Posted: Aug 26, 2013 5:46 PM by Erika Flores
Updated: Aug 27, 2013 3:34 AM
TUCSON - Galareka Harrison was back in court today for a chance at parole.
In 2008, she was sentenced to natural life after being convicted in the 2007 stabbing death of her roommate Mia Henderson.
Henderson had said Harrison stole her identity.
Harrison's new attorney argued previous public defenders did a bad hob investigating Harrison's troubled past.
It was an emotional hearing not only for Mia Henderson's family, but also for her convicted murderer's family who took this opportunity to speak on the behalf of their daughter.
Mia Henderson's picture was hanging around her father's neck.
He said it's the only thing he has left of his daughter. Henderson's booties from when she was a baby were in her mother's hands as she talked to the judge about her loss.
They said it was a loss not only to a family but a loss to both the Navajo and Hopi cultures.
Henderson's family said she had plans to be a doctor and give back to her community.
They described her as a beautiful, smart, enthusiastic young lady, and they said letting her convicted murderer have the opportunity for parole would keep their broken hearts from healing.
The prosecutor told the judge that there's no legal basis to alter the sentence.
He said even though Harrison had no criminal background, she did commit murder.
He said he doesn't believe a troubled upbringing or stress at the university contributed to it.
Attorney Alex Heveri said Harrison herself didn't even know how she could commit the crime.
Harrison's defense attorney said Harrison had an anxiety disorder that she never received treatment for.
"She had no coping skills for independent living," said Heveri.
Harrison's mother and father apologized to Henderson's family for their daughter's crime.
The judge sentenced Harrison to life with possibility for parole.
He told her not to waste this second chance
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