WJHL.com - Opening arguments mark day 2 of Ethan Self trial

Opening arguments mark day 2 of Ethan Self trial


A Hawkins County jury heard from Ethan Self for the first time Tuesday.

"I'm innocent, it was a terrible accident," Self said to jurors when asked to enter a plea.

Ethan Self is charged with First Degree Murder in the shooting death of his father, Roger Self, who was a Greeneville Police Sergeant, in 2010.

The trial was moved to Hawkins County so jurors would not have to be sequestered for what prosecutors believe will be a 2-3 week trial.

During opening arguments, Assistant DA Dennis Brooks read from a statement Ethan Self gave to police.

Brooks says the statement shows that Ethan knew what he had done and tried to cover it up.

"I was trying to think what to do and I decided to try to make it look like a break-in," he read.

Defense attorney John T. Milburn Rogers then told jurors that the killing was not calculated, but rather a result of years of physical and mental abuse Ethan suffered from his father.

"A normal person, not suffering from post traumatic stress disorder," said Rogers, "would not have made that decision."

Prosecutors began calling up witnesses shortly before noon.

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