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Attorneys Demand Investigation Into Death Of Football Player

Patch logo Patch 10/7/2021 Gabby DeBenedictis
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ATLANTA, GA — Attorneys for the family of JauMarcus McFarland, who died after an elevator collapsed on him, are calling on the Fulton County District Attorney's Office to open a criminal investigation into his death.

McFarland — a student and football player at Champion Prep Academy — and his teammates were riding in an elevator at an Atlanta apartment complex on Sept. 1 when it collapsed, pinning McFarland between two floors of the building, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Fire crews worked for an hour to free McFarland, but he died after going into cardiac arrest at Atlanta Medical Center, according to the Journal-Constitution.

In a press conference Thursday morning, attorneys asked the DA's Office to look into what they called the "reckless disregard" that has been exhibited by the owners and managers of the apartment building.

The attorneys claimed that the owners of the complex, located at 444 Highland Avenue, knew of problems with the elevator McFarland and his teammates were riding in "much before this incident."

The State Insurance Commissioner's Office told FOX 5 that the building's elevator was overdue for an inspection by a year, the news station reported.

"However, the building's property manager claimed the elevator passed similar annual inspections, and it was not due for another five-year inspection until 2024," FOX 5 reported.

Building management has also said that the number of people in the elevator caused it to exceed its weight limit, according to the attorneys, though the lawyers called that claim "disingenuous."

Additionally, the attorneys said the McFarland family has not received any proceeds from a GoFundMe that was created to help them pay for JauMarcus' funeral expenses.

The fundraiser was organized by Vince Lindenmeyer to benefit Georgia Prep Sports Academy, according to the GoFundMe page.

"Please consider this tax-deductible support given to Georgia Prep Sports Academy IHO JauMarcus McFarland with all proceeds going to the McFarland family," the donation page reads.

However, the attorneys said that six weeks have gone by, but the family has not received the money.

Lindenmeyer has disabled donations to the fundraiser, according to its GoFundMe page.

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