Judge Arthur Cooperman was unmoved. “The jury demonstrated leniency that the court may otherwise have exercised,” he said. He gave her the maximum prison term—five-to-fifteen years.
At Bedford Hills, Harris says she’s found therapy and support she never had before. “It would be wonderful to be one of the shiny, happy people, not just pretending to be happy and not having to have memories or flashbacks,” she says. “I don’t think it’s going to happen, though. All the psychologists have said, ‘You can never get over it. You have to learn to deal.’ So that’s my big issue right now, learning how to deal.”
But she misses Edina, the niece she thought she was saving by attacking her father—and longs for word of Lovette, her half-sister, who she believes is still in Liberia, in the reach of her father’s family. At night, she’s been dreaming of being in Africa and not being able to help protect her. “Even when he came to the house, I didn’t think I could do it,” she says. “And then he had to mention Lovette.”
She’s had just one dream about Eric Goodridge. “We were in Africa. The weird part is, he was protecting me from somebody else who had abused me. He ran the guy over with his Jeep.”
I suggest that the dream could be about the life that she wanted—a life where she has a father who helps her.
She laughs softly. “Yeah,” she says. “Which he never did.”
Her first parole hearing is this week.