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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Accused Cop-Killer Claims Self-Defense

"Defense Grows"? Try "Defense Grows Longer Nose...."

That Sioux Falls paper reports that Ethan Johns, accused killer of Turner County Deputy Chad Mechels, is pleading not guilty and claiming (brace yourself) self-defense.

"Our preliminary investigation shows a viable self-defense in this case," lawyer Jeff Cole of Parker said at the arraignment of Ethan Johns, 19 [Jeff Martin, "Defense Grows in Murder Case," that Sioux Falls paper, 2009.04.14].

Self-defense? That's the best you could come up with? Let's review:

Johns, armed with a rifle, was in the bathroom at his farmhouse when he opened fire on Mechels inside the home, wounding the lawman in the right arm, court records indicate. Then, after the deputy retreated from the house and climbed back in his patrol sport utility vehicle, Johns remained inside and shot again from the bathroom window, the documents state. This time, one of the rifle shots pierced the SUV's windshield and hit Mechels in the throat [Martin, 2009.04.14].

I don't need a law degree (and neither will the jury) to know that shooting a retreating law officer is not self-defense. The lawyer's got to do something to earn his pay... but wouldn't a guilty plea stand a better chance of keeping the defendant alive than an argument that killing a cop is self-defense?


  1. Jeff Cole, attorney for the accused, is an MHS grad, probably late 70's. The big announcement is probably the appointment of Sid Strange as co-counsel. That should be quite a side show.

  2. I am in complete disbelief that this is going to be drug through trial. I know every dog has it's day, but this dog has to be put down, and fast.

    The Mechels family shouldn't have to go through this. They will never get closure until the gavel drops, and that's unfortunate because it's going to be a while.

    RIP Chad.

  3. I know everyone deserves a defense, but this is reprehensible. I suppose the accused's life was in danger when Mechels was back in his car and the accused fired the lethal shot??!! These lawyers should be ashamed.

  4. The lawyers are just looking at the $$$$$$ that are there to be had. Tax payer $$$$$ at that!

  5. Mr.Johns is entitled to a defense,however his claims to have acted in self defense unfortunately are truly his own and not that of his attorney.His attorney has to make a decision to take this course based on what he knows about the case.Part of this is what his client tells him unfortunately criminals lie,and very regularly at that.By taking this road Johns is putting him self in a position to have to take the stand.Which may not be that bad of a thing in the end,hence for this defense he would have to admit to shooting Deputy Mechels.Johns will have to explain all the know facts of the case and others that may come out at trial.My point being he is a criminal,who killed an officer of the law who was in uniform,performing his duties after making threats to do so.I need to remind myself our country is a republic based on laws which we need to follow even at times like these.
    I pray for the family of Deputy Mechels daily and for a speedy end to this case.

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