I’ve been following the murder trial of Eric McLean (the "love triangle murder" where Eric shot his wife’s teenage lover), and have thought to myself how hard it would be to be on that jury.
There are volumes of news articles here (scroll down to the "McLean Files" blue box on the left, under the picture), but basically, the facts boil down to this: West High School student teacher Erin McLean, age 29, was engaged in an affair with one of her students. The pair flaunted the affair, tormented husband Eric McLean with degrading remarks and threats to take his children.
Eric McLean took a rifle from his father’s house, planning to commit suicide, two weeks before the shooting. At one point, Eric McLean walked in on the pair having sex in his own house… but he didn’t kill anyone, even as the purloined rifle sat in the laundry room.
Days later, as Erin McLean was retrieving her belongings to leave with Sean Powell, her teenage lover, Eric McLean went to Powell’s car with the rifle to scare him away. Powell told McLean, "in two weeks, your kids will be calling me ‘Daddy’." McLean says that Powell grabbed for the rifle, then he jerked it back and the rifle went off — shooting Powell in the face.
There’s a lot more, but it’s all covered by the media already. WBIR has extensive coverage in addition to the News Sentinel.
To me, it seems like justifiable homicide (although I’m not sure there is such a thing in real life). At worst, I could vote for voluntary manslaughter, but would recommend a suspended sentence and probation, along with mandatory counseling.
The one who really needs to be on trial here is Erin McLean — for statutory rape, abuse by an authority figure, spousal abuse, and generally being the worst kind of human being.
WBIR is carrying video of the trial live online; watching Eric McLean testify yesterday, I can only conclude that he shot the wrong culprit. Though Powell was no innocent victim, he’s not the one who intentionally pushed Scott McLean beyond the boundaries of grief and humiliation. It was Erin.
Eric McLean’s only flaw was that he faithfully, desperately loved a woman who didn’t deserve the time of day.
I can only hope that the jury sees it thus.