The Ontario County (N.Y.) District Attorney announced today that a grand jury will determine whether to bring charges against Tony Stewart, who fatally struck Kevin Ward Jr. with his car on Aug. 9.
Sheriff Philip Povero said last week that his investigation had been completed and forwarded on to the DA's office for a determination on what to do next. In his statement, DA Michael Tantillo said "it would be appropriate to submit the evidence to a grand jury."
"Over the past several weeks I have reviewed with members of the Ontario County Sheriff's Department their investigation, as it progressed, in the Tony Stewart matter. Recently that office concluded its work and forwarded the complete case file to me. Upon my review of all of the information contained in the entire investigation, I have made the determination that it would be appropriate to submit the evidence to a grand jury, for their determination as to what action should be taken in this matter. Accordingly, the evidence developed in the investigation will be presented to an Ontario County grand jury in the near future.
"As grand jury proceedings in New York State are strictly confidential by law, I am unable to state when the matter will be scheduled, other than to state that I intend to present the matter in the near future. Similarly, because of the confidential nature of these proceedings, I cannot state who will be called as witnesses, or what any witness's expected testimony will be. When the presentation has been completed and a determination has been made, I will advise the public and the media at that time of the results."
As for the contents of evidence handed to the grand jury, we know it entails at least two separate videos of the incident, and interviews with witnesses and with Stewart, who was "fully cooperative" with the investigation.
Stewart could face a wide range of charges, even without having to prove his intent, or the grand jury could decline to charge him altogether.