Crime & Courts

Murder trial to begin for McHenry man charged in wife's 2016 stabbing death

Anthony Harrison, 33,
Anthony Harrison, 33,

A man accused of stabbing his wife in the neck and waiting two days before calling police is slated for trial Monday.

Anthony Harrison, 33, faces first-degree murder charges in connection with the death of 30-year-old Laura Harrison in 2016. During a hearing Thursday, prosecutors said Anthony Harrison later planned to burn down the couple’s McHenry home, citing receipts for a 31-gallon trash can and a 5-gallon can of gasoline that were bought after Laura Harrison’s death.

On June 6, 2016, Anthony Harrison called 911 and reported harming himself, later revealing his wife’s death to the police dispatcher.

When officers eventually searched the home, they discovered Laura Harrison’s body beneath a pile of firewood in the basement, prosecutors said.

Anthony Harrison was treated for his injuries at Advocate Condell Medical Center in Libertyville, and taken to the McHenry County Jail, where he has remained on a $3 million bond since June 8, 2016.

About the time of his 2016 arrest, Anthony Harrison was expected to receive court supervision on a domestic battery charge.

The misdemeanor stemmed from accusations that he hit and scratched Laura Harrison during a 2015 dispute, prosecutors said.

Attorneys argued Thursday whether to allow at trial certain statements Laura Harrison made in connection with the 2015 domestic battery.

Because Laura Harrison can’t testify herself, prosecutors are relying on an Illinois Supreme Court ruling on the conviction of former Bolingbrook police officer Drew Peterson to allow hearsay testimony about the alleged abuse.

McHenry County Judge James Cowlin is expected to rule Monday morning whether to allow those statements as evidence. Cowlin also will preside over Anthony Harrison’s bench trial in the afternoon.

The judge agreed Thursday to consider other evidence connected with the 2015 domestic dispute, noting the accusations were similar to the events that led to Laura Harrison’s death the following year, he said.

“This case really is all about domestic violence ... ” Cowlin said.

Anthony and Laura Harrison met at age 19 when they attended North Central College in Naperville.

Anthony and Laura Harrison married shortly thereafter and moved to the McHenry residence in December 2015.

Laura Harrison, formerly Laura Yunger, originally was from Naperville.

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