Jury recommends 16-year sentence for Goochland teacher attacker - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Jury recommends 16-year sentence for Goochland teacher attacker

Uriah Harris Uriah Harris
GOOCHLAND, VA (WWBT) -

For the first time we hear from the Henrico man convicted in the brutal beating of a Goochland Middle School teacher. Uriah Harris is facing 16 years in prison after representing himself in a trial that lasted less than a day on Thursday.

"I'm glad the victim is still alive. Everybody's happy. It's not over," Harris said as deputies led him away. A jury found him guilty of beating the teacher, his ex-girlfriend, in the school's parking lot last December.

In court the victim took the stand, reliving the day Harris attacked her. Although it was difficult, the victim's loved ones says she is strong.   

"She's been very good and talking and trying to work through it and to also make sure the rest of us understand what she's been through," says Patrica Bruno, the victim's friend.

Harris represented himself during the one day trial.  He did not present any evidence or witnesses but did say in opening statements that he still loved the victim.  The Commonwealth aired a school surveillance video showing Harris waiting for the victim and attacking her.  It also shows the two teachers stepping in, ultimately saving the victim's life.  In court, investigators say they found a knife with a six-inch blade under the woman's body.

"It was really hard because my thoughts went to her and hard it was for her and how hard the past year and a half has been," says Bruno.

After finding Harris guilty, he asked jurors to consider the fact that he has two children to take care of, but the jury recommended 16 years in jail. 

Outside the courthouse Harris didn't think it was fair.

"But I signed up for a jury trial that's what happened," he said.  "To the victim I'm glad she's alive and well."

Harris will go before a judge in January for final sentencing.

Copyright 2013 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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