Inmate: Convicted killer agreed to tattoo to avoid more attacks

Published: Dec. 8, 2006 at 4:15 PM EST|Updated: Dec. 15, 2006 at 5:01 AM EST
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(COLUMBUS, Ind.) -- An inmate accused of tattooing his slain 10-year-old cousin's name onto her convicted killer's forehead in prison testified that the man submitted to avoid further abuse.

"I told him if he would allow me to place this tattoo on his forehead ... everything would be taken care of and he wouldn't have to worry about any future attacks," Jared Harris testified Wednesday during a hearing to try to get his 20-year sentence for burglary reduced. "When I brought this idea up to him, he agreed to it."

Harris, 22, a cousin of Katlyn "Katie" Collman, is serving time for burglary at Wabash Valley state prison in Carlisle, the same prison where her killer, Anthony Ray Stockelman is being held.

Harris was charged with battery for tattooing "KATIE'S REVENGE" across Stockelman's forehead in September, and had seven years added to his sentence for breaking prison rules because of the incident.

Harris testified in Bartholomew Superior Court that other prisoners attacked Stockelman at Harris' request and because of his crime.

Judge Chris Monroe denied Harris' request for a reduced sentence, noting that Harris had lost all his credit for good behavior. The earliest Harris can be released is March 2019.

Harris slipped into the open cell Stockelman shared with another prisoner on Sept. 22, and when Stockelman returned, Harris closed the locking cell door before the cellmate could enter, according to a court affidavit.

Stockelman told investigators that Harris's right hand went around Stockelman's throat and Harris told him, "I'm either gonna stick you and leave you bleeding or I'm gonna tattoo you."

Harris said he used a makeshift tattoo gun with a cassette deck motor and a guitar string needle. He did not say how he got the parts.

Treatments have begun to remove the tattoo. Prison officials found a medical practitioner who agreed to remove it free of charge.

Stockelman, 39, was sentenced to life in prison in March after pleading guilty to abducting, molesting and killing Collman. The girl was missing for five days before her body was found Jan. 30, 2005, in a creek about 15 miles from her home midway between Indianapolis and Louisville, Ky.

(Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)