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Saturday, October 30, 2010

[IN] Believing Harrison County Sheriff's Deputy John Britton when he tells 911: "My wife shot herself..."

Christine Britton
Harrison County Jail Commander

It happens too frequently that law enforcement officers call 911 to say their wife has shot herself - and almost always they are believed. Why? Deputy Britton is indicted for helping his wife commit suicide by allegedly leaving the gun on the bed and telling her to do it. That's what he said happened, and so that is what he is held accountable for.

Was the home fully processed as a potential crime scene?


I'm not accusing because I wasn't there, but in hosting this blog I tire of the way the deaths of officer's wives and girlfriends are handled. There is a dismal and disturbing pattern of treating these fatalities completely differently than if a non-officer had called and reported a violent shooting death in their household.


And I wince reading Deputy Britton's attorney attesting to Christine having been suicidal before.
Christine can't speak for herself.
Is that information from his client
Deputy Britton?


CATCHING UP - EXCERPTS FROM OCT 30 NEWS BELOW.
...Mickey Weber, a lawyer representing Charlotte and Charles Hitner, Christine Britton’s parents, said the family was glad to see the indictment and believes it’s in the interest of justice that John Britton be held accountable in his wife’s death. Weber said he plans to file a $700,000 wrongful death lawsuit soon... Stan Faith, [John] Britton’s attorney said, “He certainly did not want his wife to commit suicide and that’s what the government has to prove. He was in love with his wife; still is”... The couple argued frequently, Faith said, and Christine Britton had threatened suicide before... Faith said his client has been living AND WORKING in Georgia for several months since his suspension from the Harrison County Police Department and the decision by the county commissioners to withhold his pay. The judge also issued a protective order against Britton prohibiting him from having any contact with any of Christine Britton’s family members...


Video: Deputy Britton indicted for wife Christine's suicide (Attorney says you can't prove it)


Previous posts:
Video: Deputy Britton 911 call "My wife shot herself..."


HARRISON COUNTY DEPUTY TURNS SELF IN: John Britton Facing Charges Of Assisting Wife's Suicide
WLKY
October 30, 2010
A Harrison County Sheriff's deputy facing charges has turned himself in to police. A grand jury indicted John Britton on criminal charges of assisting a suicide in the death of his wife. Christine Britton was a former jail commander in Harrison County. She was found dead from a gunshot wound in her home in March of 2009. In a police interview, Britton said they were arguing moments before the shooting. He said he tried to stop her from committing suicide but then told officers he left his handgun on the bed and walked out. Moments later, he said he heard the gunshot. [LINK]

SHERIFF'S DEPUTY INDICTED IN WIFE'S SUICIDE - Police: Man Provided Gun To Suicidal Wife
WRTV Indianapolis
October 29, 2010
[Excerpts] ...Investigators said the couple had been involved in a domestic situation that day and that John Britton made available the gun his wife used to kill herself... A special prosecutor convened a grand jury in the case in August. Members on Thursday handed down an indictment against John Britton on a felony count of assisting a suicide. John Britton turned himself in during an initial hearing on Friday. The newspaper reported that John Britton has been suspended from the department... [Full article here]

GRAND JURY INDICTS HUSBAND OF FORMER HARRISON JAIL COMMANDER WHO COMMITTED SUICIDE
Louisville Courier-Journal
By Ben Zion Hershberg
October 29, 2010
[Excerpts] ...If found guilty, [Harrison County police officer John] Britton would face two to eight years in prison. A trial date was set for Feb. 15. The indictment was issued by a six-member panel requested by special prosecutor Nancy Jacobs. The charge was filed in Harrison County Superior Court... Stan Faith, Britton’s lawyer, said, “I was very much hoping he wouldn’t be charged.” Faith said there’s no evidence his client intentionally provided his wife with a gun to kill herself, a requirement for finding him guilty. “It’s very, very sad. It’s a tragedy,” Faith said of Christine Britton’s suicide. Charging her husband makes the situation even more tragic, he said... For a variety of reasons, a grand jury can be called to decide whether a suspect should be charged rather than having a prosecutor decide, Jacobs said. Those include the potential of using a rarely-invoked statute or to help analyze the facts of a case, among others. Jacobs declined to say why she used a grand jury in the Britton case... Faith said he doesn’t believe the charge applies to his client because the prosecutor will have to prove that Christine Britton intended to commit suicide and that John Britton intended to help her do that. The couple argued frequently, Faith said, and Christine Britton had threatened suicide before... Faith said his client has been living and working in Georgia for several months since his suspension from the Harrison County Police Department and the decision by the county commissioners to withhold his pay. Mickey Weber, a lawyer representing Charlotte and Charles Hitner, Christine Britton’s parents, said the family was glad to see the indictment and believes it’s in the interest of justice that John Britton be held accountable in his wife’s death. Weber said he plans to file a $700,000 wrongful death lawsuit soon against Britton and the Harrison County sheriff, for whom he worked. That is the maximum allowable under state law from a government agency. Britton turned himself in at the Harrison County Justice Center about 3 p.m. Friday. Superior Court Judge Roger Davis set a $20,000 bond, and Britton posted the $2,000 cash required for release. Davis entered a not guilty plea for Britton... [Full article here]

FORMER HARRISON COUNTY OFFICER, JOHN BRITTON, OUT OF JAIL FRIDAY AFTER INDICTMENT
by Melanie Kahn
WHAS11.com
October 30, 2010
Harrison County police officer John Britton is out of jail on bond, after he was indicted on charges he helped his wife commit suicide. Some of the evidence: a 911 call he made to dispatchers; dispatchers who worked with him and Christine Britton, who was a jail commander. Christine Britton was expected to be a witness in the case against Sheriff Mike Deatrick who was accused of harassment at the jail. The grand jury started investigating John Britton just weeks after another grand jury indicted Sheriff Deatrick. When police and EMS arrived at the home of John and Christine Britton the night he made the frantic 911 call, Christine Britton was dead. Jerry Goodin, Indiana State Police said, “John Britton made a fatal mistake that night; he allowed a handgun, or allowed access to a handgun, that was later used in the taking of a human life”... John Britton: “My wife just shot herself. I need an ambulance at my address right now”... Stan Faith, Britton’s attorney said, “He certainly did not want his wife to commit suicide and that’s what the government has to prove. He was in love with his wife; still is.” The judge also issued a protective order against Britton prohibiting him from having any contact with any of Christine Britton’s family members. In addition, the judge ordered Britton to turn over any firearms and anything belonging to the county. [Full article here]
[police officer involved domestic violence oidv intimate partner violence (IPV) abuse law enforcement public safety fatality fatalities lethal murder suicide suspicion unsolved unresolved indiana state jail]

18 comments:

  1. The dead can't speak.

    EXCERPT:

    ...In the 911 call, a weeping Britton urged dispatchers to send help. He also reported that he tried to administer first aid. John Britton told investigators on the night of the shooting that his wife had threatened suicide previously four or five times — even putting her duty weapon to her head six months after they were married in mid-2007...

    Source:
    INVESTIGATORS: HARRISON OFFICER LEFT GUN FOR WIFE TO SHOOT HERSELF
    Courier Journal
    By Grace Schneider
    September 1, 2009

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  2. you are right the dead cant speak after they are dead. to hear christine before she died john held that gun to her head mid 2007 after busting in the door to do so

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  3. Are you in a position to go to the media and offer to take a lie detector test? It could help? I don't know. This reminds me of some other cases I've seen not much different. There would be so many reasons for Christine to not have made an official report but sometimes its' just not known (yet) who knew what when. Maybe there are people within her department that know more.

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  4. yes i would go to anyone.... i even told the state police how she told me that if she ever died of a gun shot to the head that john had done it. what good did that do

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  5. Give the info to her family. Maybe they can make sure that it is highlighted. It takes really advocating for a slain victims voice to be heard.

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  6. This is some of the most irresponsible "journalism" I have ever read. I am friends with someone closely related to this case, and yes, this death was THOROUGHLY investigated. All of the physical evidence completely confirms John Britton's account of the events on the night his late wife committed suicide. Mr. Britton has never been accused, in any way, of domestic violence or any type of abuse toward his late wife. He is being tried for assisting a suicide, PERIOD.

    If you want to debate his actual actions, that is one thing. But intimating that because his wife committed suicide, he must also be guilty of domestic violence, is irresponsible and reprehensible. And as a former victim of domestic violence myself, I find it offensive that you are wielding this platform you have created for yourself with so little caution or concern for ethics. Tarringliberally with the domestic violence brush only serves to cast doubt on the true victims when they do come forward, and wastes time, resources and attention that could be applied toward true crimes and abusers.

    Way to go, if your goal was to come across like the National Enquirer, with your "anonymous" accusations and sensationalistic garbage.

    ReplyDelete
  7. AnonymousMay 05, 2011

    Of course he intended her to kill herself, why else would he give her the gun/make it so readily available? He wanted her gone. My son's wife did the same thing up here in Michigan last summer.. she BOUGHT him a new shotgun and I found him with it between his legs and his head blown off in his semi truck (she lead me to the scene, she didn't want to see him like that...)... not a pretty picture. Police did NOTHING in this case, neither did the Med. Examiners office which shut down six weeks later due to not doing their jobs... Any lawyer wanna help me sue the county of kalamazoo michigan?

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  8. As a mom I'm so sorry that you lost your son that way and saw what you saw. How awful.

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  9. The "anonymous" commenter claiming she knows what Christine said and did isn't some innocent, unbiased bystander. She's part of Christine's family, the same family who used that woman to monetarily support them and their children to the point that her own child was suffering. The family that allowed her to be physically abused by another family member. Christine's death is a sad and terrible loss, but blaming and seeking vengeance on her husband who loved her and tried to help her escape that toxic family will not bring this woman back.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. AnonymousMay 02, 2012

      SORRY BUT MOST ALL FAMILIES MAY HAVE UPS IN DOWNS IN IT. BUT TOXIC IS YOUR POOR CHOICE OF WORDS,IT'S WELL KNOWN WORDS CANT BRING HER BACK BUT JUSTICE IF MR BRITTON NEVER BEING A LAW OFFICER IS A GOOD START. WHEN YOU LOVE SOME ONE AND HAVE PROBLEM YOU DONT SUPPORT THRM TO KILL THEMSELF AND HOLF YOUR HRAD UP HIGH AS IF IT WAS THE RIGHT THING TO DO

      Delete
    2. AnonymousJune 14, 2013

      I bridgette her sister the anonymous commenter never used chrissie. Her daughter never went without and as far as the abuse goes from the other family member that I have disowned and called out. Didn't let it happen and had no clue was to what was going on. If you knew so much then why didn't you do something about it. We had our ups and downs as a family true but we loved each other. As far as John living her. What a joke. He got with and moved another woman with in weeks or even days. Sounds like true love to me. All I wanted was to clear her name. I know that she would never do that to herself or lee. Here is thing thing anonymous know it all. There was two people there he was the only one that could have stopped it or done it. Cops are trained to bust down a door and do what they can to stop you from killing yourself. Not in his words lay down a gun and say do it!!! He killed her one way or another........

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  10. I came here hoping to find some information regarding Mr. Britton's trial. What I found was pure garbage. No one, and I repeat, NO ONE is responsible for Ms. Britton's death but herself. I did not know her, although I pray she can rest in peace. But the point remains that she made the choice to take the action she did. Had she killed herself by carbon monoxide posioning or slit her wrists, would Mr. Britton be on trial for having a Volvo or buying Ginsu knives? Your 'reporting' in abhorrent.

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    Replies
    1. your full of nothing but blindness

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    2. yeah your blind of it all that's why her 911 call was never heard of and why didn't they say the sheiff was there when the gun fired

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  11. AnonymousMay 02, 2012

    I WILL SAY THIS i WAS A VERY LARGE PART IN CHRISTINE LAWTON BRITTOBS LIFE.I KNOW FIRST AND FORMOST SHE HAD HER DAUGHTER ON THE WAY HOME AND SHE WOULD HAVE NEVER DONE THAT TO HER CHILD, AND SHE WAS TO MUCH IN FEAR OF A GUN TO PUT THE TRIGGER ON HERSELF. AND IF SHE DID SAY SHE WANTED TO LILL HERSELF IT WASA CRY FOR HELP IN WHICH MOST CASES ARE WHEN ONE SAYS IT, SO IF MR. BRITTON LOVED HIS WIFE AS HE CLAIM WHY IN THE HELL DIDNT HE GET HER HELL THAN PUT A BULLIT IN HER HEAD

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  12. AnonymousJune 14, 2013

    To answer everyone's question I am Bridgette Lawton. Chrissies sister. We slept in the same room growing up went to all the same schools. Like the same music boys ect. No we wasn't perfect but we loved each other. I was apart of her wedding. Right beside her for 28 years. She told me ' if I ever die from a gun shot to the head John did it' I will stand before you a judge lie detector your momma holding the holy bible. I know my sister better then anyone else. There was two people in that house John and chrissie. John was the only person who could have stopped it or done. There for in my eyes it is because of him my sister is no longer with me. There was one person my sister loved more then anything her daughter. Know that she was on her was home from school she would NEVER do that. You guys want to act like John loved her. What about the woman in their martial bed only a few days after she died??? Really sounds like a grieving soul mate. There is more to this then what meets the eye.....

    ReplyDelete
  13. MORE RECENT:

    [IN] Ex-Officer Britton gets 6 months in shooting death of his wife, Harrison County Jail Cmdr. Christine Britton
    http://behindthebluewall.blogspot.com/2012/04/in-ex-officer-britton-gets-6-months-in.html

    ReplyDelete
  14. i was on the case about her daughter and she got justice in her case and i think she did not kill herself i think some was fishy about the evidence on the whole case like mr. brittion washed his hands of blood before they took any evidence

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