Why is Actor Ethan Hawke Rallying Around a Convicted Cop Killer?

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This is a partial transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," December 22, 2005, that has been edited for clarity.

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BILL O'REILLY, HOST: In the "Personal Story" segment tonight, first it was Death Row inmate Stanley Tookie Williams. Now it looks like the celebrity cause du jour may be 65-year-old Melvina McClain, a convicted cop killer.

Actor Ethan Hawke has asked the state of New Jersey to grant Ms. McClain clemency. He's says she's, "important to my family." McClain has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for shooting for police officer, and her boyfriend, Trenton detective Louis Glenn, in a bar in 1986. Her supporters say she suffered from a lifetime of abuse, but not everyone is sympathetic.

Joining us now from Princeton, New Jersey, is Deputy Police Chief Joe Constance.

Mr. Constance, tell us about that night. Tell us what you witnessed. Tell us about your partner.

DEPUTY POLICE CHIEF JOE CONSTANCE, TRENTON, NEW JERSEY: John, October of 1986, Lou Glenn played golf that day. He stopped by to have a drink on his way home. And you have to remember something. Lou Glenn was one of the best cops Trenton Police Department ever had.

He was a divorced father of five children. He was one of the police department's stars. He was an excellent athlete. He not only golfed but he played various sports.

He stopped by that bar to have a drink. His estranged girlfriend, Ms. McClain, stopped in that bar with a 38-caliber pistol, came up to him and literally executed him. She shot him three times. He never had a chance to defend himself.

KASICH: He left — do I have it right — five kids?

CONSTANCE: That's correct. That's correct.

KASICH: OK. Now, Mr. Constance, you know, talking to the people on the other side of this, they made the argument that, first of all, this woman was abused all the way through her life and, secondly, that your — that your friend officer Glenn, in fact, threatened her and abused her.

Tell us what happened in court and tell us what you think about those charges.

CONSTANCE: There was absolutely no evidence for that. It wasn't brought up at — she pled guilty to it or she pled no fault (ph) to it. In other words, she — she agreed to have a 30-year sentence. There was no trial. That was the plea bargain. There was no defense of domestic Violence at that time.

Lou Glenn was one of the most gentlest men that was on the police department. And everyone liked him. And I knew Melvina McClain, and I knew Lou Glenn.

She made a mistake. She came into that bar loaded with a .38 caliber revolver bent on killing this man who was — who was trying to break up with her.

KASICH: Now Mr. Constance, it doesn't take a lot of time to be with you here on set to kind of know what the answer of this question is. But what do you think about these movie stars getting into the middle of these kind of cases?

CONSTANCE: John, he just joined — Mr. Hawke is a fine actor, and that's what he is. He's an actor. He played a cop in the movies. But that doesn't make him or any of these other celebrities experts on the criminal justice system. They are good at what they do.

What kind of messages are they sending where they try to make heroes out of killers? And they advocate for lesser sentences and lesser sanctions. They are asking for a discount on time for these killers.

Where's the — where's the advocacy for the victims? How about Lou Glenn's five children? Did they go to college? Does anyone — does Mr. Hawke know? Does any celebrity know how they are today?

KASICH: What is the family — what's the family, what's their reaction been to all this, Mr. Constance?

CONSTANCE: At that time in 1986 they were devastated, as was the Trenton Police Department — devastated.

KASICH: How about today with Ethan Hawke coming out. Have you had a chance to talk to them?

CONSTANCE: No. No, I haven't. But I'm sure they don't appreciate it.

KASICH: I could imagine.

CONSTANCE: And it just — again, it's nonsense.

KASICH: All right. All right. We've got to run. We may hear from the other side next week. Thank you, sir.

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