The woman who killed her abusive father after strangling and castrating him in 2007 was acquitted of murder yesterday. However, Brigitte Harris was found guilty of second-degree manslaughter, a verdict she immediately said she was happy with. The 28-year-old had told jurors that, after years of rape and physical abuse at her father's hands, she was just trying to prevent him from abusing his two young granddaughters (her nieces), but not kill him.
With the conviction, Harris will now face a maximum sentence of 5 to 15 years. Her lawyer said after the verdict, "The best offer the DA made was 12 years...We got a great verdict...Any time the top count is murder two and you walk out with manslaughter two, you have to feel relieved" Queens DA Richard Brown said he hopes Harris "will receive the counseling she so obviously needs." Defense psychology expert, Dr. Dawn Hughes, offered Harris free counseling for life.
Harris was also convicted criminal possession of a scalpel, the instrument she used to castrate her father after she had researched Lorena Bobbit's attack online. She admitted to cooking the evidence on a stove because she had learned, via the online research, that a penis can be reattached. Friends and family say they are now hoping the judge will deliver the minimum sentence for Harris, who once dubbed herself "XXLadyVengeanceXX” on MySpace. Her lawyer said, "The horrors she lived through, no one should ever have to go through."