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Attorney Ian Friedman Asserts Self-Defense in Massillon Murder Trial


This week, the murder trial of Massillon resident and Attorney Ian Friedman's client Colleen McKernan began. The prosecution has already introduced a body of physical evidence, but Attorney Friedman has asserted that none of it or the experts called by the state can rule out self-defense as a cause in the death of McKernan's husband Rob.

As reports, McKernan was arrested early last year following a 2014 New Years Eve celebration. An argument ensued in the McKernan home, followed by a shooting. In their presentation, prosecutors detailed how Rob McKernan was shot 10 times, including the abdomen, chest, and face.

In a 9-11 call that night, Colleen McKernan had admitted that she was drunk and shot her husband after he had assaulted her. Massillon Police Officer Shaun Dadisman, who had responded to the scene testified that Colleen McKernan had been found bloodied from having attempted CPR on her husband.

Self-Defense, Drug Use & Shell Casings

After thorough testimony from Dr. Frank Miller, who performed the victim's autopsy, Attorney Ian Friedman countered with an assertion of self-defense. It is a coroner's duty to determine whether a homicide occurred or not, Friedman said, not if a homicide occurred due to self-defense. Miller could not confirm or not whether Rob McKernan had lunged or otherwise been violent in the moments leading up to his death.

There was also a question of drug use: Mitch Nickels, a friend of Rob McKernan's, confirmed that Rob had tried to consume some kind of drug at a party that night and that Colleen McKernan had stopped them. The couple had argued about the drugs before leaving.

Attorney Friedman also confronted the prosecution's lengthy presentation over the positioning of expended bullet shell casings found in the McKernan home. Friedman asked Stark County Coroner's Investigator Harry Campbell whether the shell evidence determines who the aggressor the night that Rob McKernan died. Campbell answered no.

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