The family of a local boy killed a few days after Christmas two years ago is asking the Bartow County Sheriff's Office to take another look at what authorities determined was an accidental shooting.
Robert Harvell Taylor III, 13, then an eighth-grader at Bartow County Schools' Woodland Middle in Euharlee, died Dec. 29, 2010, at a friend's Freedom Drive home in Cartersville's Oakland Heights area, the Rome News-Tribune reported.
Sheriff Clark Millsap at the time said Taylor, whose family and friends described him as a quiet, sweet boy with a love of baseball, was killed as the result of an accidental gunshot involving another young boy, whose name was not released, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution.
"We believe this was an accidental shooting, as we have from Day 1," Sgt. Jonathan Rogers told Cartersville Patch. "In the investigating officer's opinion, no charges were warranted because there was no criminal intention."
Nearly two years after her son's death, Taylor's mother is requesting authorities re-open the case and investigate further. As a result, the district attorney's office in September lodged charges against the other boy, who was 14 at the time, but the case will be prosecuted in the juvenile court system, Rogers said.
"I want that boy to be charge[d] as an adult," Veronica Taylor told Cartersville Patch. "He made an adult decision to go and get that gun and he acted as an adult who knew and used guns and knew the consequences of pointing a gun in my son's face."
In an online petition, Veronica Taylor is gathering signatures to request local, state and federal authorities "fully investigate" her son's killing, which she says "could have been a crime of passion," and alleged "gross" negligence by the owner of the shotgun used in the shooting.
"The truth is there was a full investigation," Rogers said, adding that a group of law enforcement officials worked on the case, which is no longer under investigation by the sheriff's office.
But Taylor's mother isn't satisfied.
"I want the gun owner charged with negligent homicide...," she added. "We are living a nightmare.... We only want the truth about what happened the day our son was killed and we still do not know."
Rogers said investigators felt the circumstances of the case didn't meet the threshold for criminal negligence charges.
"We consider all the circumstances—if the kids are young, left by themselves with a gun in a common area, that would be totally negligent," he added. "We consider the age of the children. Every case is different."
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