Northeast Dallas, USA: Forty-seven year old Mrs Mary Harrison admitted that she shot her husband, 49-year-old Dexter Harrison, dead because he was beating the family cat. They recently moved to the neighborhood. Neighbors said that she seemed incapable of murder. A neighbor interviewed on camera said that they were good people. The family cat had recently been lost and found.
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Comment: For me it is the ultimate sacrifice in protecting her cat. One can’t condone it but I can understand it. In fact I admire her for actions. I genuinely do.
There was almost certainly some background tension in this marriage which spilled over when her husband was beating the cat. She obviously loves cats. The cat had recently been lost and found as I understand it. Perhaps she was pleased the cat was back home and for some inexplicable reason the husband was abusing the cat (punishing the cat for getting lost?). I would suggest that she cracked, the red mist descended and as a gun was available, as it often is in America, she used it against her husband perhaps to stop him beating the family cat. Would you, could you do this?
However, we don’t know whether she used the weapon to stop him beating the cat. Perhaps she was trying to stop him and not to actually kill him. This will be her defense I suspect. She has been charged with murder and should be remanded into custody until the trial. Her life has been shattered. She has now lost her cat anyway because she won’t be able to live in her home unless she gets bail. In the UK she wouldn’t. I’d expect her cat will be taken to a rescue center and I hope that he or she is re-homed quickly. I hope the cat has not been seriously hurt by Mr Harrison.
It would be nice if someone could look after her cat until they can meet again.
I would suggest that her defense is either that she was provoked or she temporarily suffering from diminished responsibility and that she did not have an intention to kill her husband but to simply stop him beating the cat by injuring him (a lack of mental intent – mens rea).
She may just get away with a reduced sentence on the basis of these potential defenses. It is the ultimate sacrifice in terms of animal welfare. I don’t think she was thinking about that. She was probably thinking about stopping the cat abuse because she couldn’t stand it any more. It is possible that the husband had done something similar in the past and she cracked.
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