own investigation to determine whether jail personnel failures contributed to his death. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation is conducting a parallel investigation.

“Georgia’s sheriffs are responsible for every aspect of a detainee’s health and welfare,” said Richman. “Our local government needs to be transparent, and we are calling upon the sheriff to share with us how Jonathan died in their custody.”

Richman said in the 18 days since Sanford died, his parents have not been told what caused their son’s death, which prompted their own investigation.

Sanford’s father said earlier this week that Sheriff Jeff Johnson had not spoken to the family since their son’s death.

The family held a demonstration on the city square earlier this week and demanded Johnson’s resignation. Johnson has not returned our phone calls requesting his comment.


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