Woman said husband stole, slept around, officer says

She is accused of killing him in April
Jul. 29, 2014 @ 08:02 AM

After her arrest in the stabbing of her husband April 22, Donna Thomas Harris said she was angry with him because he stole $30,000 from her and was having affairs with other women, a Hudson police officer testified Monday.

"She said, 'He stays out all night and lays down with other women, that's no marriage,'" Officer Joshua Brewster said during a probable cause hearing in Caldwell District Court.  "She also said he was involved with somebody else, and that she told him to stop messing around."

Harris' husband, Danny Harris, 58, was stabbed in the chest about 2:30 p.m. April 22 at their apartment on Kristen Lane in Hudson. Donna Harris, 54, is charged with murder.

Robert Fueston, the assistant manager of the apartment complex, testified about Danny Harris' final moments.

"Danny was leaning against the wall, so I put Danny in a lawn chair in the grass," Fueston said. "He was bleeding profusely from his abdominal area. I asked him, 'Who did this to you?' and he said, 'Donna, my wife.'"

Under questioning by Donna Harris' attorney, Fueston said that Danny Harris also said the stabbing was an accident. But in an interview later outside court, Fueston said that Danny Harris often said that after he and Donna Harris had been fighting.

"He always said that it was an accident when he would have cuts on his face and arms," Fueston said.

Dr. Donald Jason, a state forensic pathologist and medical examiner, testified that Danny Harris died of internal bleeding from a stab wound that penetrated the side of the breastbone and the sac surrounding his heart and entered the right ventricle of the heart. Harris also suffered a stab wound that penetrated from the palm of his left hand through the other side. He also had a cut to the right upper arm and superficial wounds to the right upper lip and left outer ear. A toxicology report showed he had a blood-alcohol level of 0.07 percent.

When Hudson police arrived, Donna Harris had barricaded herself in the apartment, and officers had to force the door open. They found her in bed, Brewster testified. She appeared to be drunk, reeked of alcohol, had slurred speech, had problems obeying commands and could not stand up without help, he said.

At the conclusion of the hour-long hearing, Judge Burford Cherry quickly ruled there was enough probable cause to send the case to Superior Court for trial.

Afterward, Robin Worman, a neighbor in the apartment complex who testified that she also heard Danny Harris say that his wife stabbed him, said the judge made the correct decision.

"You just don't accidentally cut someone that many times and not mean it," she said.