KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — A teacher's husband accused of fatally shooting her student lover told police after his arrest that he recalled killing the teen, but that the rest of the evening was "all a blur," an investigator testified Monday.
Criminal investigator Andrew Boatman also testified in the fourth day of Eric Mclean's first-degree murder trial that authorities found an apparent suicide note written by the 33-year-old. Police also found diary notebooks describing his failing marriage with Erin McLean and a letter to her lover, 18-year-old Sean Powell.
"You have had my wife for several months," the letter to Powell said. "Now it is clear to me that I've lost my family. I hope you're satisfied. I'm sure Erin will make a fine mother-bride for you."
Boatman, who headed the Knoxville police investigation, said McLean told him that he found out his wife was having an affair about a month and a half before the March 10, 2007, shooting. He said that his wife had been abusive and that he had told Powell to leave the family's home just before the shooting. An officer asked if McLean remembered killing Sean. "Yes," McLean told authorities.
McLean remembered calling 911 to report Powell as an intruder. Powell didn't leave after that staying in his old Mercedes outside the modest house the couple of 11 years shared with their two young sons.
Beyond that, "he couldn't remember anything. It was all a blur," the officer said McLean told him.
Apology to teen's adoptive parents
Then, at Boatman's suggestion, McLean wrote a page-long "letter of apology" to Powell's adoptive parents, Jack and Scarlett Powell of Knoxville. Boatman said it began: "I am sorry I took Sean from you."
The undated four-page suicide letter found in McLean's home, introduced as evidence over the weekend, apparently was written to Erin McLean. "You are my soulmate. Even when I'm not alive with you any longer, I'll still be part of you. I will always love you more than anything, even when I'm dead," the letter said. "My mind is still telling me to keep trying, but my heart is screaming to let go. I am no longer what you want."
Investigators say Powell was shot in the head with a high-powered rifle pointed through the car's passenger door. Police say an autopsy revealed a defensive wound on Powell's right hand.
Erin McLean was formally questioned by Knoxville Police Department after the shooting, but she refused to answer anything. She was allowed to leave with her father, Boatman said. She has not been charged.
The trial is expected to continue through this week.
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