By Mary Waldron, LawCrossing
Joseph Mercer, III, was shot dead in an apparent struggle for a .22-caliber handgun with which he threatened his wife, Hope Mercer, in 2005, according to Mercer’s account.
Mercer’s attorney and former criminal law professor, Hal Hardin, represented her in the trial that came to a triumphant ending in early April 2007 when she was acquitted of the murder charges.
Ever since Hardin was “an itty-bitty boy,” he knew that the law was his calling. As a small boy growing up on a farm in Tennessee, he could usually be found preaching to other children in the farm’s cornstalks.
Hardin’s mother had hoped he would pursue a life as a preacher, but he found a compromise in becoming a lawyer. “I felt like it was the only thing that I could succeed at, and I was always attracted to it,” he said.