Mother Sentenced to Life for Botched Revenge Against Man Who Allegedly Molested Her Daughter

A Georgia mother is facing life in prison for her role in a deadly shootout that occurred during her effort to get revenge against the man who allegedly molested her child. The sentencing represents the conclusion of a tragic story of a mother who tried to get justice for her daughter by taking the law into her own hands.

The story began on March 31, 2020, when 42-year-old Danyale Harris discovered a video showing her 12-year-old daughter involved in a sexual act with 22-year-old Antonio Harley. The next day, she reported the footage to the Dekalb County Police Department (DKPD).

The authorities “warned her not to let her anger get the best of her and not to try to get revenge,” according to a press release issued by the Office of the Dekalb County District Attorney.

At around 3:30 a.m. on April 1, 2020, Defendant Harris reported the information to an officer with the DeKalb County Police Department (DKPD).  The officer involved the DKPD Special Victim’s Unit, took the report, and told Defendant Harris that detectives would get in touch with her.   He warned her not to let her anger get the best of her and not to try to get revenge.
Just hours later, however, Defendant Harris drove a large group of people to an apartment complex near the intersection of Wesley Chapel Road and Snapfinger Road to confront Harley.   Defendant Harris and three of the people she brought with her were armed with handguns.
At around 1 p.m. Defendant Harris instructed her daughter to point out which apartment was Harley’s. Defendant Harris knocked on the front door with the group behind her.  Harley did not open the door, but instead came around from the side of the apartment building to see who was there.  Defendant Harris and the rest of the group chased Harley, who managed to make it back inside his apartment through the back door.
As soon as Harley shut the door, someone in the group outside opened fire, striking Harley in the chest.  Harley’s brother, who was inside the apartment, fired back in an effort to protect himself and five of his younger siblings who were just feet away inside the apartment.
Juan Newkirk, 19, who was part of the group that had come to the apartment complex with Defendant Harris, was struck and killed in the exchange of gunfire.
Immediately following the guilty verdicts, DeKalb County Superior Court Judge Asha F. Jackson, who presided over the trial, sentenced Defendant Harris to Life with the possibility of parole, plus five years.

On March 22, 2024, a jury found Harris guilty of felony murder, aggravated assault, conspiracy to commit aggravated assault, and possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony. Two other individuals involved in the confrontation were also charged.

Harley is facing charges of statutory rape, child molestation, and sexual exploitation of children. His case is still pending. District Attorney Sherry Boston weighed in on the case, explaining that Harris “is now facing the consequences of her actions.”

What is truly tragic about this story is that any parent can understand why Harris did what she did. Anyone would be rightfully livid in her position. However, her decisions led to the death of another person and the loss of her freedom. In this case, it likely would have been wiser to allow the authorities to do their jobs instead of taking unnecessary risks.

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