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Sister of slain attorney discusses her domestic violence related murder 15 years later

3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago Wednesday, June 19 2024 Jun 19, 2024 June 19, 2024 9:20 PM June 19, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - They say time heals all wounds. For Danita Tate -- it's not true after 15 years. 

"Time doesn't heal. It's just that some days are better than others," she said. 

It's been 15 years since her sister Chiquita Tate was murdered.

Chiquita was a rising star defense attorney in Baton Rouge. She had recently opened her own practice, where she would be found stabbed to death.

"Even after 15 years it still hasn't left my mind about what she went through in there by herself."

Police would determine Chiquita's husband, Greg Harris was responsible and eventually charge him with her murder, which is something Danita had to grapple with.

"One minute it feel like it had to be [him] because who else would want to kill her? But I guess I was in denial and couldn't accept it," Danita said.

During the trial, the truth about the couple's troubled marriage came out. Prosecutors say Chiquita was planning to leave, and that Harris was jealous of her success.  Harris maintained his innocence.

Danita says looking back, there were small signs that Harris was capable of violence, but that Chiquita herself never said anything. Then there was the incident in 2007.

"One night she called me screaming in the phone....she was like 'he up here trying to jump on me' and I was like 'we on our way'," Danita said.

However when Danita arrived, Chiquita changed her story. "She started laughing and she said 'I just wanted to show him how fast y'all would get up here if he tried to do me something.'"

"Once we made it to trial, then that's when we found out that night was real," Danita said.

For Danita, it took her a while to understand her sister's unwillingness to discuss the realities of her marriage.

"I was just dealing with why she didn't tell us? She could still be here. But I was uneducated about it, but now that I'm educated about it, it's either they are trying to protect their loved ones -- like she knew that I probably would be doing life in jail had I known, so they either be trying to protect us from getting in trouble or they have hopes that he or she are going to change."

Now, she uses her sister's story to educate others in domestic violence situations about not speaking up.

"I try to convince them to not be ashamed number one because it's not your fault. Don't be afraid and I tell them to make a plan with only somebody they can trust. Do not let him know that you're trying to

Since his conviction, Harris and his attorneys have filed several appeals, all to no avail. The most recent filing was last month requesting a motion for state police to produce evidence. 

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