Investigators Coerced Anthony Harris When He Was 12 To Admit To The Murder Of His 5-Year-Old Neighbor
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Investigators Coerced Anthony Harris When He Was 12 To Admit To The Murder Of His 5-Year-Old Neighbor

Anthony Harris speaks with ABC 20/20. (Screenshot) Image Credit: YouTube

In the summer of 1998, a 5-year-old girl vanished from her apartment, and Anthony Harris, then 12 years old, was charged and convicted of murdering Devan Duniver, according to ABC News. 

Over 20 years later, Harris’ conviction was overturned, but he still deals with the trauma in the aftermath of the heinous crime. 

On June 27, Duniver disappeared from her New Philadelphia, Ohio, apartment, and a day later, her body was found in a nearby wooded area. She was stabbed seven times in the neck, People reports

“She was so young and she had passed away,” said an emotional Harris to ABC News’ 20/20 in an exclusive interview two years ago.

Harris, a former Marine, is frustrated that the actual killer of Duniver has not been brought to justice.

“The girl’s dead, my life has been destroyed, and this guy, this individual’s still free right now,” he said to ABC News anchor John Quiñones in an interview aired Friday, May 6, at 9 p.m. ET. “We’re going to figure this out [and] give her some kind of closure.”

Police had other viable leads to consider but instead focused their attention on Harris, according to a lawsuit, People reports.

During a hostile interrogation, investigators pressured Harris to admit to her murder which eventually placed him behind bars — despite lacking evidence to verify him at the scene of the murder.

“The investigator, he had basically told me that, ‘If you confess to this murder you can go home,'” said Harris. “It’s like, ‘Okay. Well, I’m over here scared, so I want to go home.'”

Harris won an appeal, and his conviction was overturned after spending two years in juvenile detention.

“There’s no sense to be bitter,” Harris said to 20/20. “Even though it hurt a lot, it didn’t destroy my core as a person, the things I believe in, the things I grew up to become. That’s why I don’t hold resentment in my voice when I speak.”