Woman Basketball Coach From Georgia Charged With Murder After Student Dies

by Shine My Crown Staff
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CLAYTON COUNTY, Georgia — A female basketball coach is facing a murder charge for her alleged part in the death of a student player.

Larosa Maria Walker-Asekere and fellow coach, Dwight Broom Palmer, have been charged with second-degree murder and second-degree cruelty to children for their role in the 2019 death of 16-year-old Imani Bell.

According to the indictment, Asekere and Palmer caused bell’s death “by conducting outdoor conditioning training for student athletes in dangerous heat, resulting in the death of Imani Bell due to hyperthermia and rhabdomyolysis.”

The temperature reached the high 90s Fahrenheit and the heat index put the temperature at between 101 and 106 degrees. The county was under a heat advisory at the time.

“Due to the extreme heat and humidity outside, Imani began experiencing early signs of heat illness and was visibly struggling to physically perform the outdoor conditioning drills defendants directed her to perform,” the lawsuit reads.

“Defendants observed Imani experiencing early signs of heat illness during the outdoor practice but nevertheless directed Imani to continue performing the conditioning drills with her team and directed Imani to run up the stadium steps.”

Bell eventually collapsed. Sadly, the teen died later that day of heat-related cardiac arrest and kidney failure.

The coaches were also charged with involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct. Asekere and Palmer were arrested in July following the indictment. They were both released on a $75,000 bond.

The Bell family previously filed a wrongful death lawsuit. In the filing, Asekere is listed as the head basketball coach for Elite Scholars Academy, while Palmer is listed as an assistant basketball coach.

Asekere’s defense is that she was new to the position and lacked experience.

Asekere’s attorneys writes she “was on her first day as coach of the girls basketball team, and she was relying on the direction of the athletic director and Elite Scholars Academy personnel to conduct this conditioning activity.”

“We are every day learning to live with the loss of our daughter. Realizing that this is nothing that will ever go away, that it will always be here, a piece of me is missing, but we’re learning to live. … We just want closure in this whole situation,” the student’s mother, Dorian Bell, said at the press conference. “

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