UPDATE: A Family Friend Remembers Slain Lawyer, Chiquita Tate
Chiquita Tate appeared to have it all. She graduated from the top of her class at Clark-Atlanta University in 1996 and then obtained her law degree from Southern University in 2004. The 34-year-old attorney went into business for herself, starting the Tate Law Firm, LLC, where her motto was “We enthusiastically and aggressively fight for the needs and rights of our clients.” When she got married just over a year ago, it seemed as if she had finally completed the package. No one, not even those closest to her, could envision what was about to happen next. In the early morning of February 20, a Baton Rouge police officer found Tate’s bludgeoned body inside her law office. She had been stabbed 38 times. The next day her husband, Greg Harris, 37, was arrested based on a warrant for battery that was issued after an incident in December 2007. He is being charged with second degree murder and illegal use of a weapon after initial lab tests confirmed that traces of Tate and Harris’s blood was found on a bottle of bleach at the couple’s home as well as in his car. Now, those who knew her best mourn her death including her mentor, former boss and “adopted” mother Juvenile Court Judge Pam Taylor Johnson, who talked to ESSENCE.com about taking Tate under her wing, her interrupted bright future and what she thinks may have happened.
Prominent Black Attorney Slain, Husband Held On Charges
Slain attorney Chiquita Tate was such a believer in the legal system that she had a tattoo of Lady Justice on her back, college friend T. J. Crawford recalled.
Chiquita Tate was in the midde of a high-profile murder trial when she was stabbed to death in her law office.
“She just had an attachment to justice and doing what’s right by people. She was always very serious about that,” said Crawford, a teacher and community organizer in Chicago, Illinois.
But Tate, described by colleagues as a tenacious defense attorney who fought for her clients, could not save herself.
Family members and friends in Chicago; Atlanta, Georgia, and Tate’s adopted home — tiny Baker, Louisiana — are reeling from the grisly details of Tate’s slaying, and police say it was at the hands of her husband, Greg Harris. They had been married about 14½ months.
Harris, 37, is in custody, accused of stabbing Tate to death. He is charged with second-degree murder and the illegal use of a dangerous weapon. A judge last week set his bond at $500,000.
In a phone interview with CNN, Harris’ attorney, Lewis Unglesby, said police have the wrong man.