60-year-old charged with killing 45-year-old boyfriend

60-year-old woman charged in killing boyfriend

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis police officers arrested a 60-year-old woman in connection to a shooting that killed a man Sunday evening.

Monday the woman was issued criminal charges of second-degree murder.

Officers received the report of a shooting in the area of Keltner Circle, which is southwest of Airways Boulevard and Lamar Avenue.

Richard Thomas, 45, had been shot and killed.

Police identified 60-year-old Betty Harris as a suspect in the homicide. Officers took her into custody. According to the police report, Harris admitted to shooting her boyfriend after an argument.

Neighbors describe Betty Harris as the person they go to for everything. She has no children, but her neighbors said she has gifts for children in the neighborhood on their birthday and gave out advice to anyone who needed it.

Now, the neighborhood is shocked she is being charged with murder.

"This is like a grand mamma to the neighborhood," neighbor Patricia Liggins said. "It was a couple of people sitting in her yard, just having a good time, listening to music. I went in my house, I lay down. My kids come in 'Momma, Ms. Betty, it something happen to her.'"

Harris' family isn't sure what happened.

"Whatever happened, he had to do something to provoke her to do what she did. She didn't just do it,"  said Harris' cousin Vertonia Harris.

Vertonia said her cousin was not violent and she had physical problems. She had a rod in one of her legs. According to neighbors, Harris complained about Richard Thomas being abusive and violent toward her.

"She asked him to leave her alone and he wouldn't and when the altercation happened in her house, he was trying to beat her."

Another neighbor said Thomas, who has a teenage daughter, was a nice guy. He lived in the same South Memphis apartment complex as Harris.

"He was just a good guy in the neighborhood, friendly," neighbor Allen Gaston said. "Walked around, speaks to everybody. It's a surprise when I heard what happened to him."

Harris is charged with second-degree murder.

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