Autopsy: Blow to head with baseball bat not cause of Athens man’s death

The mystery surrounding an Athens man’s death on Monday only deepened with the results of an autopsy performed on the victim’s remains.

 

Although several witnesses told police that Jovan Shanta Campbell died after a woman hit him in the head with a baseball bat, an autopsy found no evidence the man suffered a fatal blow to the head.

Campbell allegedly was struck by a woman with whom he was having a verbal altercation because she came into his Park Ridge Court home uninvited.

The autopsy found no indications that Campbell had been killed by being hit in the head by a bat, according to Epifanio Rodriguez, spokesman for the Athens-Clarke County Police Department.

That was despite a person who called 911 telling a dispatcher that Campbell “was not breathing because a female had hit him in the head with a baseball bat,” according to the initial police report. Others gave police similar stories as the 911 caller.

The officer who wrote the report said he found Campbell’s body on a bedroom floor and noted, “I did not notice any major signs of injury or blood on him.”

“We won’t know what the cause or manner (of Campbell’s death) is until the full autopsy results are back,” said Rodriguez. “Detectives were told by multiple witnesses on scene that (the suspect) struck him with a bat shortly before he died.”

The woman with whom Campbell had the altercation was identified by police as 26-year-old Brittany Gordon-Kiker of Madison County.

Authorities arrested her Tuesday after issuing a criminal trespass warrant against her.

According to Rodriguez, detectives were able to obtain the warrant because they “were told at the crime scene that (Gordon-Kiker) was not invited into (Campbell’s) house and she was asked to leave and refused to leave.”

The altercation was not considered to be domestic violence, Rodriguez said.

“They were acquaintances from mutual friendships they have with other people,” the police spokesman said.

Gordon-Kiker on Thursday continued to be held without bail on the trespass charge.

Follow Criminal Justice reporter Joe Johnson at www.facebook.com/JoeJohnsonABH or www.twitter.com/JoeJohnsonABH.

 

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