A Heber man will likely find out Thursday whether he'll stand trial in the slaying last fall of his friend and the wounding of his girlfriend.
Testimony in the preliminary hearing of Jimmy Harker is expected to wrap up Thursday afternoon, after which 4th District Judge Anthony Scofield will decide whether to bind Harker over for trial on charges of aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder, aggravated burglary and witness tampering.Harker, 33, is accused of fatally shooting his friend, G. Brent Winters, 40, outside Winters' trailer in the mountains east of Heber on Sept. 14. He's also accused of wounding his former girlfriend, Tracy Anderson, 22, who was shot in the cheek.
Prosecutors allege that Harker killed Winters and tried to kill Anderson because he was upset that his friend was having a romantic relationship with his former girlfriend. If convicted, Harker could be sentenced to five years to life in prison. He is being held without bail in the Wasatch County Jail.
Anderson testified Wednesday that she's certain Harker was the person arguing with Winters just moments before Winters was shot twice and that Harker was the person threatening her just moments before she was shot. Anderson said she never saw Harker's face in the dark trailer but recognized his voice.
Anderson said she and Harker lived together for about one year in Arizona. In July 1995, the couple's relationship soured and the two split up. Anderson said that Harker threatened her before she returned to Utah.
"He told me that if I slept with anybody else he would hunt me down like the dog I was and kill me," she said.
Harker soon followed Anderson to Utah, however, and the two dated for a few more weeks. Anderson again broke up with Harker toward the end of August and began dating Winters and spending nights at his trailer in the Lake Creek area east of Timber Lake Estates.
She said that on Sept. 14 she and Winters were asleep in the trailer when they were awakened by two knocks on the door. Winters pushed open the door and went outside. Anderson testified that she heard Harker accuse Winters of taking "my woman" and then heard two "cap-gun noises."
Anderson said she grabbed a cellular telephone and hid in the bathroom. She said Harker came into the trailer, grabbed her by the hair and said, "I'll kill you." She then heard another pop and felt a strange sensation on the side of her face. She called her father and police and then went outside and found Winters lying face down on the porch in a pool of blood.
Maureen Fricke, assistant state medical examiner, testified that Winters died from multiple gunshot wounds, one to his face and one to his chest.
Two Wasatch County deputy sheriffs testified that Harker told them shortly after his arrest that two previous wives had cheated on him and nobody should put up with it three times. Harker allegedly told one deputy that he confronted Winters after seeing him and Anderson in bed through the trailer window.
Harker wore a bulletproof vest during the entire proceeding Wednesday. The hearing is being held in the Provo courthouse for security reasons.