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Public Notices

April 19, 2014

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Self's Text Messages From Day Of Shooting Are Shown To Jurors

Sun photo by Ken Little

Text messages sent between Ethan Self and girlfriend Courtney Patterson the day Roger Self was fatally shot were shown to the jury Thursday. Shown, from left, are prosecutors Dennis Brooks and Tony Clark.

Originally published: 2013-08-16 11:19:48
Last modified: 2013-08-16 11:22:52



Text messages between Ethan Self and girlfriend Courtney Patterson the day of Roger Self's death were shown to the jury Thursday during prosecution testimony of Ethan Self's murder trial.

Photos of the text messages were shown on an overhead screen by Detective Sgt. Mike Fincher, lead case investigator for the Greene County Sheriff's Department.

The text messages were taken from the cellphones of Ethan Self and Courtney Patterson, Ethan Self's girlfriend on March 24, 2010. Both Self and Patterson were then 18 and seniors at Greeneville High School.

"What's wrong at practice," Self said in a text to Patterson at 4:03 p.m. on March 24, the day of the shooting.

Patterson replied that her knee hurt. Self asked her if she should get it looked at.

"I am at the house now. Hurryin up doin all of dad's laundry," Self texted at 4:10 p.m. He added he would meet soon with Patterson.

Patterson and Self continued exchanging text messages.

"Laundry is taking forever," Self texted at 5:09 p.m.

Patterson sent a text at 5:17 p.m. about her prom dress coming in.

"It did =)? Did your mom send you a picture of it?" Self replied at 5:18 p.m.

At 5:56 p.m., Self apologized for his father's laundry taking so long to wash.

At 6:09 p.m. Self commented again on the prom dress: "Oh lol, how excited are you =)"

A text message to Patterson from Self at 6:09 p.m. said, "Dad's goin into work late" and was going to let him use his Jeep while his father fixed the Jeep damaged in the minor accident earlier in the day.

Sgt. Roger Self was supposed to report to work at 7 p.m. March 24 at the Greeneville Police Department, trial testimony showed. Self's body was found in the bedroom of his Love Street home shortly afterward by Greeneville police officers.

By 6:44 p.m., Ethan Self sent a text message that he was "on my way."

Self was apparently thinking about a minor vehicle accident he was in earlier in the day at 7 p.m.

"Seriously I am embarrassed I got yelled at by people," a text message said.

By 7:41 p.m., the tone of the text messages from Ethan Self to Patterson had radically changed.

"Dad is gone," he wrote.

At 9:33 p.m., Self asked Patterson to call him. He expressed his love for her in a 10:18 p.m. text. "It's not okay," the message said in part.

Self sent a text at 1:24 a.m. on March 25, after his first interview with investigators.

"I love you too and I just now got done. I'm so torn up," it said.

At 2:31 a.m.: "They just called my house saying they wanted to take my cell."

In a recorded phone call made to Patterson from the Greene County Detention Center, Self "stated that he had shot his father by accident," Fincher told defense lawyer Herbert Moncier on cross-examination.

For more information and stories, see The Greeneville Sun.

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