The News-Democrat & Leader has learned that Joseph Harris, the man who shot his former girlfriend Amanda Harper on Tuesday in Russellville, had a history of domestic violence.
In addition to being arrested on March 5 for breaking into the Harper’s apartment and threatening to shoot her, Harris was also arrested in 2009 on a domestic violence charge against his then mother-in-law, Judy Bryant.
Harris was shot and killed by officers of the Russellville Police Department around lunchtime Tuesday after he was reported to have approached Harper in a McDonald’s drive-through, shooting her once in the upper body, then fleeing the scene on foot. Upon being challenged by three Russellville police officers, Harris brandished a firearm towards the officers who then fired at Harris striking him approximately three times. Harris was pronounced dead at the scene by Logan County Coroner Mary Givens.
According to the arrest report in September 2009, Harris was arrested by Lewisburg Police Chief Alan Alsup and charged with assault fourth degree-domestic violence for throwing his mother-in-law down in the parking lot of the T-Mart.
The report stated that Alsup received a complaint of disturbance in progress at the T-Mart. Upon Alsup’s arrival, Harris had stated that he and his wife at the time had separated and he was picking his daughter up. He further stated that his mother-in-law tried to stop him and he threw her to the ground. Bryant made the same statement.
Harris received a deferred prosecution order from the judge with the stipulation that he stay out of trouble for one year. He was not arrested again until March 5 this year.
For much more on the shooting and the aftermath, pick up a copy of Friday’s News-Democrat & Leader.
To contact Chris Cooper, email [email protected] or call 270-726-8394.