Guilty” Verdict in Dominique Bassil Murder Case

Jurors today found Dominique Bassil guilty of second-degree murder while armed in connection with the stabbing death of her boyfriend, Vance Harris III.

Jurors deliberated for three full days before announcing their verdict at about 11 a.m. Friday.

The announcement was delivered to a courtroom silent but for Bassil’s tears.

“What about my baby?” Bassil cried, as her defense attorney, Madalyn Harvey, consoled her with her left arm around Bassil’s shoulders.

At trial Harvey had argued that Bassil stabbed Harris in self-defense. She asked the jury to believe what Bassil told them when she testified at trial: that Harris was drunk and agitated after a wedding reception where the two apparently argued and that Bassil had reason to be scared of him.

“He was a manly type of man, not some kind of softy,” Harvey said. “Just because his friends say he didn’t get angry at the wedding, does not mean that he did not go home and beat his woman, which is exactly what happened.”

Prosecutors had argued that the stabbing was not in self defense. In closing arguments Monday, Assistant U.S. Attorney Michelle Jackson urged jurors to conclude that Harris posed no threat to Bassil.

“He didn’t threaten her. All the evidence has shown that he didn’t lay a finger on her,” Jackson said.

“I wish she wasn’t guilty for sure,” said Bassil’s mother, Peeair Bassil. “She didn’t mean to kill him. If she did, she wouldn’t have called me that night. I just hope when they sentence her they don’t hit her too hard.”

Bassil’s aunt, Tabitha Howard, said the family would now have to explain the verdict to Bassil’s eight-year-old daughter

“Her daughter doesn’t know anything about this,” she said. “She’s not going to understand why her mother’s not coming back.”

Members of Harris’ family who had attended the trial were not visible in the courtroom for the verdict Friday morning.

Judge Morin ordered Bassil be held until sentencing which is scheduled for January 18, 2013.

blog comments powered by Disqus