Man Who Shot, Killed Auburn Football Player Claims Self-Defense

Rejina Sincic / YouTube

Markhale Hart, the man who allegedly shot and killed Auburn football player Jakell Lenard Mitchell on December 14, claims he shot in self-defense.

According to Mail Online, Hart and Mitchell were at a party at Tiger Lodge apartments when an argument erupted. In court, Hart’s attorney Mark Allen Treadwell argued “that both Hart and Mitchell opened fire, and that Hart was moving away from Mitchell when the fatal shot was fired.”

Treadwell pointed to “a statement by Hart and a police investigation [showing] that Mitchell fired shots with a.45-caliber handgun, and Hart fired a .40-caliber weapon.” Treadwell said the path of the bullet casings from Hart’s gun was “streaming away” from Mitchell.

A third gun or shooter may have been involved as well, as a probation report says that Mitchell got into an argument with an unnamed person who pointed a gun at Mitchell and “fired several times.”

In June 2012, Auburn football players Ed Christian and Ladarious Phillips were shot to death during a late night argument at Tiger Lodge at well. Desmonte Leonard, who has since been convicted of capital murder for those shootings, will be sentenced January 20.

Follow AWR Hawkins on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at