No Charges Filed In Case of Woman Who Was Shot And Killed by Her Two-Year-Old Son

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The case of Julia Bennett who was shot and killed on April 20 2011 by her two-year old son is now closed, with charges cleared against the gun owner.

Julia Bennett

Reported by Kacie Whaley

The case of a Florida woman who was shot and killed on April 20, 2011 by her two-year old son is now closed, with charges cleared against the gun owner.

Hewart Bailey, the child’s father, was visiting his girlfriend of five years, Julia Bennett.  He’d brought a pistol with him. He stored the 9mm semiautomatic underneath a couch’s cushions but first attempted to “[clear] and [unload] the firearm by racking the slide and then removing the magazine,” explained Assistant State Attorney Gregg Rossman in an April memo.  “Tragically, he did those things in the wrong order,” causing a bullet to be left in the chamber.

Bennett was in her living room when her son got a hold of the weapon.  Bailey, who owned a concealed weapons permit, tried to grab the gun out of his hands, knocking the toddler to the floor in the process, as stated by prosecutors.  But it was too late; Bailey’s son had already shot 33-year-old Bennett in the left side of her back, according to The Raw Story.  Bailey admitted that his grabbing the boy’s hand possibly set off the gun.

Police reports said that Bailey was very cooperative with detectives and seemed very genuine in his concern for Bennett’s well-being.  He kept saying that “the one thing he wants is for God to save her.”

According to the Sun Sentinel, the incident has been ruled a tragic accident, and Bailey will not be charged with his girlfriend’s murder. “Due to the child’s age and other circumstances surrounding this unfortunate incident…no criminal charges can be filed,” stated a police memo.

Jennifer Facey, Bennett’s mother, was not happy with the news.  “Nothing [will] come of it?  Oh my God, really?” she said to a reporter.  “I’m supposed to take it just like that?  I lose my daughter, I lose everything.”

CBS Miami spoke to Bennett’s uncle, Hugh Pearce, who said he accepts the prosecutor’s decision.  “It’s very hard, but we just have to move on,” said Pearce.

Source: 1,2


  1. Barbara

    June 23, 2014 at 9:39 am

    Is a two year old toddle strong enough to pull a gun trigger, or know where the trigger is? Could the boyfriend have done it, and blamed the toddler who doesn’t know how to defend himself?

  2. Ms Michelle

    June 23, 2014 at 1:49 pm

    I agree Ms Barbara especially if he is the next of kin….being the father he’s going to get custody of the child. Sounds fishy to me that’s why Bennett Mom is extremely upset. For anyone with a concealed weapon permit that frequently visit the range the first rule you are taught is to unload the magazine first then the chamber. People with concealed weapon permits are taught to store the gun in a safe place while in your home away from harm and danger of a innocent person. They are also taught shoot to kill. A two does not have the strength to be able to pull the trigger with force. This is BS nothing will done because of the family ethnicity and economic status. I will stay in prayer for the loss of the families loved one and a child being raised without his Mom.

  3. kimberly

    June 23, 2014 at 2:45 pm

    yeah…something sounds very fishy here…i can not see a 2 year old pulling a trigger on the gun…damn…was he even able to pick it up???

    • Clarice

      June 23, 2014 at 4:48 pm

      Sounds like the perfect murder.

  4. Bucktooth

    June 23, 2014 at 6:26 pm

    Seems as though we’re always suspicious of our people!
    This man has a permit..he obviously did not unload properly..he should have never hid a gun under cushions at all! My Dad said a 9mm has a quicker trigger, and if the man pushed the child out of the way quickly the automatic could have easily gone off with jolting.
    Why do we always have to think the worst..he was home with his family!! Tragic accident!

  5. Tiffany

    June 23, 2014 at 7:16 pm

    Wow as stated if he neglected to follow what he was taught in order to obtain his permit, them he should be help liable!

  6. Tiffany

    June 23, 2014 at 7:18 pm

    And now sadly if he is guilty, now that he’s been cleared, in the future there wouldn’t be a legal right to punish him smh

  7. quesngbrd

    June 24, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    i am guilty of thinking negative of the father (thought first he did it on purpose). This could have been a mistake.I am no one to judge him.His mistake caused a life lost. Now he has to be punished by thinking he mistakenly helped take the life of the mother of his child.That’s enough punishment for an innocent man. God will take care of him if there is an truth of him doing it on purpose. I hope God gives him the strength to take care of his child/children and hopefully he learns cause it could of been his child or him…

  8. Kiesha makins

    July 2, 2014 at 12:51 pm

    This is just a Very Sad an Tragic story

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