Last year, Christina George-Harvan had the best and worst day of her life: On one hand, she had just gotten married and was deliriously happy; on the other, she shot her niece dead during an argument after the party. Now, George-Harvan has taken the stand to defend herself against accusations that she shot her niece deliberately.
CBS Pittsburgh reports that the shooting occurred when George-Harvan's niece, Katelyn Francis, started an argument about how the bride and groom would be getting home. According to George-Harvan, both she and her new husband were inebriated and Francis wanted to make sure that they'd live to see more than just their wedding day.
From CBS Pittsburgh:
I was happy…she was so cute. We were only nine years apart. The first thing she did was say, 'Aunt Tina, I'm so happy for you,' and gave me a big hug."
But as the drinking continued, and she said her husband Jeremy Harvan became belligerent about driving home, the victim asked for his keys. And once inside the car, the defendant noticed his gun.
Of an argument in the car between the victim and her husband over the car keys, George-Harvan testified, "When I turned around, the glove box is open and I see this gun. I think I gotta move this gun. I go get it out of the glove box to move it and boom the gun goes off."
A ballistics expert has testified that it's possible that George-Harvan unloaded the gun by accident, as she was inexperienced with the weapon. She was also inebriated and the combination of alcohol and inexperience proved to be fatal. George-Harvan says that before she knew what was happening, Francis was down on the ground and bleeding.
"Everything freezes," George-Harvan testified. "Jeremy says, 'You just shot your [expletive] cousin. He steps over her dying body and he runs. I put pressure on [Katelyn's[ wound and I screamed and dialed 911."
By the time help arrived, it was already too late. Francis died on her way to the hospital and George-Harvan was charged with her death. Since the shooting, which happened in April of last year, George-Harvan has resigned from her job and remains devastated over her niece's death.
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