Hixson father accused of killing son appears in court; case goes to grand jury
A grand jury will now hear the case against Michael McElrath. Until that happens, a judge decided today that he should stay in jail on a one-million-dollar bond.
McElrath is accused of shooting and killing his 15-year-old son.
“He said, ‘I did it, I did it… I'm so sorry I shot my son and I don't know why’,” stated the arresting officer who took 46-year-old Michael McElrath into custody and was one of three witnesses to take the stand.
The officer recounted the moment he found McElrath naked on a neighbor's porch in back in late August; his clothing scattered around him.
Police say just minutes prior his wife called 911 to report her son's murder.
Mcelrath's wife took the stand, her voice shaking as she told the court she found her 15-year-old son Dillon dead in his bed. He had been shot 11 times.
She also found the family's dog shot to death after her husband woke her up.
"He came in and he hugged me really hard,” explained Beth McElrath, wife of Michael of 21 years, “ Like a noose, like kind of a chokehold hug and asked me to shoot him in the head.”
Beth says she was sleeping with earplugs and did not hear the gun go off.
She testified about the days leading up to the shooting, saying her husband admitted to an affair two days earlier and warned her something bad was going to happen.
The defense argued it was all part of a psychological break, laying the groundwork to ask the judge for downgraded charges.
The judge chose to send the criminal homicide case to a grand jury.
The lead investigator says it's still not clear why Michael McElrath allegedly killed his son. The investigator found no evidence that McElrath planned the murder.