State won't prosecute father who shot son

The state has decided to not prosecute 74-year-old Lawrence Sowell Sr., who was charged with shooting his mentally ill son in Norwich four years ago, paralyzing him, before turning the gun on himself.

Prosecutor Lawrence J. Tytla "nolled" the case Tuesday when Sowell appeared in New London Superior Court after considering several factors, including Sowell's diminished level of function.

"Under all the circumstances, in the interest of justice, it didn't warrant further prosecution," Tytla said.

Sowell was accused of shooting his son, Lawrence Sowell Jr. at his home at 18 Ripley Place in November 2007.

Sowell Sr. said he had shot his 48-year-old son, a former Marine who suffers from paranoia and schizophrenia, after the two argued about Sowell Jr.'s daily allowance of $10.

After his son began swearing at him, Sowell said he went to his bedroom to retrieve the .38-caliber revolver he kept in a bag on the closet floor. He walked back to his son, who was standing on the porch adjacent to the side door at the house.

Then the father pointed the gun at his son and asked him to leave. Sowell Sr. told police his son said he was not afraid of the gun, pushed him and started to turn toward the stairs. Sowell Sr. said he pulled the trigger, hitting his son in the back of the neck and sending him tumbling down the stairs.

Seeing what he had done, Sowell Sr. said he put the gun in his own mouth and pulled the trigger.

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