Killer re-sentenced in UA dorm murder
Photo: Video by kgun9.com
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - As the University of Arizona opened it's fall session Monday, some families relived a murder in a UA dorm six years ago in a re-sentencing hearing for the woman who stabbed her roommate to death.
Now she may have some chance for a life outside prison.
Originally a judge sentenced Galareka Harrison to life without chance of parole. But her new attorneys found her first lawyers did not present evidence that could have brought a lighter sentence. Monday a judge ruled on whether Galareka Harrison can ever get out of prison.
The crime rocked U of A, and the Navajo Community because it involved two women from the reservation, assigned as room mates.
Mia Janelle Henderson found Galareka Harrison was stealing from her and reported it.
Over several days Galareka Harrison planned the murder, bought a large knife, and stabbed Henderson 23 times.
But Harrison's attorney found the judge in the original sentencing was never told Harrison's family mistakenly thought she had a full scholarship, and she was so desperate for money, she was taking diet pills because she had no money for food.
Mia Janelle Henderson's family won a court order not to appear on camera. They told Judge Scott Rash, about the pain of losing a bright child, full of potential, who planned to return to the reservation as a doctor.
Her grandmother Paula Henderson said, "Our reservoir of tears has been emptied time and time and time again. Our hearts have been shattered."
Her grandfather Charles described visiting her grave.
"I heard that death song flute. I felt it in my heart. I hung my head and cried right there. That's what happened to us. "
Judge Rash choked up as he told the Henderson they raised their daughter well, but cautioned them the weight of a sentence does not reflect the value of the person murdered.
He reduced Galareka Harrison's sentence to life with the possibility of parole, and told her, "You have been handed an opportunity to make amends. Don't waste it."