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Brigitte Harris is a Queens, New York woman who caused the accidental suffocation and castration death of her Liberian-born father Eric Goodridge in her Rockaway, Queens apartment. Both Brigitte and her sister, have stated that their father raped and sexually abused them since they were little girls. Due to the details of the case, Brigitte received the support of: US Senator Chuck Schumer, New York State Senators Diane Savino and Eric Adams. At Brigitte's highly publicized trial in fall 2009, she was convicted of second-degree manslaughter and sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison.
Brigitte Harris was born on June 6, 1981. When she was 2 years old, she was abandoned by her mother in their Park Hill, New York apartment, and she went to live with her father on Bay Shore, New York. Her father later moved back to his home country of Liberia, and Brigitte moved around with relatives. She was physically abused by her grandmother; "In that house we were slaves and if we disobeyed, grandma hit us with a stick" said Harris. Brigitte also claimed she was sexually abused by her cousin "My cousin forced me to perform oral sex on him." During a family trip to Liberia, Brigitte confronted her mother and pastor about the abuse from her relatives but Eric Goodridge denied the allegations, claiming that she was crazy. By the age of 17 Brigitte became independent and got her own place. When she was 26, Brigitte had been living on her own for years and worked as an airport security guard.
Despite jury letters, Queens Supreme Court Judge Arthur Cooperman sentenced Brigitte Harris to the maximum of 5 to 15 years in prison. After serving 5 years, she was released on parole on August 13, 2012.
Brigitte stated that "I don't think killing him was the answer...I can't believe I actually did it. The only thing I had in my mind was to stop him." She also stated that she wants to work for the advocacy group STEPS to End Family Violence when she gets out of prison.
Brigitte's case was profiled on the Oxygen Network series Snapped in November 2010. The program contains statements from Brigitte, her attorney Arthur L. Aidala and her supporters. Her case was later profiled on the Investigation Discovery program
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