Garlic-Chopping Killer of Mealtime Attacker Acquitted

Categories: Crime, Law & Order
Chopping garlic.jpg
My Wooden Spoon
And then things got ugly...
It was a Dracula tale, Tenderloin style. Mike Harris, the resident of a Tenderloin residential hotel was chopping garlic for his lunch when 206-pound Andre Fluker busted into his room and punched him. Fluker then lunged toward Harris to strike him again and Harris plunged his stake steak knife into Fluker's chest. Fluker stumbled out of the room, was caught on surveillance tape, and later died at the hospital.

Fluker was known as a nuisance around the hotel; the employees often called the cops on him for trespassing or "terrorizing" other residents, according to a public defenders' press release. He had stored property in Harris' room and was apparently retrieving it when he got a knife to the chest.

A jury today acquitted Harris of second degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. They failed to reach a verdict on the voluntary manslaughter charge. The prosecutor can now decide whether to retry the case on that charge, says public defender spokeswoman Tamara Aparton. As the Chron reported, this was a jury with some legal expertise in its corner: Defense attorney Tony Tamburello was empaneled. 

While Harris was found not guilty, he's still not a free man. He's been in custody for the last 14 months since the killing was a probation violation (he had been on probation for a petty theft). His future dinner guests are advised to knock before entering.

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