Northshore mother fights for justice in son's death

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wwltv.com

Posted on April 3, 2013 at 6:36 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 3 at 6:41 PM

Ashley Rodrigue / Eyewitness News
Email: arodrigue@wwltv.com | Twitter: @ashleyrwwl

COVINGTON, La. - A St. Tammany Parish mother is taking her fight to a new level in order to prove her son’s death was not an accident.

Brett Wittner, 14, died in February 2012 while visiting a house in Washington Parish after seeing a movie with friends. Authorities say he accidentally shot himself in the back of the head with a rifle he was playing with.

His mother, Donna Wittner, firmly believes that is not the case and has worked to change that ever since.

"I have asked them numerous times to do something to prove to me that my son shot himself," she said.

Because, she said, no one has. Wittner recently sued the St Tammany Parish District Attorney's Office to get the investigative file to look it over herself. She got the documents in hand Wednesday.

"I'm hoping to get that evidence, and it's going to put me a little bit closer to who shot my son," said Wittner.

The original case went straight from detectives hands to a grand jury, which also found no criminal charges. But when the new sheriff came to town, he put fresh eyes on it.

"I made a commitment to her that we would reopen that case and we'd look at it again," Washington Parish Sheriff Randy Seal said.

However, reviews from his office, Louisiana State Police and the FBI all turned up the same conclusion.

The sheriff says he’ll keep an open mind, though.

"If she can find anything and bring that back to us, we'll be glad to look into it," said Seal.

District Attorney Walter Reed had no comment on the investigation due to it being a juvenile matter. The Wittners have also filed a civil suit against the owners of the home where their son died, claiming negligent homicide.

 

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