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Stabbing case forwarded to Circuit Court

March 08, 2006|by PEPPER BALLARD

A District Court judge found probable cause Tuesday to forward to Circuit Court all charges against a man accused of stabbing his mother Feb. 6 in their Halfway home.

Daniel Harp, 43, is charged with attempted first-degree and attempted second-degree murder. He is accused of stabbing Nancy Harp, 68, two or three times at the 11234 Scarlet Oak Drive home they shared.

Nancy Harp, who has multiple sclerosis and was under her son's care at the time of the stabbing, was released about 10 days after the assault from Washington County Hospital, according to her daughter, Deena Harp, 45.

At the hearing, Daniel Harp, an amputee whose orange jail jumpsuit was knotted below his right knee, slumped in his chair, clutched his crutches with one hand and showed little expression as Washington County Sheriff's Department Deputy Jon Witmer explained the investigation.

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Witmer testified that Daniel Harp's father, Dewitt Harp Jr., greeted him and Deputy Todd Crowder when they arrived at the home at 10:15 p.m.

Dewitt Harp "stated his son had just stabbed his wife and they were both upstairs," Witmer testified.

Witmer testified that Daniel Harp "had blood on his hands and on his clothes" and a bloodstained "kitchen knife," which was 8 to 10 inches long, was found on the bedroom floor.

Daniel Harp "stated 'I can't believe I stabbed my mother' several times," Witmer testified.

Witmer testified that when Daniel Harp was interviewed at Sheriff's Department headquarters, Harp told him he decided to stab his mother while the two were drinking beer and sloe gin in the kitchen earlier that night.

Witmer testified that during the interview, Daniel Harp claimed his parents sexually abused him when he was a child.

"He made up his mind he was going to stab her," Witmer said.

Daniel Harp gave his mother Valium and other medicine "to try to make it easier for him to kill her," Witmer testified.

After the hearing, a crying Deena Harp said, "My parents never sexually abused him."

District Judge Ralph H. France II presided over the preliminary hearing.

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