Friend of triple murder victims speaks after man once charged in slayings arrested in stabbing

VIDEO: Suspect arrested in Kirkland stabbing

KIRKLAND, Wash. — It’s something you don’t forget: the name of the man once charged with murdering your best friends and one of their parents. That’s why Mike Morrisette said he was surprised to hear Kevin Harper had been arrested in connection to a home invasion stabbing in Kirkland Sunday night.

“We still remember them and think about them often,” said Mike Morrisette, who lives in Yakima County.

KIRO 7's Michael Spears interviewed Mike Morrisette's wife, Patti, back in 2012 as a reporter at KIMA-TV in Yakima when Harper was the prime suspect charged in the February 2011 murders of Bill Goggin, his wife Pauline and his 98-year-old mother Bettye.

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"We were very suspicious that he was probably the culprit,” said Morrisette.

The case rocked the Yakima Valley, from the crime scene, to claims of prosecutorial mismanagement and jail eavesdropping on Harper and his attorney by deputies, to the day his plea deal was unexpectedly announced in court.

Murder charges were dropped as Harper pleaded guilty and served time for having the Goggins’ credit cards and a gun charge. Yakima County prosecutors said at the time they couldn’t get a conviction.

"I was surprised to hear he's out,” said Morrisette.

Court documents obtained by KIRO 7 state police found Harper with the credit cards of the Kirkland woman he’s now accused of brutally stabbing repeatedly in a home invasion.

Harper, who had worked at the victim’s home several times as plumber, according to court documents, broke into her home on 100th Avenue NE in Kirkland Sunday evening and held the woman captive; stealing from her and even trying to get her to drive with him to an ATM.

He’s also accused of dousing the victim with liquids that she believed was an attempt to set her on fire.

Amazingly, police said she crawled to the street in front of her home after he left, waived someone down for help, and gave police Harper’s name who was later arrested.

"It stirred up a lot of emotions again,” said Morrisette.

Mike said closure hasn’t been easy with no one held responsible for his friends’ murders.

"I think it's time to keep their memory alive but at the same time move on,” said Morrisette.