Arizona Student Killed; Roommate Held

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - A University of Arizona student whose roommate had recently accused her of stealing from her is suspected of killing the woman during a fight in their dorm room, authorities said.

Galareka Harrison, 18, has been released from a hospital and was to be booked on a charge of first-degree murder in the death Wednesday of Mia Henderson, also 18, university spokesman Johnny Cruz said.

Cruz said he did not have any details on the fight between Harrison and Henderson, of the Navajo Nation. He did not say how Henderson died, but university police Sgt. Eugene Mejia said she had injuries "consistent with stabbing."

Mejia and jail spokesmen said they did not know whether Harrison has been appointed a lawyer. She denied all media requests for interviews, a jail spokesman added. Harrison was not listed in the university's phone directory, and attempts to reach her family were unsuccessful.

Campus police were called to the Graham-Greenlee residence hall shortly before 6 a.m. because of a fight involving injuries, Mejia said. They found Henderson and Harrison and took them to the hospital.

Henderson had filed a police report Aug. 28 saying that she had been the victim of a property theft and that she suspected her roommate, University Police Chief Anthony Daykin said.

The roommate had also been named as a possible suspect in a theft report filed by another student in the Graham-Greenlee residence hall, Daykin said.

Henderson had told officers she would not stay in the dorm room until her roommate was moved, he said. The university offered her alternative housing, but she declined, and Daykin said he doesn't know when she went back to the room.

Lee Ann Dejolie, a Northern Arizona University student who described herself as a close friend of Henderson's, said that she had spoken with Henderson this week and that the subject of her roommate came up.

"She said her roommate was going through her purse and taking stuff out of her purse. So Mia was really ticked off," Dejolie said.

The university did not institute a lockdown after the fight but did send e-mails to students, staff and faculty members advising them of the incident and the investigation.

University President Robert Shelton issued a statement later Wednesday, calling Henderson's death "a terrible tragedy that saddens everyone" at the school.

"At no time today was there a threat to anyone else on campus," the statement said. "Our police were on the scene within two minutes of the 911 call, provided medical treatment and secured the area."

The university has had stricter security since a student flunking out of the nursing school went on a shooting spree in October 2002, killing three members of the nursing faculty before committing suicide.

Since then, the university has conducted annual emergency readiness drills. Residence halls are locked 24 hours a day. Some buildings have camera security systems, and residence halls, as well as fraternity and sorority houses, have police liaisons.


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