Wednesday, September 24, 2014

TMZ: Tony Stewart Cleared By Grand Jury

The Ontario County District Attorney in New York was scheduled to announce the decision of a grand jury convened to investigate the track death of sprint race car driver Kevin Ward, Jr. at 3:00 p.m. today; however, TMZ is reporting in advance of the scheduled news conference that the grand jurors decided against returning an indictment against Tony Stewart. TMZ did not cite its source. Enhanced video of the fatal collision between Stewart's car and Ward did not convince jurors Stewart intentionally struck Ward, or drove his sprint car in a manner showing reckless disregard for Ward's life according to the Hollywood gossip site.

UPDATE: The district attorney confirmed TMZ's earlier report. District attorney Mike Tantillo told reporters that grand jury members heard testimony from more than two dozen witnesses, including two accident reconstruction specialists. The grand jury also reviewed photographic and video evidence. Tantillo also said a toxicology report showed the presence of marijuana in Ward's blood.

UPDATE II: The USA Today spoke to an accident reconstruction expert for the defense who said he determined that Ward was caught up in the rear wheel of Stewart's car.
"Essentially (Ward) was caught up in that large rear wheel" of Stewart's car, Speranza said.
Also, Speranza said, Cooper decided that Stewart's car had not struck Ward's earlier, as many had surmised. Speranza said he did not know whether the State Police reconstruction also reached that conclusion, but clearly the grand jury — having heard both versions — determined that Stewart did not respond unreasonably while driving.
"We did a complete independent investigation with a private investigator," Speranza said. "We interviewed probably 10 to 20 witnesses, many of them of course the same witnesses that the police had interviewed."
Ward had used marijuana and was driving in what District Attorney Michael Tantillo said was an "impaired" state, Speranza said.
While toxicology analysis was done on Ward's blood to determine he had enough marijuana in his system to impair his judgment, no toxicology analysis was conducted on Stewart to determine whether he was taking any medications or under the influence of any substances that could have impaired his judgment or affected his mental state of mind. The district attorney said none was taken of Stewart since he wasn't arrested at the time of the accident.


Anonymous said...

That's over.

m.s.Woods said...

It sounds like Tony Stewart caught a huge break. I saw the video and I would not have been surprised if the grand jury decided to pursue it.

Anonymous said...


"[P]rosecutors said Wednesday in disclosing for the first time that the victim had enough marijuana in his system the night he died to impair his judgment."