McLean Indicted by Grand Jury

Knoxville (WVLT) - It's been a high-profile case throughout the country from day one. And now, Knoxville's alleged teacher love triangle takes another turn.

Volunteer TV's Whitney Daniel joins us with the details.

Jason Eric McLean now faces second degree murder charges -- it's a significantly lesser than the original charge of first degree murder and the potential sentence is much less too. However, McLean's attorney says, if he has it his way, McLean won't even go to jail.

"'Life' is off the table, 'First' of off the table and what that does is it changes your entire strategy because you're no longer worried about a jury compromise," defense attorney Bruce Poston said.

The Indictment brings relief to Jason Eric McLean and his attorney, Bruce Poston.

"You always worry about a conviction for "Second" as a compromise, some people think it's "Reckless" or "Voluntary" some people think its "First" and they compromise on "Second"," Poston said.

That won't happen in this case. A Grand Jury indicted McLean on second degree murder. That carries a potential penalty of 15 to 25 years and it has to be served at 100-percent. Poston is pushing for less than that.

"'Voluntary Manslaughter' is three to six years max. You do that at 30-percent, but you're also eligible for probation, so you don't even have to go to prison if you get convicted of 'Voluntary'," Poston said.

Prosecutors say second degree is serious, and they're pushing forward as the case heads to trial.

"We'll present our best proof to the jury, make our best arguments and it will be up to the citizens to decide," said John Gill, special counsel to KCDA's office.

Poston believes his client acted 'in the heat of passion,' shooting West High School student Sean Powell after learning about an alleged affair between Powell and McLean's wife, a student teacher at West. Prosecutors say the decision isn't disappointing or unexpected.

"It wasn't a big surprise. We gave them all the information we had and they made a determination on what they thought the proper charge was, as they always do," Gill said.

No trial date has been set in this case. Attorneys expect that to happen within the next week or two.

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