Exit133 is about Tacoma

Death Penalty for Allen Gregory

TACOMA, WA – Today a Pierce County jury rendered a unanimous decision to sentence Allen Gregory, 39, to death for the rape and murder of Geneine “Genie” Harshfield in 1996. Gregory was previously convicted of Aggravated Murder in the First Degree and was given the death penalty in 2001. Six years later, after a lengthy appeals process, the Washington Supreme Court upheld the defendant’s conviction but reversed his death sentence, citing judicial and prosecutorial error. The first jury that sentenced Gregory to death in 2001 heard evidence of a prior rape conviction. That rape conviction was subsequently reversed, and was not considered by the second jury. 

On July 27, 1996, 43-year-old Genie Harshfield failed to appear for her shift as a bartender at a Tacoma restaurant. A concerned coworker went to Harshfield’s home and found her body in the bedroom. Harshfield was lying face down on her bed, naked with her hands bound behind her back. She had been stabbed three times in the back and her throat was slit. The medical examiner found evidence of sexual assault and determined Harshfield’s cause of death was multiple sharp force injuries and blunt force trauma to the head.

Gregory lived across from the victim at the time of the murder. He gave detectives inconsistent information about his whereabouts during the time of the murder. DNA analysis of semen found at the scene indicated a likelihood of fewer than one in 180 billion that Gregory was not the source. 

Deputy Prosecuting Attorney John Neeb prosecuted the defendant in a two-month long trial. Gregory will be sentenced on June 13, 2012, at 9:00 a.m. in Courtroom 2E in the County City Building.

For more information, please contact Rebecca Stover at (253) 798-4910, rstover@co.pierce.wa.us.



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