High school basketball coaches charged with murder in player death

Two Georgia high school basketball coaches have been charged with second-degree murder in the death of a player, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Imani Bell, a former student at Elite Schools Academy in Jonesboro, Ga., died of kidney failure after collapsing during outdoor conditioning drills on Aug. 13, 2019.

Although the 16-year-old’s death was originally ruled an accident, a grand jury said in July that coaches Larosa Maria Walker-Asekere and Dwight Broom Palmer were culpable for “conducting outdoor conditioning training for student athletes in dangerous heat,” which led to Bell’s death.

The heat index rose to 106 degrees Fahrenheit the day of Bell’s collapse.

The autopsy report said that on the last lap of the conditioning drill, which included running a set of stairs, one of the coaches noticed Bell was tired, so “he started walking the last lap with her and encouraged her.”

The coaches provided Bell with water, but when she reached the top of the stairs, she “leaned into the rail and then went limp.”

The two coaches face second-degree murder, second-degree child cruelty, involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct charges.

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