NEW YORK - A Queens judge Friday slapped Brigitte Harris with the toughest sentence possible for killing and dismembering her father to avenge years of sexual abuse.
Supreme Court Justice Arthur Cooperman sentenced Harris to five to 15 years for the suffocation slaying of Eric Goodridge in her Rockaway apartment on July 28, 2007.
Harris admitted plotting to sever her father’s penis with a scalpel by researching the case of Lorena and John Bobbitt. She wanted to prevent Goodridge, 55, from returning to his native Liberia with his granddaughters, she said.
“I never intended to kill him, and I’m sorry for his family’s loss,” she told Cooperman.
Cooperman acknowledged the findings of mental health professionals who agreed Goodridge repeatedly sexually abused his daughter from age 3, but he cautioned against victims taking the law into their own hands.
“Sometimes the crime itself warrants punishment,” Cooperman said.
The judge also chided jurors for giving in to sympathies for Harris in reaching a second-degree manslaughter verdict that was inconsistent with the facts.
Four jurors attended Friday’s sentencing and, in letters, urged Cooperman to set Harris free so she could seek psychiatric care. Harris attorney Arthur Aidala said were it not for the jury, Harris, 29, would probably be spending the rest of her life behind bars.
“They handcuffed the judge from committing an injustice,” Aidala said.
“Brigitte has shown no remorse,” countered Harris’ aunt, Comfort Lawrence.
from The New York Daily News