Thursday, June 5, 1997
Harmon weeps for addicted ex-wife, denies all
Former Prosecuting Attorney Dan Harmon denied any role in the
theft of cocaine from the 7th Judicial District Drug Task Force
and broke into tears Wednesday as he discussed his former wife's
"You have to understand, there were so many times she was
gone and I didn't know where the hell she was," Harmon testified
about his fourth wife, Holly DuVall, who he said began to hang
out with criminals in 1994.
"Number one, I was scared for her safety. Number two, she had
no business, being my wife, being associated with those people,"
Harmon began testifying Wednesday, the seventh day of his
trial on 11 federal charges, after a slew of defense witnesses
spoke about his good character, professionalism and truthfulness.
Harmon's testimony is expected to continue today.
Before putting her client in the witness chair, Harmon's
attorney, Lea Ellen Fowler, asked for a mistrial after
Prosecuting Attorney Paul Bosson of Hot Springs, whom she had
subpoenaed as a defense witness, testified that he previously had
Bosson, as special prosecutor, investigated allegations that
Harmon had kidnapped and made terroristic threats against DuVall
and complaints that Harmon had attacked two sheriff's deputies
and Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reporter Rodney Bowers. Harmon
resigned from office and pleaded guilty to two misdemeanors last
Chief U.S. District Court Judge Stephen M. Reasoner took the
mistrial request under advisement and said the attorneys could
discuss it later.
Reasoner did not return to the subject Wednesday, allowing
several more witnesses to testify instead.
Fowler had called Bosson to testify about his work with
Harmon in the seizure of money from Dewayne Littlepage. Harmon is
charged with extorting money from Littlepage.
However, Bosson also testified Wednesday that he did not like
to work with Harmon -- drawing another objection from Fowler.
"In 1993, I did not trust the 7th District Task Force or
anybody involved with it," he said. "I did not want to expose to
my officers to any wrongdoing that might come out of this."
Outside the presence of the jury, Bosson also told people
that he had heard a great deal about irregularities in Harmon's
office and that he had seen a file himself that made him
"There was a great deal of information going around about
people being stopped on I-30, money being seized, assets being
seized, but no prosecution," he said. Reasoner refused to allow
him to repeat the testimony before the jury.
Another defense witness, former drug task force officer and
Saline County Sheriff Larry Davis, testified that Harmon did not
have keys to the task force evidence locker.
But, during cross-examination, Davis also testified that he
had "several visits'' with Assistant U.S. Attorney Kevin
Alexander about Harmon's activities, "taking things to him and
then talking to him about the activities in which Mr. Harmon was
After a defense objection to the line of questioning,
Assistant U.S. Attorney Dan Stripling did not follow up on the
exact content of those conversations.
Federal prosecutors had previously targeted Harmon in a
Saline County drug and corruption case, but failed to indict him.
By February, 1990, prosecutors had interviewed 22 people and
several had appeared before a grand jury. However, former U.S.
Attorney Chuck Banks announced in 1991 that the investigation
failed to prove any wrongdoing by Harmon.
Asked about his meetings with Alexander outside court, Davis
referred all questions to Banks.
Fowler had better luck with other defense witnesses who
testified to Harmon's good character.
"I would trust him with my grandson, little children, my
niece," said Fred Wray, one of Harmon's friends. "As a matter of
fact, I'd trust him with my life. ... He's never lied to me."
Harmon is charged with racketeering, two counts of possession
with the intent to distribute cocaine hydrochloride, four counts
of conspiracy to extort money, three of conspiracy to manufacture
drugs, one of witness tampering and one of retaliation against a
One of the charges deals with the October 1995 break-in at
the evidence locker of the drug task force based in Harmon's
Last week, DuVall testified that Harmon helped her plot the
theft of more than one kilogram of cocaine, used the drug with
her, benefited from its sale and bought modeling clay to put back
in the locker wrapped as evidence so the cocaine wouldn't be
But Harmon testified Wednesday he knew nothing about the
break-in or his then-wife's arrest in a condominium near Hot
Springs a month later until a television reporter called him to
ask about it.
A search of the condominium by a drug dog uncovered the fake
bricks wrapped as evidence.
"I had no idea what a package containing silicone would be
doing in our evidence locker," he said. "If I was involved, what
was the stuff doing with her in a condo in Hot Springs? Why
didn't she just leave it at my house?
"Holly knows that if she told me something, I had a
responsibility to tell," he added.
Harmon expressed no anger at DuVall for testifying against
him, instead talking about how she had changed from the wonderful
woman he married into a hostile, combative person dependent on
Harmon also testified that he had never seen Ronnie Joe
Knight until the man appeared in the courtroom to testify against
Harmon is accused of watching Knight manufacture about 118
grams of methamphetamine in June 1994 and taking home half the
finished product. He is also accused of helping to provide Knight
with chemicals to manufacture more methamphetamine.
Knight had testified that he first met Harmon in the early
1980s when Harmon purchased large quantities of drugs from him in
exchange for $50,000.
"I've never seen that man before in my life," Harmon said.
"It's just incredible. I've never in my life had $50,000 in my
hand or in my bank account ... That never happened.'
Copyright 1997, Little Rock Newspapers, Inc. All rights reserved.