On Friday, February 23, 2018, Kirsten A. O’Hara, age 31 of Hoquiam was sentenced by Superior Court Judge David Edwards to the top of the standard range for murder in the first degree.
O’Hara was sentenced to 344 months in prison after pleading guilty to the murder of Robert H. Harmon, age 95, at his home in Hoquiam on July 9, 2017. O’Hara was Harmon’s next door neighbor and was stealing and forging Harmon’s checks until she was discovered. O’Hara admitted she killed Harmon to cover up the theft.
Judge Edwards commented he would have sentenced O’Hara to life in prison, so she would never be out in society, if he had the ability to do so. Judge Edwards could only sentence O’Hara to the maximum allowed under state sentencing guidelines for the crime, which was a little over 28 1/2 years in prison.
Hoquaim Police Chief Jeff Myers said in a press release from the department, ”
I attended the sentencing on behalf of the department and sat with Mr. Harmon’s daughter, Kathleen. Although this sentencing brings some closure to this terrible crime, it does not relieve the grief suffered by Mr. Harmon’s family in this loss.”
Myers shared the victim impact statement which Kathleen submitted to the court and was reviewed prior to sentencing by Judge Edwards:
Trying to put my feelings down on paper has been an impossible task. The shock, disbelief, hate, love, loneliness I feel is overwhelming.
My father always met Mike and his friends for coffee every morning at 6:00. At 9:00 he was at my house putting pellets in my stove, playing with my dog and sometimes telling stories of his life.
I still look for him. All I think about now is how dad was murdered. He’s dead forever. The man I still counted on is gone. The 100th birthday party I wanted to plan is gone. The strength in my life is gone in the time it took you to stab and beat my father.
His death is forever.
The hardest thing I have ever had to do was make arrangements for him.
You beat him so badly; stabbed him in the face and neck. I couldn’t go see him, hold his hand and say goodbye.
What kind of person could do that? You need to be in prison forever. What’s to say when you get out, you won’t do the same thing to someone else or me? I’m afraid.
You shouldn’t be given any chance. You didn’t give any thought to what you were doing to my father—a 95-year old man. The man who raised me. The man I loved and respected.
In order to live a worthwhile life, you have to have a place in your heart for family and friends. Kirsten, you have shattered my life; killed my favorite person. I’ve lost the day-to-day things, simple ones–the sparkle in his eyes, his smiles, laughter, the love in his heart.
I can’t forget unlocking the door at my dad’s the day Mike and I found him. Opening the door and seeing all the blood pooled in the bathroom, blood all over the floor in front of me. Blood spattered on the walls everywhere. I remember the horrible things I saw. It haunts me with sleepless nights and nightmares. The fear and the pain he must have felt while he was fighting for his life.
I can’t get over you just locked the door behind you when you left my father’s home. You had just fought with and killed my dad.
My father was a kind and giving man. He deserves justice done so he can rest in peace. I’m his voice and eyes now. I hope you have to pay every day for what you’ve done. Most of all, when you close your eyes at night, you’re haunted. You see his face and you never forget what you have done.
All I have left now is a small bit of ashes.
Myers concluded, “I appreciate all the hard work by our investigators as well as the assistance we received from our fellow law enforcement agencies who provided resources, crime scene techs and detectives on this case, especially the Washington State Patrol and Grays Harbor County Sheriff’s Department. I am so sorry for Kathleen’s loss as well as everyone who loved Bob.”
JEFF MYERS, Chief of Police