A Fitchburg woman said she heard voices before allegedly stabbing her 6-year-old daughter several times and then herself early last week, according to court documents.
The girl was in critical condition but is expected to recover, according to an Aug. 16 news release from Fitchburg police. The mother, 30-year-old Tasha D. Harmon, meanwhile, was first taken to a hospital and then to the Dane County Jail on charges of attempted first degree intentional homicide, the release said.
Harmon, who lives in the 5000 block of Anton Drive, in the Quarry Ridge Apartment Complex, reportedly knocked on a neighbor’s door at 2:23 a.m. Aug. 13 asking for help because she had stabbed herself and her daughter, according to the criminal complaint filed in Dane County Court last week. Police were dispatched to the scene after the neighbor called 911.
“I went crazy and tried to kill my daughter and myself,” Harmon told police after they arrived, according to the complaint.
At the scene, police found the girl lying on her back in the back bedroom. The girl told police, “Mommy tried to kill me,” and said she didn't know why, according to the complaint.
Harmon allegedly admitted to stabbing her daughter, saying she heard voices “telling her to kill (her daughter) but were not telling her to kill herself,” the complaint stated.
Harmon told police that she felt “God leading me all over the house” to start cleaning before the stabbing began, the complaint said, and she told police her daughter got scared after she started yelling and turned off all the lights. Harmon started screaming “Jesus is my savior” and yelled at her daughter to get out of her room “in Jesus’ name.”
Harmon said she was screaming so loudly that it was not her voice coming out of her body, and she didn’t know if it was Jesus screaming or the demons. Harmon said when she closed her eyes she could see Jesus going to hell and that she felt like it was “the end of the world,” according to the account in the complaint. That’s when she got out of bed, grabbed a knife from the kitchen, ran to the bedroom and allegedly stabbed her daughter, hearing voices saying it was not deep enough while her daughter screamed “no,” according to the complaint.
A physician from UW Hospital, where the 6-year-old was treated, later confirmed the daughter had three stab wounds to the chest and four stab wounds to her upper back, the complaint said. The girl’s left lung was protruding from her body, and she was given two chest tubes because the doctor said the condition could be fatal if not treated immediately.
Harmon’s preliminary hearing is set for Aug. 29. She is not to have any contact, direct or indirect, with her daughter. Last week her bail was set at $500,000, according to online court records.
Other online court records show Harmon previously was convicted of second-degree recklessly endangering safety in 2007 and also has past convictions for misdemeanors that include bail jumping and writing back checks.
If convicted of the attempted homicide charge, she faces up to 66 years in prison factoring in both that count and her 2007 conviction because of her status as a repeat offender, court documents indicate.
– Victoria Vlisides