McLean divorce nearly complete, Erin still in hiding

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Knoxville (WVLT) -- In a couple of weeks, accused murderer Eric McLean could have both a new date for his trial, and a divorce from his wife Erin.

But though he is free on bond, he is not free to go looking for his boys

Meanwhile, his soon to be ex-wife Erin faces no criminal charges and only the threat of civil contempt, if they are ever able to find her.

“I don't know what they're going through right now, but I'm sure it's not something I even want to know about,” said Eric during a December 16th, 2007 radio appearance.

Despite court ordered visitation, Eric’s lawyer said Erin made sure that the father has neither seen nor heard anything about his sons Eric and Ian since he was charged with killing Sean Powell, her alleged teen age lover, last March.

“They've not been in school and they've been living in crummy motels,” said Bruce Poston who is representing McLean in his murder trial. “They've been watching their mother with a 19-year-old they had never met, sleeping with their mother in the same room as them.”

Poston claims Erin met the teenager when she and the boys headed to Austin in late September.

Their flee to the Lone Star State came just weeks after a Nashville-area private school fired her, suspecting inappropriate contact with another teenage student.

“I mean, this is just a disgusting life!” said Poston.

“I don't agree with her choices, but I understand why she made them,” said Gary Blackburn, a Nashville lawyer representing Erin McLean. “I think her mental circuit breakers all clicked off and she felt she needed to escape the relentless attention that she had, and that's what she did.”

Blackburn said he fears for both her and her sons, but he believes she might quit running if Poston' would change his defense tactics.

“The tactic is to induce the jury to ignore the shooting, and to focus on Erin and demonize Erin,” he said.

“She's done these despicable acts, and we haven't made them up,” Poston said. “His defense is to say ‘well, shame on you for calling on them.’ I just think that's ridiculous.”

Poston says a tip led him to Colorado Springs, Colorado, and he saw Erin and the boys there around Thanksgiving.

He believes they're still there.

“If you're homeless, they've got a lot of soup kitchens,” he said. “You can get food, and they don't hassle you if you sleep in your car.”

Even if Eric gets a divorce decree ordering joint custody, he still might not be able to see his sons.

“He would have to go to Colorado to file that order and she would have a right to a hearing,” Poston said. “I suspect, if it didn't look like it was going her way, then she'd pick up and go to the next state.'

Neither Eric nor Erin's families have been reachable.

If nothing else, Eric and Erin's lawyers do agree that 11-year-old Eric and 8-year-old Ian would be better off anywhere else, and with any other relative.

Both claim that Texas, and Colorado's child welfare departments were lacking charges or cause, and have been unable or unwilling to step in to help.

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