Lawrence Leathers, a Grammy award-winning jazz drummer, was found dead in the stairwell of his building in The Bronx, New York on Sunday. Police have arrested Leathers’ live-in girlfriend, Lisa Harris, and her friend, Sterling Aguilar, and have charged them both with assault in connection with Leathers’ death.
Police say that Harris and Leathers got into a fight on Sunday night and that it quickly turned physical. Aguilar tried to break up the fight, but Leathers got him into a chokehold. That’s when, they say, Harris started punching Leathers in the face until he let Aguilar go. Aguilar then held Leathers down until he passed out.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Leathers Accused Lisa Harris of Cheating on Him. Hours Later, He Was Found Dead
Lisa Harris and Lawrence Leathers lived together in Leathers’ apartment in the Mott Haven section of The Bronx. But Leathers’ landlady says that she never saw any signs of romance between the two; in fact, she told the Daily News, she regularly saw Leathers bringing boyfriends home. She says that she had believed that Harris and Leathers were cousins.
“The first time I heard he was her boyfriend was when she told the cops. I nearly fell over. I never saw any romance between the two of them,” she told the Daily News. “She lied to me. She told me he was her cousin.”
On Sunday, Harris and Leathers were at a friend’s barbecue when Leathers accused Harris of cheating on him. He reportedly stormed off, leaving Harris at the party. When she returned home, with Aguilar, a fight began. Hours later, Leathers’ body was found dumped in the building’s stairwell.
2. Harris & Aguilar Allegedly Dumped Leathers’ Unconscious Body in a Stairwell, Leaving Him to Die
Police say that Harris and Leathers got into a fight on Sunday night, hours after he accused her of cheating on him. The fight quickly turned physical, according to police. Aguilar, who was in the apartment when the fight broke out, tried to intervene, but Leathers got him into a chokehold. That’s when, police say, Harris started punching Leathers in the face until he let Aguilar go. Aguilar then held Leathers down until he passed out. The couple apparently dumped his unconscious body in a stairwell of the building, leaving him to die.
Both Aguilar and Harris have been charged with manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide. Police say that Aguilar placed Leathers in a chokehold that was so tight it broke bones in Leathers’ neck.
3. Harris & Aguilar Were Once a Couple, Local Media Says
News 12 in The Bronx reports that Aguilar was Harris’s ex-boyfriend. It’s not clear when the 41 year old Harris and the 28 year old Aguilar dated, or for how long. Harris had been in a relationship with Leathers for several years, according to news reports, and the couple was living together. However, there are no photos of Harris on Leathers’ Facebook page. Their landlord also did not know that they were in a relationship. She told the Daily News that she had believed they were cousins. She also said that Harris often brought home other men.
On Sunday night, Leathers reportedly accused Harris of cheating on him. This led to a physical fight at the couple’s home. Aguilar wa there, and interfered. He eventually got Leathers into a chokehold and knocked him unconscious. Aguilar and Leathers then dumped Leathers’ body in a stairwell, leaving him to die.
4. Lisa Harris Had Just Earned Her Masters Degree & Was Planning to Become a Teacher
Lisa Harris had just graduated from CUNY (the City University of New York) when Leathers was killed. Harris and Leathers first had words on Sunday night at a barbecue where they were celebrating Harris’ graduation. According to their landlord, Harris was planning to become a teacher after graduation. “She got her masters. She was going to be a school teacher,” the landlord told the Daily News. “We’re all in shock.”
5. Harris Worked as an Office Assistant in CUNy’s Department of Mechanical Engineering
According to CUNY’s listing of faculty and staff, Lisa Harris was an office assistant in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Harris was a graduate student at CUNY and had just earned her Masters degree. Her landlady said she was plannning to become a teacher once she earned the degree.