published Thursday, May 1st, 2014

Fred Steven Youngblood, Dalton McConathy shooter, dies; never charged

  • photo
    Dalton McConathy is pictured with his mother, Kim Lowery in this family photo.
    Photo by Contributed Photo /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The North Georgia man who fatally shot a teenager hunting scrap metal in his backyard last fall has died.

Fred Steven Youngblood, 69, of Ringgold, died Tuesday at a local hospital, according to an obituary notice.

Youngblood fatally shot 17-year-old Dalton McConathy on Nov. 11 in the yard at Youngblood's home. Youngblood claimed he fired in self-defense against scrap-metal thieves who charged him when he confronted them.

However, McConathy's family, friends and other members of the community said McConathy was a good kid who wouldn't have just taken something without asking.

Statements from Youngblood's neighbors, as well as people who had run-ins with him, suggested that he was quick to brandish a gun when someone he didn't recognize showed up on his property.

Friends, family and some members of the public called on Lookout Mountain Judicial Circuit District Attorney Herbert "Buzz" Franklin to charge Youngblood in the death.

On Wednesday, Franklin said that while he had received the reports on the incident from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, he had not made a decision on whether to charge Youngblood with a homicide.

The day of the shooting, authorities arrested a 16-year-old boy who was with McConathy and a 17-year-old girl who was waiting for them in a pickup truck and charged them with burglary.

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