Extradition Hearing Set For Md. Slaying Suspect – Authorities Anticipate Prozac Defense — (Washington Post)

SSRI Ed note: Man on Prozac kills estranged wife, flees with 2 sons.

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 Washington Post

January 10, 1995

Author: Graciela Sevilla, Washington Post Staff Writer

Daniel Scott Harney, the Howard County man suspected of slaying his wife Dec. 26 and fleeing with the couple’s two sons, is scheduled to appear in a North Carolina courtroom today for a hearing on his extradition to Maryland, authorities said A separate hearing will determine whether the Harney children, Paul, 10, and Ryan, 8, will be placed in the temporary custody of Daniel Harney’s parents, who live in McLean.

“It appears the kids did not know about their mother’s death,” said Sgt. Steven Keller, spokesman for Howard County police.

The children have been in emergency foster care in Charlotte, N.C., since their father was arrested at a motel Saturday night in the fatal shooting of Shirley Scott Harney. An FBI manhunt ended when a tipster called police after seeing Daniel Harney on a commercial for the television program “America’s Most Wanted.”

Harney, 40, a financial administrator for Westinghouse Corp., has refused to talk with Howard County detectives who flew to Charlotte to interview him about the Ellicott City shooting, police said.

Harney was taken yesterday before a U.S. magistrate judge in Charlotte, and the magistrate granted Howard County police a warrant to compel him to provide blood and urine samples. Authorities are concerned that Harney may say his behavior was affected by the drug Prozac, and they want to determine possible levels of the antidepressant medication in his system, said Rick Mosquera, FBI special agent in charge in Charlotte.

Harney appeared in court without an attorney, said Sue Ellen Pierce, spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Charlotte.

Investigators continued to fill in events that followed the slaying of Harney’s estranged 41-year-old wife and wounding of her male companion at the Ellicott City home the Harneys once shared.    “We don’t know what caused him to kill her,” Keller said. “We don’t know if he planned this for months or if he just snapped.”

Last July, the Harneys separated, and Daniel Harney moved to an apartment in Baltimore County. As planned, he picked up his sons in the afternoon of Dec. 26 for a holiday vacation. That evening, police say, someone broke into the Ellicott City house and confronted Shirley Harney and her friend in a bedroom. Shirley Harney was shot several times with a .38-caliber handgun, forced out of her house and then apparently run over by a car after she collapsed in the driveway, police said. Her friend,William A. Helmbold, 45, of Baltimore County, suffered an arm wound.

Howard County police confirmed yesterday that Daniel Harney had bought a .38-caliber handgun from a Baltimore gun dealer in early December. Ballistics tests will be conducted on a .38-caliber handgun found in Harney’s car after his arrest, Keller said.

After the shooting, police say, Harney left Howard County with his sons almost immediately and headed south on Interstate 95. Harney and his sons stopped at least once in North Carolina and again in South Carolina before reaching Orlando, Fla., where they stayed a few days, Keller said.

While in Orlando, Harney apparently took his boys to Walt Disney World. Another caller to “America’s Most Wanted” later told police that she had seen Harney and his sons at Disney World on Dec. 29, three days after the slaying.  Several times, investigators learned of Harney’s movements through his use of automated teller machines and credit cards. But by New Year’s, the trail had gone cold.

That is when investigators say Harney checked into the $104-a-week Intown Suites Motel in Charlotte, where he was arrested a week later. Harney had been driving his car with its Maryland tags and had used his own name while registering at the motel and job hunting, police said

Record Number: 624215
Copyright 1995 The Washington Post