- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 8, 2008

Wronged husband gets light sentence

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. | A Tennessee man convicted in the fatal shooting of his teacher wife’s student lover will spend 47 more days in jail, followed by 12 years on probation, a judge ruled at a sentencing hearing Friday.

Eric McLean, 33, faced life in prison when he was tried for murder in the 2007 slaying of 18-year-old Sean Powell, the lover of his now ex-wife, Erin McLean. But a Knox County jury in September convicted him of the lesser charge of reckless homicide.

No one was completely satisfied with Friday’s outcome: The victim’s angry family called the conviction and the sentence too lenient and the defense was upset about the unusually long probation ordered by Criminal Court Judge Mary Beth Leibowitz. The actual sentence was 90 days in jail, but McLean gets credit for 43 days he served awaiting bond.

“I just want to apologize,” the lanky McLean said before sentencing, turning to face Mr. Powell’s sobbing family on the first row of the small courtroom.

McLean admitted shooting Mr. Powell, whom he caught having sex with his wife, but said the shooting was an accident. He said he pointed a high-powered rifle at Mr. Powell to get him to leave the McLeans’ home. The teen reached for the gun, it went off and killed the teen instantly. Instead of trying to help the victim, McLean fled.

Courthouse killer guilty of murder

ATLANTA | A man who went on a deadly courthouse shooting spree during his rape trial, killing a judge and three others, was convicted of murder by a jury Friday more than three years after he turned the city’s seat of justice into a crime scene.

Brian Nichols, 36, could face the death penalty for killing a judge, a court reporter, a sheriff’s deputy and a federal agent.

Nichols had confessed to the killings, but claimed he was legally insane and gripped by a delusional compulsion that he was a slave rebelling against authority. Jurors rejected that argument, finding him guilty of murder and dozens of other charges, including aggravated assault, false imprisonment, hijacking a motor vehicle and armed robbery.

During the six-week trial, Nichols’ attorneys and a psychologist said phone conversations while he was in jail were evidence of his delusions. A psychiatrist who testified for the state said he found Nichols was mentally ill although he would not diagnose him as delusional. In closing arguments Wednesday, prosecutors said Nichols concocted his delusions to avoid capital punishment.

Judge rejects bid for new Simpson trial

LAS VEGAS | A judge in Las Vegas has rejected O.J. Simpson’s bid for a new trial in the robbery of two sports memorabilia collectors.

Clark County District Court Judge Jackie Glass said Friday the issues raised by lawyers for Simpson and co-defendant Clarence “C.J.” Stewart don’t merit a second trial.

Judge Glass acknowledged during a hearing that the ruling paves the way for Simpson and Stewart, who are scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 5 and could get life in prison, to appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court.

Simpson and Stewart were convicted last month on 12 charges, including armed robbery and kidnapping, in a hotel room confrontation last year with two sports memorabilia dealers.

Stewart’s lawyer, Brent Bryson, charged misconduct by the jury foreman.

Baby named for president-elect

NEW YORK | Barack brings hope, change — and drool and screaming.

One proud New York mother celebrated Barack Obama’s presidential election victory this week by naming her newborn in his honor.

“I promised myself that if Obama became president I would name him Barack,” Stephanie Treasure, 28, told the Daily News.

The newborn, Jordan Barack Treasure, arrived Monday and was in his mother’s arms in a New York hospital as the results showing Mr. Obama’s stunning victory came in, the News reported.

There were several other reports around the nation of newborns being named after the president-elect.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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