The Lawyer Who Was Murdered in Her Office

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Just before dawn, police officers received a call from a man frantically searching for his wife. They arrived at the scene and went up to the third floor and to her office.

There were books and paperwork everywhere, it appeared to be a fight. This is a very gruesome case, a very bloody scene. A female body is laying in the middle of the hallway.

Narrated

As I looked at her. I realized that I know this girl, this was Chiquita Tate.

Thirty-four-year-old Chiquita. Tate is an up-and-coming defence attorney. Well, known in Baton Rouge and the legal and law enforcement community.

An attorney who works downtown in the courthouse. We knew her personally. Chiquita had a good reputation in the neighbourhood and she was a bulldog of an attorney. She would give her all. All the years I have been to crime scenes, that’s the first time, I stood over the body. Of somebody that I was familiar with.

Chiquita had been stabbed multiple times. It was like, walking into a horror film. At some point. I went downstairs.

There was a man, he was very emotional, pacing back and forth. He introduced himself as Greg Harris, he’s her husband, He called the police. It was important that I removed him from the scene so that he could calm down and later interview him.

Investigators examine the crime scene in search of a motive for the murder. We discovered Chiquita’s wallet is missing but other valuables remain untouched.

The computers are still there. The keys to her Hummer too are right on her desk, so let’s check off a robbery. Let’s check off a burglary, but who did this then? She was stabbed so many times.

There’s something so vicious about this. It’s so visceral. Whenever you see large stab wounds, to me, it was something personal. We noticed the long strings of hair in her left hand. So, the assailant possibly could be a female.

During our interview with the husband, we asked what he did that particular day, and he told us that at about 7:00 Chiquita called him and told him to bring her something to eat because she was hungry. He went to McDonald’s and bought some food, and once he got to Chiquita’s office and delivered the food, he started to help her organize her office.

She told Greg that she was going to be working late because she had a client that was coming in between 10:00 and 10:30.

Greg said he drove home. Got in bed. At around 2:00 and 2:30 In the morning, he woke up and she still wasn’t home. He started trying to call but she didn’t answer the phone, finally around 5:30. In the morning, he went to the office and later, called the police.

We were later told that someone has located Chiquita’s wallet. The missing wallet was discovered 20 minutes from Chiquita’s office. The wallet was found at around 10:30 in the evening in the middle of the street. It was picked up by a good Samaritan.

We looked through the wallet, we were totally shocked, everything was in there. The money was in there. Her cards were all in there.

When reviewing Chiquita’s Client List, detectives found a discrepancy. Her Secretary was unable to corroborate Greg’s statement that Chiquita had a client that she was planning on meeting with that night She was murdered.

Investigators took a closer look at Grey, who remains at the station. What we did was check his records. We discovered that there was a warrant for his arrest for domestic abuse battery in which Chiquita was the victim.

When the information came that the wallet is found on Gardere Lane. So we wanted to test them.

“you know, we do phone records, your phone records, her phone records? we let him know that. Look, we can figure out where you’ve been so you might as well be honest with us.”

So I just asked him directly.

“When was the last time you went to Gardere Elaine(where the wallet was found)?”

“Last night”

That was a defining moment in that interview because we had already logged into a statement about what he did the night before the murder and he told us that he left the office and went straight home. And now he’s saying that he went to Gardere Lane.

Gardere Lane is 10 miles in the opposite direction from Gregg’s home. He said he went to Gardere Lane to buy steroids and that he did not want to tell us initially because it was illegal.

Gardere Lane is a high-crime area in the city. There’s a lot of drug dealing and so it was possible that that was the reason.

Still, the police had doubts about Greg’s story, especially as they made another observation.

In the interview room, we photograph his entire body. They had fresh scratches on his hand, we knew that Chiquita fought her attacker so we would expect that the killer would have scratches on their body. Greg insists that he injured himself while on the job as a contractor.

We secure a warrant to search Greg’s home and vehicles. As detectives searched his Mercedes, a pair of sunglasses, caught our attention. We notice there was blood on the glasses. We found Chiquita Tate’s Blood on the left lens.

Investigators send the blood to the forensics and based on the evidence we had we think he was the one who killed Chiquita.

We also learned that Greg had financial problems. That his house was in foreclosure, he was behind on his bills, and he knows, it’s over, Chiquita was the cash cow. If she is living, he gets nothing, If she dies, he could have her home and some life insurance money.

Prosecution lays out the motive pointing out, that Greg Harris has financial problems, we had Chiquita Tate’s, blood on Greg Harris’ glasses and then the wallet on Gardere Lane. The prosecution argued that the hair was staged and planned. “Usually, if you’re dying, your hand will cling to the hair in your hand, but her hand was open. The defence had an entirely different view of the case. They argued that their client was unfairly targeted. They said that she was in a dicey business, with a lot of bad clients. Their argument is any number of people could have done it. You just need enough reasonable doubt to think, that maybe somebody else did it. After two weeks of testimony, the jury retires to decide Greg Harris’s fate, only three and a half hours later. The verdict is unexpected. Greg Harris is found guilty, but of a lesser charge of manslaughter rather than murder. He was sentenced to 40 years in prison.

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