NEW: Grand jury declines to indict deputy in fatal Martin County shooting


A grand jury has decided not to indict a Martin County Sheriff’s Office deputy who shot and killed a machete-wielding man last October in Indiantown.

The grand jury panel convened Thursday, with a majority determining there was not enough evidence to support an indictment against deputy John Welliever, according to court records. 

Authorities said Welliever shot 47-year-old Jerry Richardson five times during a confrontation the night of Oct. 27, killing him at the intersection of Martin Luther King Drive and Charleston Street. Richardson reportedly had a machete strapped to his body.

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In the days after the shooting, Martin County Sheriff William Snyder said he believed the deputy had acted in self-defense. 

Welliever has been the sheriff’s office since December 2003. Prior to the fatal shooting, he had not been involved in any incidents in which he fired his gun, the sheriff’s office said. 



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