The Daytona Beach News-Journal reports that Harris used root beer to waterboard his ex-girlfriend while chocking her on Nov. 6, 2010 because she refused to tell him where she had been that day.
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During the course of pinning her down to the floor, he cocked a gun and pointed it into her eye. The victim’s children were on the other side of the house during the attack.
On Aug. 23, Harris was convicted in August of aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated assault with a firearm and kidnapping with intent to inflict bodily harm or terrorize.
Circuit Judge Raul Zambrano said the penalty was appropriate because of the severity of his actions. According to the News-Journal, Harris said he “forgave the victim” before he was sentenced and even smiled while being fingerprinted. The victim reportedly looked shocked at the thought that Harris felt that he had to forgive her.
Here is more of what Harris had to say about the actions for which he was convicted:
“First off, addressing the alleged victim,” Harris said. “We both know what took place that night. As far as my behalf, you know, I apologize for what took place. You know, I’ve been praying about the situation and, you know, I forgive her as well, too.”
Harris then proclaimed his innocence to Zambrano.
“With all due respect, sir, I understand the jury has in fact found me guilty of the alleged charges although my innocence still remains,” Harris said, “… so regardless of the years you sentenced me to, I ask sir that you consider the fact that nobody was actually harmed or hospitalized. I also feel that my character was truly assassinated by the prosecutor and most definitely by the media, of which I know you have no control over.”
Judge Zambrano was unmoved, adding additional years to Harris’ sentence. He will spend the rest of his life behind bars. The victim broke down in tears as she testified during the sentencing hearing. She said she feared mostly for his children during the attack:
“On the night that this occurred, it had to be one of the most horrific nights of my life and most people think it was because I had a gun pointed at my face but it wasn’t,” she said. “The horrific part of this was me having to leave the house hoping to run into an officer after the gun had been pointed at my face and returning to my house where I knew I had my kids. The horrific part of this was my children.”
According to the News-Journal, the victim attended church the following while Harris sat next to her with a gun.
“I prayed. God answered prayers. I shouted harder than I ever shouted in church that day knowing he was sitting next to me with a gun in the church. And I thank God and the justice system.”
Harris has a very lengthy rap sheet, serving nearly four years for aggravated assault on a pregnant woman, fraud and other crimes. He was released from prison in December 2009 for those crimes.