2009-11-13 / Front Page

Max Sentence In Mutilation Slay

By Howard Schwach

The 28-year-old Arverne woman who was found guilty of manslaughter in the strangulation death of her father, whose body was discovered bound, gagged and mutilated inside her thirdfloor apartment, has been sentenced to five to fifteen years in prison.

Brigitte Harris was given the maximum sentence in the mutilation murder of her father in 2007. Brigitte Harris was given the maximum sentence in the mutilation murder of her father in 2007. Brigitte Harris, 28, of 436 Beach 69 Street, who had been held without bail since her arrest on August 16, 2007, was convicted on September 30 of second-degree manslaughter and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon following a threeweek jury trial before Queens Supreme Court Justice Arthur J. Cooperman, who imposed today's indeterminate sentence of five to fifteen years in prison.

According to trial testimony, Harris lured her father, Eric Goodridge, 55, of Staten Island, to her Rockaway apartment on the morning of Saturday, July 28, 2007.

Once there, she handcuffed him, gagged him with a towel, wrapped the towel around his head and secured it with duct tape. According to the medical examiner's report, the cause of death was asphyxiation due to gagging, covering of mouth and neck compression.

Once dead, Harris then mutilated his body by cutting off his penis and then boiling it in a pot on the stove.

Brown said, "Given the deeply disturbing nature in which her father was killed and his body mutilated, the sentence imposed today was appropriate. Hopefully, the defendant will receive the counseling that she so obviously needs while in prison."

Following the killing, Harris went to a location in Staten Island where, in response to a 911 call of an emotionally disturbed person, she was transported

to a psychiatric facility at the Richmond University Medical Center, where she was confined for several weeks.

Harris testified at her trial that she was repeatedly molested, raped and beaten by Goodridge from the time she was three years old.

She told jurors that she did not mean to kill her father, but just keep him from molesting her nieces, the young daughters of her sister, who were also reportedly molested by the father.

"I wanted to take away his weapon so that he could not use it again," she testified.

She said that she put his penis in boiling water after reading about the Bobbit case, where a penis was reattached to a man whose wife had cut it off after he cheated on her.

The jury found her guilty, not of murder, but of second degree manslaughter, and several of the jury members reportedly wrote to the judge asking for leniency for Harris.

In sentencing Harris, Cooperman said that the jury, that acquitted her of first degree murder, disobeyed his instructions not to allow their emotions to sway their verdict.

Many of the jurors told reporters that they felt bad for her and acquitted her of murder because of the way she had been treated by her father.

Cooperman said, "The jury demonstrated leniency that the court may otherwise have exercised."

He gave her the maximum sentence allowed under the law.

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