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High school basketball player dies from heat stroke, coaches accused of murder

high school basketball player dies from heat stroke coaches charged with murder  years later
Source: Clayton County Police Department

Aug. 12 2021, Published 10:30 a.m. ET

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A Georgia high school basketball player suffered a heat stroke after practicing outdoors in over 90-degree weather and now police say a grand jury has charged her two coaches on criminal charges.

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On Aug. 13, 2019, authorities say Imani Bell, 16, participated in conditioning drills for a high school's girls basketball team when she collapsed after running up the football stadium steps.

According to Fox29, Bell collapsed after showing signs of distress.

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At the time, the temperature outside was in the high 90s Fahrenheit and the area in Georgia was under a heat advisory, officials said.

Imani died later that day due to heat-related cardiac arrest and kidney failure, according to a lawsuit filed by her family and reported by local media.


Now an Atlanta-area grand jury has indicted two of the coaches, head coach Larosa Walker-Asekere and assistant Dwight Palmer, on murder charges, authorities said.

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An attorney for Imani’s family told ABC 7 that the indictment “sends a signal that the [district attorney] is taking this seriously,” and he is hoping to see this case move ahead “swiftly.”

According to the family, school officials violated a Georgia High School Association rule banning outdoor practices in weather conditions like on the day Imani passed away and the coaches never properly measured the temperature in advance.


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