CHATTANOOGA -- A Hamilton County grand jury has chosen not to indict a grandfather after his 2-year-old grandson accidentally shot himself with the man's pistol.
The Hamilton County District Attorney's Office had pursued a charge of criminally negligent homicide against Stan Nowell. The grand jury last week issued a no true bill, meaning they did not believe there was enough evidence against Nowell to take the case to trial.
"They have to determine probable cause to issue the indictment, and they didn't find that in this case," Executive Assistant District Attorney Neal Pinkston told the Chattanooga Times Free Press http://bit.ly/X3W9yt.
The grand jury makes its decisions in secret and so it is not known exactly how they arrived at that decision.
Two-year-old Brennan Nowell shot himself on Dec. 20 after his grandfather left a .40-caliber semiautomatic pistol on a chair.
Stan Nowell is a pastor and a missionary who started Forgotten Child Ministries, an organization that helps street children in Honduras.
The boy's mother and Nowell's daughter, Rebekah Nowell, wrote in an obituary earlier this month that she hopes that somehow, good will come from Brennan's death.
"My sweet Brennan was truly an angel living on this earth. He touched so many people during his short stay with us here on earth and my hope and prayer is that he will touch so many more through this tragedy," she wrote.
Information from: Chattanooga Times Free Press, http://www.timesfreepress.com