CHILLICOTHE – A Ross County grand jury did not return a secret indictment for Ross County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Brett McKnight in the accidental death of Krystal Barrows.
The Ohio Attorney General’s Office met with the grand jury Friday, said Jill Del Greco, spokeswoman for the state office. The case is now closed because the grand jury did not return the indictment.
Details of the grand jury’s decision are secret under Ohio law, Del Greco said. She could not comment on McKnight’s future with the Ross County Sheriff’s Office.
Barrows, 35, was killed during service of a warrant Dec. 11, 2013, when McKnight’s gun inadvertently fired. Barrows was struck by a bullet during the no-knock search warrant at a residence off U.S. 23 South when the single round was fired as law enforcement entered.
She died the next day in a Columbus hospital.
The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation later determined the round had come from a submachine gun held by McKnight, who reported he never realized the gun had fired. A shell casing was found just outside the home, and evidence showed the bullet had passed through the home from the outside before hitting Barrows.
In the release, Ross County Sheriff George Lavender’s office said that members of the U.S. 23 Task Force were executing a search warrant about 10:30 p.m. on Wednesday at a trailer at 467 Rt. 23 S. near Chillicothe. The release said they expected to find large amounts of heroin, several weapons and a guard holding an assault rifle at the front door.
A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed by the family of a woman killed during a Ross County drug raid last December. According to documents filed Friday at the Ross County Courthouse, the suit has been filed against Ross County Sheriff George Lavender, Sgt. Brett McKnight and Ross County.
They are accused of negligence in the death of Krystal M. Barrows, who was mortally wounded in a drug raid when law enforcement entered the residence December 11th. She died the following day.
A subsequent investigation found Sgt. McKnight’s weapon discharged when a concussion grenade was tossed into the residence as tactical entry teams were entering.