Coaches Charged With Murder in Teens Heat Related Death

Two Georgia basketball coaches have been charged with murder after a 16-year-old player collapsed during an outdoor basketball practice in 100-degree weather.

Imani Bell was a junior at Elite Scholars Academy in Clayton County when she collapsed during a summer conditioning practice for the girls’ basketball team on August 13, 2019. A lawsuit filed by the teen’s family said she suffered from a heat stroke while running up stadium steps as temperatures rose to the high 90s and the area was under a heat advisory. Bell died later that day from heat-related cardiac arrest and kidney failure, the lawsuit says. The coaches are also facing involuntary manslaughter and reckless conduct charges over Bell’s death.

An Atlanta-area grand jury indicted the coaches, Larosa Walker-Asekere and Dwight Palmer last month, and charged them Tuesday (August 10) with second-degree murder, second-degree child cruelty in the death of Imani Bell.

Walker-Askere was the head basketball coach at the time, while Palmer was an assistant.

The wrongful death lawsuit Bell’s family filed against the school administrators remains ongoing.