When it comes to the big day, emotions often run high, and that applies all the more so when alcohol is involved.
But when 30-year-old Christina George-Harvan from Pennsylvania had too much to drink at a bar with her niece, 21-year-old Katelyn Francis, things went horribly wrong when George-Harvan shot Francis to death over an argument about who was driving that night.
Following the lovely wedding ceremony in April 2014, the guests went to Jimmy K’s bar in New Brighton for some after-wedding drinks.
The argument over who was to drive home spilled out into the parking lot outside the bar next to the car of the groom, Jeremy Harvan; this was the site of the shooting.
Just last Friday, a court convicted the aunt of involuntary manslaughter and reckless endangerment, which are both class one misdemeanors.
Despite finding herself behind bars, Francis’ family said they are pleased with the verdict, as her mother, Julie Francis, told reporters, “I didn’t think there would be a not guilty verdict. We figured there would be something. And this is the least of those charges.”
When the accused took the stand on Thursday, she told the court about the period leading up to the shooting, explaining that there was a lot of tension between her and her niece.
She told the court, “I was happy…she was so cute. We were only nine years apart. The first thing she did was say, ‘Aunt Tina, I’m so happy for you,’ and gave me a big hug.”
When Mr. Harvan tried to make himself the designated driver for the night, the argument got heated and George-Harvan took the keys from him. As she explained, “When I turned around, the glove box is open and I see this gun. I think I gotta move this gun. I go get it out of the glove box to move it and boom the gun goes off. She added, ‘I felt devastated. It was like a nightmare. Your wedding day is supposed to be the best day of your life and my niece is dead.”
[Image credit: WTAE]