They Married Three Times

Michael, and Valerie Harris were married in Oct. 2001. By June 2002 Michael Harris, 49, was arrested for domestic violence. By August of 2002 Valerie Harris, 46, had filed for divorce.

But in April of 2003, the couple remarried. In April of 2004, Harris was again cited for domestic violence but this time it wasn’t against Valerie- it was against her son, Harris’ stepson. Harris agreed to go to counseling and the charges were dismissed. According to at least one article there were no convictions on any of the above complaints.

Then in Feburary of 2006 the couple were again divorced and remarried in August of 2006. But December 24, 2006 Harris allegedly made a threatening phone call to his wife’s cell phone and Harris was cited for telephone harassment. He was released on bond.

Sunday about noon police were again called to the families apartment for a domestic violence complaint according to the mayor. One report says they were responding to a hangup call to 911.

When police arrived Harris allegedly refused them entry into the apartment. A call went out for addtional assistance at the scene and several departments responded, including a Special Response team. At that point a series of phone calls began between Harris and the responding officers. The situation for Valerie Harris was not known, so this was treated as a hostage situation.

When all was ready law enforcement officers used flash-bangs to make entry and Harris gave himself up. Reportedly Harris did not shoot at officers. Officers found Valerie Harris in the bedroom of the home with a single gunshot to the front of her head. It is believed that a shotgun was used. The coroner has said Valerie was shot at close range. Valerie Harris was pronounced dead at 5:17 pm.

Neither neighbors or police report hearing a gunshot, and police are not sure when Valerie Harris was killed.

Harris was arrested on one count of first degree murder. Harris went before the court for a bond hearing on Wednesday. At that time he reportedly tried to plead guilty, but he wasn’t represented by an attorney. The judge recommended that he have an attorney and gave a continuance while Harris reconsidered the guilty plea. When he appeared before the court on Thursday, Harris said he wanted an attorney and a public defender was provided. He is being held without bond.

An interesting quote from one of the articles in reference to the arrest for telephone harassment- “He was just calling her [Valerie Harris] on her cell phone and threatening her. It was all alcohol related.” (emphasis added by me)        

Three sets of domestic violence complaints. Three trips to court with no convictions. He took counseling. Three times divorced.

You want to love them, you try to love them, you want the abuse to stop, you want them to change.

Alcoholics have adopted this prayer as their own and ever since I first heard this has stuck in my mind. I try to use it in my life even though I am not an alcoholic, I do think it is appropriate to everyone.

                       The Serenity Prayer

God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
Courage to change the things I can, and
Wisdom to know the difference.

You cannot change another person. Only they have the power to change themselves. And no matter how you try, no matter what you do, if they do not wish to work at the change they will continue. And a person who is continually committing the same acts obviously is not working to change.

I am sure he said he was sorry each time. And he probably said he would change. And he even agreed to take counseling- when he was under threat of criminal charges. And now he goes to court and tries to plead guilty…. only this time the crime he is saying sorry for is so much bigger.

Also appropriate at this time is a discussion of the ‘Honeymoon Cycle of Abuse’

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