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12/31/2013 6:00:00 AM
Man dies shortly after start of prison sentence
John McLean
John McLean

Doug McMurdo
Miner Staff Reporter

KINGMAN - A Fort Mohave man has died five months after he was sentenced to 21 years in prison for pulling a gun on Mohave County Sheriff's deputies - and getting shot in the arm for doing so.

John Henry McLean of Fort Mohave was 67.

He was heavily intoxicated the day of the incident, registering a blood alcohol concentration of 0.32, four times the legal limit.

According to reports, employees at a Bullhead City Pizza Hut called law enforcement on April 23, 2012 to report an intoxicated man gave them his license plate before leaving the restaurant.

McLean rear-ended a car soon after leaving and remained in his car until deputies arrived. When they pulled up, McLean pointed his finger at deputies as if it were a gun before reaching into a shoulder holster and drawing a handgun.

A deputy testified McLean racked the slide to chamber a round. Then each deputy fired their weapons once.

One bullet hit the windshield of McLean's vehicle before it struck him in the arm. The other struck the hood.

Prosecutor Rod Albright told jurors the deputies were in fear for their lives during the incident.

The Mohave Daily News on Friday reported that McLean died of natural causes.

His attorney, Deputy Public Defender Alexander Bolobonoff, at McLean's July 3 sentencing hearing asked Superior Court Judge Derek Carlisle to postpone the matter to give McLean time to receive treatment for an aneurysm, telling the judge his client was afraid he would die without medical intervention.

Carlisle denied the request.

Roughly a month earlier, a jury found McLean guilty of two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, felony DUI and extreme DUI. The court dismissed a count of disorderly conduct with a weapon or instrument.

McLean had no criminal record to speak of before this incident.

Bolobonoff did not immediately return phone calls seeking comment.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Monday, January 6, 2014
Article comment by: W N-W

You cannot possibly think you know the whole story from these few paragraphs.

I knew this man. He committed crimes in New Mexico, for which he received no conviction or legal punishment. He caused a lot of pain (physical, emotional, mental) to members of his family and my family. I was fine with him going to prison. I'm also fine with him dying a few months into his sentence rather than lingering in prison for 21 years. It is a sort of mercy.

Posted: Friday, January 3, 2014
Article comment by: John H

Prisons even for profit ones are set up for security,custody,and then control...
They had five months after sentencing for the institution to get him treated...
They failed to do so...probably because they were dragging their feet at his medical expenses eating up their bottom line....
for profit prison systems are no different than the work houses and debtors prisons of the 17 and 1800s...
And no less wrong.

Posted: Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Article comment by: pl .....

thank you, Linda Athens. One of life's worst experiences is having those with the badges, who lied, cheated, and murdered their way through your life, feel that they can approach you with entitlement and bluster many years later to background you. Actually, I think a far more energetic change is required, than just writing letters to newspapers.

Posted: Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Article comment by: Linda Athens

Where did it say he was a habitual drinker? I must have missed that. The story says he had no record to speak of and perhaps he was drunk that night because of worry about the aneuryism.

And 21 years for this? Good grief. I can remember the days when we had fairness in our justice system. This one, again, is on the judge and officers. I'm going to guess their reflexes were a lot better than his at the point they shot him.

I've grown weary of the piling on. I've grown weary of young people having one mark against them but having their entire lives destroyed by years of probation, worthless damned "anger management" programs that cost money dumped on them forever and finally, years and years later, you MAY if you're really lucky, get out from under the long arm of the law but not before they have destroyed most of your life.

This is all done to keep paper pushers in their jobs of course. And this man is dead judge. You won't have to worry about him appearing in your court again. Congratulations!

If I wasn't so old, the NEW justice system would scare hell out of me. As it is, it simply angers me to the max.

Posted: Wednesday, January 1, 2014
Article comment by: Ernest Matthews

Drugs and alcohol are a choice. . It is not the judges responsibility to baby sit him. I am sick of people not taking responsibility for their actions. He won't be getting drunk, wrecking his car and pointing a gun at anyone again.

Posted: Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Article comment by: Edward Tomchin

"...racked the slide to chamber a round..."

Did it thrill you to say that? Trying to impress us with your offhanded gun savvy? Hmmm?

Posted: Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Article comment by: gun guy

@open r
here's an idea you don't want to go to prison don't do the crime.if you ask me or prison system istoo easy you get TV air conditioning heating food sounds better than what are military personnel are getting over in Afghanistan.

Posted: Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Article comment by: Not a miserable person

He did not receive the death sentence, but got it anyway. We pay taxes to incarcerate, AND treat medical conditions. I read about a man a few years ago who went blind in one eye due to Sheriff Joe`s staff refusing his insulin. This state, and many of it`s residents are just pain cold and heartless!

Posted: Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Article comment by: The Rule Of Awe .....

the article says he had no criminal record. This would include no DUIs. So here's a first-time offender essentially bening sentenced to death for drunken behaviour in his car. Awesome.

Posted: Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Article comment by: Maybe he got lucky

Heres a 67 year old man. Long time history of alcohol abuse and all the problems related to that. Now facing 21 years in prison as a result of a life of alcohol abuse.

Putting myself in that situation. Id consider the early out via aneurysm better than to decades in prison at that age.

Posted: Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Article comment by: Tj Denton

Its not the judges problem to worry about what could happen while you are in jail medically. This guy did a crime, was sentenced for it and then died while in jail. End of story.

Posted: Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Article comment by: D L

His family should sue Judge Carlisle personally for everything he has!

Posted: Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Article comment by: hey

Prisoners are in prison, not club med. They chose the action and now they get the consequence. Period. If they weren't so stupid and committing crimes then they wouldn't be IN prison, duh! We all are going to die, but it is how we live that reflects who we are. Grow up people, I wish the elderly and the prisoners victims could get fed, clothed and free shelter, not the scabs who hurt them!

Posted: Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Article comment by: open R. iiiiiiiis

Our prison system is guilty of violating human rights. The USA has the greatest number of their people incarcerated and NO, medical care is not always available to these people. Yes, some are bad guys but many are only guilty of addiction. There needs to be some light shed on what goes on beyond the barbed wire that is holding our addicts. It definitely SHOULD NOT be a "for profit" enterprise. The judges need to educate themselves better with our prison system so that they know exactly where they are sending people for such long periods.

Posted: Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Article comment by: Michaele Lee

Yeah he probably had symptoms that were not treated. Prisoners do not get proper medical care. I know someone who died of a heart attack, after asking many times for medical care. His cell mate even called his mother, and she called prison, trying to get her son help....but no. They let him lay there and die. This was over the span of a couple days.....not like they could not have gotten him to a doctor. Just because you are a prisoner, does not mean its ok to be left to die without any medical treatment.

Posted: Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Article comment by: Just J

Well the blood of this man is on Judge Carlisle. I feel he should have granted the request for medical treatment of the deadly Aneurysm. This man was drunk, yes. He had an accident yes. He obviously was aggressive at the police yes. But does that warrant a judge sentencing him to death? NO! Make sure before you comment you understand I am not saying in a court of law he was given death for his actions, I am saying by denying him much needed medical attention the judge inadvertently sentenced him to death! What a shame. Maybe this judge should be released from duty? Just my opinion. (I in NO WAY promote drunk driving either) But he could have had the illness taken care of then been put on trial and sentenced.

Posted: Tuesday, December 31, 2013
Article comment by: Judged Guilty Throughout

I wonder if Judges will take the accuseds' medical conditions more seriously now? I doubt it. We always suspect somebody is trying to pull a fast one on us, ... especially in the court arena.

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