Student Accused of Killing Roommate in College Dorm
Thursday, September 06, 2007

TUCSON, Ariz.— The roommate of a female student at the University of Arizona who died in a dormitory fight between the two has been arrested in connection with the death, officials said Wednesday night.[/b]

Galareka Harrison, 18, was taken into custody by university police after being released from University Medical Center, university spokesman Johnny Cruz said.

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The woman was being booked into Pima County Jail on a charge of first-degree murder, Cruz said.

Cruz said he did not have any details of the fight between Harrison and 18-year-old Mia Henderson of Tuba City.

A University police spokesman, Sgt. Eugene Mejia, said Henderson died from wounds "consistent with stabbing" but would not elaborate. He said a weapon was recovered.

Harrison was not listed in the university's phone directory and attempts to reach her family members were unsuccessful Wednesday night. It was unclear whether Harrison had a lawyer.

Harrison had been taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and was released before her arrest.
Henderson was from the Navajo Nation town of Tuba City, and Harrison also was a Navajo from the northeastern Arizona reservation. Her hometown was not available late Wednesday.

Campus police were called to the Graham-Greenlee residence hall at 5:45 a.m. because of a fight involving injuries, Mejia said.

He said officers found Henderson and Harrison injured and both women were taken to University Medical Center.

Harrison had filed a police report Aug. 28 saying that she had been the victim of a property theft and that she suspected her roommate, University Police Chief Anthony Daykin said at midday.

Daykin said the roommate was an "investigative lead" and had been named as a possible suspect in a theft report filed by another dorm resident.

Daykin said Henderson had told officers she would not stay in the dorm room until her roommate was moved. The university offered her alternative housing but she declined, and Daykin said he didn't know when she went back to the room.

Lee Ann Dejolie, a Northern Arizona University student who described herself as a close friend of Henderson, said she spoke to Henderson this week and that the subject of her roommate came up.

"She said her roommate was going through her purse and taking stuff out of her purse. So Mia was really ticked off," Dejolie said.

She said she reacted to her friend's death with disbelief. "I was shocked because I didn't think this would actually happen to Mia," Dejolie said. "She's not the type of person that would get in a conflict."

Some postings on Henderson's MySpace page also mention problems with a roommate, though they don't use the roommate's name.

"You never really think something like that can happen, especially to someone you know or live near," said Holly Polk, a student from Elkhorn, Wis., who lives in the dormitory where the fight occurred. "You wonder what could provoke them to be so aggressive toward another girl because you never think that girls are going to act so violently."

The university did not institute a lockdown after the incident, but President Robert Shelton sent out a notification electronically.

Shelton later issued a statement calling the death of Henderson "a terrible tragedy that saddens everyone in The University of Arizona family."

"At no time today was there a threat to anyone else on campus," the statement said. "Our police were on the scene within two minutes of the 911 call, provided medical treatment and secured the area.

"Today's event is a reminder that violence can strike anywhere in our society," the statement also said. "We all hope that university campuses would be immune to these terrible acts. Sadly, they are not, and today we mourn a senseless death."

Krystal Jones, a student from Buffalo, Wyo., said she heard about the death through her e-mail.

"It's definitely concerning but I don't feel less safe on campus because of this," Jones said. "When you choose a university of this size, it comes with the territory. I don't think they could do anything else for it."

The university has had stricter security since a student flunking out of the College of Nursing went on a shooting spree on Oct. 28, 2002, killing three members of the nursing faculty before killing himself.

Since then, the university has conducted annual emergency readiness drills, and residence halls are locked around the clock. Some buildings have camera security systems, and residence halls and fraternity and sorority houses have police liaisons.

Virginia Teen Charged With Raping, Killing Sister, Beating Toddler Niece With Sledgehammer
Wednesday, September 05, 2007

SPOTSYLVANIA, Va.— [size=2 _extended="true"]A teenager was charged on Tuesday with killing and raping his sister and beating his niece with a sledgehammer in a crime the sheriff called one of the most brutal he's ever seen.[/size][/b]

[size=2 _extended="true"]Walter Smith Jr., 16, was charged with the first-degree murder and rape of his 22-year-old sister, Betsy Mary Smith, and aggravated assault against his two year-old niece, Andrea Costello.[/size]

[size=2 _extended="true"]Smith was charged after he recounted Monday morning's events to Spotsylvania detectives, said Sheriff Howard Smith. Based on Walter Smith's accounts, police said Betsy Smith was beaten with a sledgehammer and stabbed before being raped. When Costello began crying, she was struck in the head with a sledgehammer. Betsy Smith, Costello and a 1-year-old boy were then locked inside the room.[/size]

[size=2 _extended="true"]"This is probably one of the more brutal cases that I've been involved in here," said Sheriff Smith, who has been with the sheriff's office for 22 years.[/size]

[size=2 _extended="true"]Walter Smith will likely be tried as an adult, said Spotsylvania County Commonwealth's Attorney Bill Neely.[/size]

[size=2 _extended="true"]Sheriff Smith said a detective went to the house Monday night after a hospital worker called to report a suspected case of child abuse after Costello was brought in for treatment. The toddler was later flown to a hospital in Richmond and listed in serious but stable condition with a fractured skull and nose.[/size]


[size=2 _extended="true"]A detective found family members of the child, including Walter Smith, in the house, the sheriff said. The detective found the dead body of Betsy Smith inside the padlocked room.[/size]

[size=2 _extended="true"]The sheriff said the children were not found until one of them began crying on Monday afternoon and Betsy and Walter Smith's mother, Mary Smith, told Walter to go check on them.[/size]

[size=2 _extended="true"]"Her face was messed up," Mary Smith said of Costello, who was the child of another one of Mary Smith's daughters. "I asked Andrea after I cleaned her face up what happened to her. She said she fell and bumped her head against the fuse box."[/size]

[size=2 _extended="true"]Mary Smith said she does not believe Walter Smith killed his sister.[/size]

[size=2 _extended="true"]"He don't remember nothing he did," she said. "He was out of it or something like that. It was an accident. He don't remember that stuff."[/size]

[size=2 _extended="true"]Mary Smith said her son had no history of violence, but said he was on medication for depression.[/size]