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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Grand jury will decide if Tony Stewart is charged in death of Kevin Ward Jr.

The following is a statement from Tony Stewart regarding the decision by the Office of the Ontario County (N.Y.) District Attorney to send the case of the accident involving Kevin Ward Jr. on Aug. 9 at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park.
“I respect the time and effort spent by both the Ontario County District Attorney and the Sheriff’s Office in investigating this tragic accident. I look forward to this process being completed, and I will continue to provide my full cooperation.” 

Below is NASCAR's take on the move:
“We are aware of the completed investigation and the announced next steps. First, our thoughts continue to be with all who have been impacted by this tragedy. We will monitor this process and stay in close contact with Stewart-Haas Racing. It would be inappropriate for NASCAR to comment on this case so we will continue to respect the process and authorities involved.”

My take
I see this mostly a procedural move to show due diligence; I doubt any criminal liability will be assigned to Stewart in the tragic death of Kevin Ward Jr., which was obviously not intentional; He'll likely have a big civil payout somewhere down the road, but I don't see Tony getting a criminal indictment out of this tragedy.

Key thing to remember, folks, is that a grand jury just decides whether to charge; Tony Stewart has not been indicted for any crime. That is something the grand jury has to decide whether to do.

Matt Myftiu can be reached at, or on Twitter @MattMyftiu


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