***Copied from The Ahwatukee Foothills News***
"Harrod Murder Trial Hears Medical Testimony"
by Guinda Reeves
October 29, 1997
The specific time of Jeanne Gunter Tovrea's death isn't known, said Maricopa County's chief medical examiner, Dr. Phillip Keen. "We just really don't know," he added. The "time of discovery" of the 55-year-old Phoenix socialite's body in her Lincoln Hills Estates home on April 1, 1988, was used to determine the official time of death, Keen told defense co-counsel Michael Bernays. Ahwatukee Foothills resident James Cornel Harrod, 43, is charged with first-degree murder and burglary, and faces the death penalty. Prosecutors contend it was a murder-for-hire scheme, but no other persons have been charged. The five gunshot wounds to Jeanne Tovrea's head, while she apparently slept, "weren't all fatal," Keen said. Three of the five wounds were lethal and two were non-fatal, said the forensic patholigist. "The fatal shots would have caused instantaneous death, " he said. Dr. Mike Luster, husband of Jeanne Tovrea's daughter, Debbie Nolan-Luster, testified about his wife's behavior after a July 1987 meeting between Jeanne Tovrea and a man calling himself Gordon Phillips, who had claimed to be a Time-Life writer. The prosecution contends that Phillips was actually Harrod. "Debbie slept with a large butcher knife under her pillow-'slept' is not the verb there- he placed a large butcher knife under her pillow," said Luster. Glenn Kearney, a longtime friend of Ed Tovrea Sr. and a accountant who had worked for several Tovrea family businesses, told the court that Jeanne Tovrea "was very conservative" with investments for the residual trust set up after her husband's death. As specified in Ed Tovrea Sr.'s will, Jeanne Tovrea had lived off the interest income from the nearly $4 million residual trust, which upon her death went to three adult stepchildren-Geogia, Ed Jr. (Hap), and Priscilla. Kearney testified he had been a co-signer on checks for both Ed Tovrea Sr. and Jeanne Tovrea, and had helped Jeanne Tovrea with some financial matters such as paying bills. Jeannne Tovrea's relationship with her stepson, Hap, had soured "probably within a year after (Ed Sr.'s) death," Kearney said. But in the interim period, Kearney testified, there had been a friendly exchange of personal property. Jeanne Tovrea gave Hap his father's diamond ring and a rolex watch, and Hap gave her a copy of Ed Sr.'s letter to him and his two sisters.