The man who killed a Ringgold teenager last year for attempting to steal scrap metal from the yard has died.

Fred Youngblood died suddenly Tuesday at a local hospital.

In December 17-year-old Dalton McConathy was shot and killed by homeowner Fred Youngblood after he and another teenager attempted to steal scrap metal from the yard. 

Youngblood told police he feared for his life and fired the gun in self-defense.   No charges were ever filed against Youngblood, even though the McConathy family had formed a petition to garner support for the case to be presented to a grand jury.  

The McConathy family released  a statement Wednesday:

"The family of Dalton McConathy would have preferred that Mr. Youngblood had lived to face justice for the unjustified murder of Dalton. Between the failure of the prosecution to charge him and this recent development, the family now mourns the now permanent denial of the application of justice.
The McConathy family does, however, offer condolences to the family of Mr. Youngblood for their personal loss."

Funeral arrangements are being handled by