Cleveland man sentenced to life in prison for murdering live-in girlfriend after jury returns guilty verdict

Cleveland man sentenced to life in prison for murdering live-in girlfriend after jury returns guilty verdict
Lowell Harris at sentencing

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A Cleveland man learned his fate from a judge Tuesday afternoon after being convicted of murdering his live-in girlfriend in April 2018.

Lowell Harris, 63, was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility for parole after 18 years.

The judge said that Harris repeatedly tried to portray himself as the victim in the situation, but the jury did not fall for his defense.

He even testified that the fatal gunshot wound was self-inflicted, but the medical examiner disputed those claims.

Jury members returned the verdict on Friday. Harris was found guilty of shooting and killing Holly Watkins inside their Emery Avenue home on the city’s West side on April 17, 2018. Cleveland police said she died of a gunshot wound to the neck.

Watkins, 57, left behind seven children. One of her children provided an emotional statement to Harris and the rest of the courtroom at his sentencing.

Cleveland man sentenced to life in prison for murdering live-in girlfriend after jury returns guilty

“All law enforcement agencies involved in this case deserve praise,” said Prosecutor O’Malley. “The Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force for quickly tracking down this dangerous criminal, the Medical Examiner’s Office for their analytical expertise in processing the crime, and Cleveland Police for their diligent work gathering evidence.”

According to the Northern Ohio Violent Fugitive Task Force, Harris had personal items of Watkins inside his coat pocket when he was arrested. Harris was also convicted of felonious assault.

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