Sunday, October 26, 2008

Cinnaciti area woman gets 13 years for attempting to kill husband

By Kimball • October 17, 2008

There are two sides to Billie Jo Harris.

Her family and friends insist she is a kind, loving person who gave freely of her time and heart.
"My mom has spent a lifetime taking care of others," Daryl Brewer said Thursday.

Hamilton County Assistant Prosecutor Anita Vizedom said the 56-year-old grandmother of 18 is evil and deserves a stiff prison sentence for blasting a hole in her husband, Jeffrey, and almost killing him.

"The only word that can be used to describe her is 'wicked,'" Vizedom told Common Pleas Judge Charles Kubicki Jr.

Last month, a jury convicted Harris, of Green Township, of attempted murder and felonious assault. Thursday, the judge sent her to prison for 13 years.

Her family and friends begged the judge for leniency. They said she was a wonderful woman who was active in church, providing for the elderly and watching her grandchildren, they said, despite 11 surgeries for cancer, a bad back and having fingers amputated because of illness.

"She is not the lazy drunkard that she was portrayed to be during the trial," her son said.
On the night of Jan. 10, her husband came home from his bakery delivery job, he said, to find his wife drunk and belligerent, accusing him of infidelity.

He told her he was sick of her drinking, was leaving and wanted a divorce. He left the house but quickly returned to retrieve his medication. When he walked in the house, his wife was 3 feet away and used a shotgun to shoot him in the stomach.

As he was on the floor she refused to call 911, kicked him in the stomach and hit him in the head with an ash tray.When police arrived, she refused to let them in as her husband was bleeding next to her. She also told her husband if she was going to jail, he was going to die.

Vizedom said phone calls from Harris when she was in jail immediately after the shooting reveal the real woman. In those taped calls, Harris asked her family to take anything of value from her house. She told them to get the title to the car and turn off the utilities.

And she wanted one more thing.

"She really wanted the karaoke machine," Vizedom said. "That's what she was concerned with as her husband lay in the hospital with a 50-50 chance of dying."

"You brutally shot your husband in his stomach with a shotgun and stood over him wishing him death while he struggled to phone for help," the judge told Harris.

Harris insisted she didn't shoot her husband - even though they were the only people in the house.

"No matter what he's done, I do love him," said Harris. "He knows I didn't do this."

Wrong, her husband said. He begged the judge to send his wife to prison for the maximum. He has had five surgeries since the shooting and still carries lead in his body. Because the shotgun blast destroyed his stomach muscles, he has to wear a compression vest.

"I have been sentenced for the rest of my life," he said. "I have lost everything I worked for."

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