Defense attorney: client fired back at Jakell Mitchell in self-defense

Defense attorney: client fired back at Jakell Mitchell in self-defense

AUBURN, AL (WTVM) - A Lee County judge decided Tuesday, Jan. 13 there was enough evidence to send the case of a murdered Auburn University football player to a grand jury for them to consider an official indictment.

The preliminary hearing for the man accused of gunning down an Auburn University football player wrapped up Tuesday afternoon inside a Lee County courtroom.

According to Markhale Hart's defense attorney Mark Allen Treadwell, it appears an argument over a girl may have led to the fatal shooting of Jakell Mitchell, a freshman on the AU football team.

During Tuesday's prelim, an Auburn detective testified Mitchell was in a verbal argument with Hart's cousin Tyrone Rowe.

According to Treadwell, Mitchell and Rowe were arguing over a woman they had both dated while at a party on the third floor at the Tiger Lodge complex.

The argument moved to the parking lot, where the detective testified both Hart and Mitchell were armed with weapons and exchanged gunfire.

The detective says based on statements from witnesses, police believe Hart fired first.

Treadwell maintains Mitchell fired first, and his client fired back in self-defense. Hart's statement to police was read in court by the detective.

Hart was arrested about 10 hours after the fatal shooting.

Treadwell claims Auburn police misled the public by not releasing that the victim was armed and exchanged fire with his client. He maintains it was a clear case of self-defense.

We will continue to follow this case and bring you more information as it becomes available.

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