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