Mother speaks out 7 years after adopted son was killed

Mother speaks out 7 years after adopted son was killed

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Scarlett Powell says it has taken her this long to be able to forgive and begin to move forward, but  her goal is to preserve her son's memory. Scarlett Powell says it has taken her this long to be able to forgive and begin to move forward, but her goal is to preserve her son's memory.

By WHITNEY GOOD
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Seven years after her adopted son was killed, a mother is speaking out for the first time.

Sean Powell was 18-years-old when he found himself caught in the middle of a deadly love triangle. Powell was shot to death by his lover's husband, 31-year-old Eric Mclean, March 10, 2007.

His adoptive mother, Scarlett Powell, says it has taken her this long to be able to forgive what happened and begin to move forward, but she says her goal now is to preserve her son's memory and not let that one moment define who he was.

"I felt guilty for just breathing. I mean I just literally I was buried with Sean," she said.

As Scarlett Powell walks through a West Hills park, her mind goes back to the days her adopted son Sean spent there being a normal kid, but seven years ago her whole world came crashing down.

Sean had been killed.

"I couldn't figure out anything you know it was like there was nothing I could figure out about this situation, how it got to this point and where it was going afterwards," said Scarlett.

Sean was having an affair with his former teacher, Erin Mclean. For seven years, Sean's adoptive mother has kept her silence while trying to grieve.

"He wasn't defined in that moment, in that relationship," said Scarlett. "It's like an out of body experience when it happens and then you're angry and then you're crying uncontrollably and it can happen any time."

With the help of family, friends and a support group for grieving mothers called Listening Hearts, Scarlett says she is now able to accept and forgive.

"He chose to give my son a punishment. The justice system chose to give Eric his punishment. I think he got a better deal. I'm just trying to let go of all that and move forward and just forgive and release it," she said.

It is forgiveness that has not come easy for Scarlett, and she says the grieving never really ends.

"That's the main goal here is to move forward and not let this moment in time to define who Sean was," she said.

Scarlett says she really owes a lot of how far she has come to the Listening Hearts group. She says that gave her a platform to talk about Sean, vent if necessary, and lift that weight off her shoulders.

Eric Mclean was convicted of reckless homicide. He said the gun used to kill Sean was only meant to intimidate him and that the shooting was accidental. He was sentenced to 47 days in jail and 12 years probation.

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