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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Friend: UA laughed at victim’s concerns

    The first-degree murder trial of former UA freshman Galareka Harrison, who is accused of killing her then-freshman roommate, Mia Henderson, continued this weekend with testimonies from five witnesses.

    Among those testifying was Yolanda Nez, an acquaintance of Harrison’s who spent a significant amount of time with her the weekend before the fatal stabbing of Henderson at Graham-Greenlee Residence Hall last year on Sept. 5.

    Nez was giving Harrison a ride to Window Rock to attend a rodeo over Labor Day weekend when Harrison shared with her new-found friend that adapting to life at the UA was turning out more difficult than she had expected, describing herself as “”homesick,”” Nez testified.

    On their Window Rock road trip, Harrison also confided to Nez that she was struggling to advise a suicidal friend on MySpace.

    Aside from the emotional outpouring to Nez, Harrison asked her if she thought police and forensics experts could properly lift fingerprints from the inside of gloves. Nez said she did not know, she testified.

    Hours later, the two stopped at a Target department store to pick up what Harrison described as “”school supplies”” but instead turned out to be a large knife, as well as a pack of bubble gum. Harrison told Nez the knife was for a class.

    Less than 36 hours later, Henderson was dead after that same knife was plunged into her back 14 times, a fatal end to a “”bad feeling”” Harrison told Nez she had, prosecutors said.

    The conflict between Henderson and Harrison began last year on Aug. 28, when Henderson suspected Harrison of stealing her CatCard and Social Security card, as well as $500.

    Following the initial conflict between the two students, Henderson sought help from the University of Arizona Police Department and the Dean of Students Office, testified Londynn Young, one of Henderson’s best friends.

    Henderson’s call for help to the university went unanswered, though, as UA officials laughed at her, with the officer saying, “”This happens every day,”” Young said.

    Later, when Henderson told Harrison she would be pressing charges, Harrison sent her several text message apologies, said Jordon Begay, another friend of Henderson’s, in testimony.

    Also testifying was Diane Povatah, the hall’s residence assistant at the time, who was “”awoken by screams”” early in the morning.

    “”Screaming was going on, and I heard bumping noises,”” she told the court.

    Povatah described how she ran into Henderson’s blood-covered room and discovered Henderson kneeling on the floor, bleeding from her back.

    While Povatah tended to Henderson, Harrison sat nearby in the Proxy-Connection: keep-alive
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    llway crying. When Povatah confronted Harrison, Harrison said she had been stabbed by Henderson.

    “”Mia was calling her a bitch and that she was calling her all types of different names, grabbed a knife and started stabbing her,”” Povatah said.

    Povatah then called UAPD, who arrived on the scene shortly, Povatah testified.

    After initially claiming that a man had attacked the two women, Harrison confessed to killing Henderson last September to police, UAPD said.

    Despite the confession to UAPD, Harrison is pleading “”not guilty”” to all charges.

    The trial will continue Tuesday at the Pima County Superior Court.

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