'He was just protecting me': Daughter defends father who killed man trying to break into bathroom stall she was using

The 16-year-old said she regrets complaining to her father, Melvin Harris, because "now someone's dead"


                            'He was just protecting me': Daughter defends father who killed man trying to break into bathroom stall she was using

After a Phoenix father beat another man to death because he forcefully tried to enter a bathroom stall being used by his daughter, the teenage daughter says she now regrets telling her father about the victim.

In a conversation with CBS This Morning on Thursday, the disheartened daughter said her father was only trying to protect her when he was senselessly beating up Leon Armstrong outside Quiktrip.

However, the 16-year-old said she regrets complaining to her father because "now someone's dead". Melvin Harris, 40, is accused of punching Armstrong and then stomping him outside the convenience store after the incident. The victim succumbed to his injuries five days after the assault.

Speaking of her father, who now faces second-degree murder charges, the teenager said, he was just protecting her. "Everyone's coming at me like I did something to him," she added. The teen who remained unnamed said that according to the security guard, Armstrong had allegedly tried to enter the women's facilities previously as well.

On August 2, Harris picked up his daughter and two of her friends from work and stopped at Quiktrip on 19th Avenue as they wanted to use the toilet and buy soda.

Apparently, Armstrong approached Harris and asked him for money as he was waiting in the parking lot. Harris gave him some cash, after which he entered the store. Armstrong then aggressively tried to open the bathroom stall being used by Harris's daughter. When Harris heard about it he got angry and told security to "take care of the situation, or he would do it himself." The daughter then added, "Security was like, 'Oh, yeah, we don't play that. That's the third time he did that. We're gonna eff him up if you don't do it.'"

But later the father thought not enough was done to hold Armstrong accountable. Right then when he was driving back home, he spotted Armstrong on the road and confronted him, reported AZfamily. Harris went on to beat the man into pulp, who later succumbed to his injuries.

Speaking to CBS This Morning, Armstrong's aunt Kathilena Johnson revealed that her nephew was a schizophrenia patient. She said, "I don't think anybody can be prepared to hear that type of news that someone just was so cruel. Though he did have some mental illness, he was never a person that was considered a pedophile of any sort," she said. 

On the other hand, Diana Jackson, Harris's fiance, defended him by saying he was simply protecting his daughter. "I'm not mad at him, I don't feel like he did anything wrong. I love him. He did what he was supposed to do for our kid. You cannot tell someone they're wrong for protecting their children," Jackson told the station.