The murder trial got underway last week with both sides giving their statements. Eric McLean is charged with first degree murder of Sean Powell, 18.
In March of 2007, Eric McLean shot and killed 18-year-old Sean Powell with a high powered rifle, a fact that Eric admits to doing but contends was an accident. Prosecutors are saying that it was anything but an accident.
Defense attorney, Bruce Poston, is making a case for a conviction of Voluntary Manslaughter, claiming his wife of 11 years -- 29-year old Erin McLean -- essentially taunted him by having an affair in front of him.
Despite claims that the couple had an open relationship where they were free to "date" whomever they wished, a news report described Eric's side of the story as him being tormented by his wife:
Eric's attorney, Bruce Poston, described the couple's marriage as unhappy, Erin as controlling and Eric as "worshipping the ground she walked on."
Poston also said Eric had been thinking of killing himself at the time of the shooting.
Eric caught Erin and Powell having sex in the house, but they didn't stop, Poston said. He also described instances when Powell came to the McLean's church and sat beside Erin and a time when Powell and Erin came into a restaurant where Eric and his friends were frequenting and stayed.
Eric called Powell at one point, telling him to stay away from the couple, but he called back and apologized later at Erin's insistence, Poston said.
In another news report on CNN, the taunting was further explained:
Poston said Eric McLean saw his wife and Powell together several times over four months: in a bar, in a parking lot, kissing, even having sex. But he did nothing until March 10 when he found Powell at his home and told him to leave.
When Powell refused, McLean called 911 to report an intruder. The dispatcher tape was played in court Friday. It was introduced as evidence along with graphic photographs of the crime scene and the murder weapon. McLean ended the emergency call by saying Powell was leaving.
Poston told jurors that after the call, Powell went to his car and Erin McLean joined him.
"They are laughing at him (Eric) for calling 911," Poston said. "Erin yelled to her husband, 'Sean is 10 times the man you are. I don't want my boys around you. I am leaving with Sean."'
It was alleged that Eric finally snapped when his wife decided to leave her husband for the younger man, stating that she was taking her two children with her. With the impending doom of his wife abandoning him for a younger man and the supposed statement that the young man had made just prior to Eric shooting his face off, the defense will definitely play up a heart-broken husband who had supposedly given up his career dreams for his wife, only to be taunted and pushed past a breaking point.
The prosecution, however, maintains Eric's crime more than one of simple passion, but as a calculated event based upon jealousy associated with their open marital relationship and the connected bond between a vulnerable 18-year-old student teacher and a 29-year-old teacher, wife and mother of two. Testimony continues throughout the week.
As district attorney Bill Crabtree stated in regards to what he termed as an affair that was "despicable", but not a crime:
...there is no such thing as a "deserved killing" under Tennessee law, including a death linked to infidelity.