Portsmouth attorney charged in Florida murder

Portsmouth attorney charged in Florida murder

Credit: Pensacola Police Dept. photo

Murder suspect William Harbour of Portsmouth

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by By Doug Aronson, 13News Investigator

WVEC.com

Posted on May 28, 2002 at 6:09 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 30 at 3:03 PM

A Portsmouth attorney is in jail in Florida, charged with murdering a man who was about to get married.

William Harbour's neighbors here didn't know a lot about him. They said Harbour tended to his antique car and kept to himself.

But Saturday morning, outside Pensacola, Florida, police say Harbour used a long-bladed knife to stab James Brown to death. He is not talking about the killing or any connection to Brown. "We've interviewed all the family members, the fiance several times, friends and neighbors. Right now, all we can say is it's senseless," remarked Mike Miller with the Escambia Co. Sheriff's Dept.

In a police report, a witness described seeing Harbour across the street from Brown's home on May 25th, "crouched along the road ... repeatedly grunting as he forced the weapon in a downward manner using both hands. When Harbour observed the witness watching him, Harbour smiled at the witness."

Just two months earlier, someone planted a bomb under a truck at Brown's place of work, but the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms isn't saying Harbour was involved. "As far as we know, there were no ties between Mr. Brown and Mr. Harbour that would link us or link him to this bombing investigation," said Rick Welch, a Pensacola ATF agent.

Harbour, a federal attorney with the Joint Forces Command based at Naval Station Norfolk, was on vacation at the time of the attack. A spokesman says his destination was Mississippi. Florida investigators said he had a job interview. But as of Friday, he was still in Hampton Roads. Records show he rented a car from Thrifty at Norfolk International that afternoon.

It's unclear whether Brown and Harbour had ever met. Investigators are seeing if they had any prior government business dealings.

Brown had a helicopter business and was a life long resident of Pensacola.

Harbour came from Arkansas and served a military stint in New York before moving to Portsmouth six years ago.

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