User uShare Login | Register
Login
Register

Along with posting photos, videos, and stories, your uShare account lets you post Classified Ads, recipes on What's For Dinner, and Announcements.


59° View Weather Current Conditions Sioux Falls Change Location
Set Weather Options

RADAR LOCATION

TEMPERATURE LOCATION

Share your Photos, Videos, and Stories on uShare! Click here to get started.

KELOLAND.com | Sioux Falls News & Weather, South Dakota News & Weather, Minnesota and Iowa News

[0] My Saved Articles
Find local businesses
on the KELO Pages!

 

Forensics Expert Explains Shootout In Johns Case

July 15, 2010, 6:15 PM by Ben Dunsmoor

Forensics Expert Explains Shootout In Johns Case
PARKER, SD - Both sides agree that the fragment of a bullet is what killed Turner County Deputy Chad Mechels last March. But prosecutors and Ethan Johns' defense attorneys don't agree on when it was fired.

The prosecutor's ballistics expert is the assistant director of the South Dakota Forensic Lab; the defense has hired its own expert. They both did their own experiments by shooting through windows and trying to simulate the shots Johns took that morning. Judge Steven Jensen heard their theories Thursday on which shot killed Mechels and will decide later who will be able to testify during the August 23 trial.

The shootout between Johns and Mechels lasted five minutes, but the investigation into what exactly happened has taken months.

Franz Maritz, the assistant director of the South Dakota Forensic Lab, has been sorting out the crime scene evidence.

Maritz says he could not determine whether Mechels or Johns fired first, but he does know Mechels was inside Johns' home when he was shot the first time. Johns had fired through the open bathroom door, hitting Mechels in the shoulder. Maritz also says Mechels fired several times; those bullets went through the wall and into the bathroom, but none hit Johns.

Mechels then went outside to his Turner County Sheriff's Office Chevy Tahoe. Maritz says that's when Johns turned around and fired his 30.06 rifle through the bathroom window. The first shot broke the bathroom window and hit the Tahoe's door frame. Maritz says he knows that because when the bullet went through the bathroom glass and blinds, it disfigured and created a large hole in Mechels' vehicle.

Maritz says the second went through the windshield and a bullet fragment severed the deputy's carotid artery, killing him.
He came to that conclusion because when the bullet went through the windshield, the hole it left behind was the same size as the bullet. That means since it wasn't disfigured, it had a clear path through the bathroom window before it hit Mechels' patrol vehicle and the deputy.

The defense says its expert determined Johns' first shot from the bathroom went through the windshield.

Previous Story

Next Story


RELATED STORIES


 
Find Local Businesses on KELO Pages!

You may also like

Woman Killed In Sioux Falls Home

4/16/2014 6:01 PM

Sioux Falls police are investigating a murder in the southwest part of the city.

Full Story
SF Murder Victim Stabbed, Suspect Got Pills

4/17/2014 10:12 AM

Sioux Falls Police have released the names of the suspect and victim in the city's second homicide of 2014.

Full Story
Missing Girls Case Update On Tuesday

4/15/2014 7:15 AM

Authorities plan to release an update on the investigation into the 1971 disappearance of two South Dakota girls.

Full Story
Remains Found In Car Are Missing Girls

4/15/2014 1:39 PM

After more than 40 years, the families of two missing teenage girls now know what happened to them.

Full Story
Evidence From Car Led Authorities To Cold Case Conclusion

4/16/2014 11:35 AM

A more than 40-year-old cold case has been closed after South Dakota authorities announced on Tuesday the remains found in an old Studebaker submerged...

Full Story


Events

 
 
KELOLAND TV: 501 S. Phillips Avenue, Sioux Falls, SD 57104
Phone: 605.336.1100 · Breaking News call: 1-800-888-5356
Web Site Design and Custom Programming By: Lawrence & Schiller© 2014 KELO-TV -- KELOLAND.COM -- ALL RIGHTS RESERVED