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False Reporting Suspect Speaks after Teen's Death
MOBILE, Ala. (WPMI) A man charged with filing a false robbery report that led to a chase that ended in a teen's death spoke exclusively with Local 15 News on Wednesday.
Back in June, Mobile Police said 59-year-old Albert Conner lied when he told officers that 16-year-old Edna Harris and another man hit, robbed, and carjacked him. The robbery report led police to chase Harris and she crashed on Government Street and died.
In response to last week's interview with Edna Harris' mother, Albert Conner said he wants to clear his name because much of what Harris' mother said was not true. He said he should never have been charged with falsely reporting a robbery and he certainly shouldn't be blamed for Edna Harris' death.
"I wanted to get the truth out that I'm not a murderer. I'm not a pedophile. I'm 59. I've never been involved in no kind of trouble," said Conner.
"I want him charged with manslaughter," said Edna Harris' mother, Dorothy Harris last week.
Harris told Local 15 News she blames Conner for what happened to her daughter, because if he hadn't filed a false report she believes her daughter would be alive.
"How am I involved? When she had an opportunity to stop," said Conner.
Conner said he met Harris at a gas station less than four weeks before her death. He said they exchanged numbers and met for their first arranged meeting on the day of the crash when he picked her up outside her home.
"When I got there, there was a gentleman talking to her. She finally came and got in my car. It was a guy driving a white Camry. And as she got in my car we pulled off and this Camry was following us also," Conner said.
Conner said he took Harris to his friend's apartment at Downtown Renaissance Apartments on Bloodgood Street. He said he was robbed while trying to use the bathroom.
"It happened so fast. She busted into the bathroom, grabbed my pants which my money and my car keys was in, and after I realized what happened I tried to come out of the bathroom and she shut the door on me," Conner said.
So he called 911. Days later he was arrested and charged with false reporting.
"When somebody has taken something from me I think it's robbery. It's theft and robbery. I don't know what else I could have said," said Conner.
He said he told police he thought Harris may have had an accomplice although police said there never was a second person involved in the robbery.
"What made you think she had an accomplice if you didn't see anyone else with her?" asked Local 15's Christian Jennings. "Because I did see the white Camry following us all the way to Bloodgood," replied Conner.
He said despite what Harris' mother said last week, he wasn't involved sexually with Edna Harris.
"What is a 59-year-old man even doing with a 16-year-old girl?" asked Jennings.
"The truth was I didn't know she was 16. She never disclosed that to me. She told me she was 24," said Conner. And according to Conner's attorney, that's what Harris' Facebook page said as well.
"I'm saddened about what happened to the young lady. I'd preferred her to have stopped," said Conner.
Conner also said he doesn't think police should have chased Harris at high speeds down Government Street and he said he told police they didn't have to chase her.