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NASCAR: No criminal charges against Tony Stewart


Deciding that there was insufficient evidence to warrant criminal charges, an Ontario County (New York) grand jury will not bring any charges against NASCAR champion Tony Stewart for his involvement in a sprint car accident during an Aug. 9 race at Canandaigua (N.Y.) Motorsports Park that fatally injured fellow driver Kevin Ward Jr.

Ontario County District Attorney Michael Tantillo held a news conference Wednesday afternoon to deliver the findings, ultimately saying that "there was no evidence to charge Tony Stewart with a crime."

He said the grand jury examined the evidence and heard from two dozen witnesses for "the better part of two days" before reaching its conclusion.

The two charges it considered were second degree manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. In the state of New York it takes 12 of 23 votes from the grand jury to return charges. They delivered their verdict in less than an hour.

Tantillo said of the two dozen-plus witnesses that testified, they included two accident reconstructionists, eye-witnesses, track workers and medical responders along with photographs and two video recordings. He said Stewart was able to testify, but by law he could not reveal who else did or did not.

Tantillo indicated however there was a toxicologist report conducted on Ward and it found that Ward was under the influence of marijuana "enough to impair judgment."