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Jury convicts man for home invasion, attempted rape 74-year-old woman

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Posted at 12:48 PM, Aug 13, 2021
and last updated 2022-06-23 14:35:32-04

UPDATE: On June 23, 2022 a jury found 50-year-old Paul Harell guilty of all charges. He will be sentenced on August 30, 2022.

ORIGINAL STORY:

On August 13, 2021, around midnight officers responded to a 911 call for a home invasion in the 300 block of Likes Road in Edgewater.

The 74-year-old victim told officers that an armed man she didn't know, broke into her bedroom and stabbed her while she was sleeping.

Police later identified the suspect as Paul Daniel Harell. The victim said that he threatened to kill her and put a knife to her throat.

The woman was able to fight and break free and pressed her medic alert device which sounded an audible alarm, causing Harrell to flee.

The victim did sustain a small puncture wound to her upper torso.

Harell was later located after a neighbor gave police the description of a van he had been driving.

Turns out Harell had worked for a cleaning company and had been in the victim’s home a few days before the attack.

His DNA was also discovered under the victim's fingernails and cell phone data showed him at the victim's house around the time of the attack. Additionally investigators found a receipt to an area clinic where Harell visited afterwards. Police believed he had sought treatment for injuries to his arm and eye after a struggle with the victim.

Harell, then 49, was charged with the following crimes.

  • Assault-First Degree
  • Home Invasion
  • Burglary-First Degree
  • Attempted First Degree Rape
  • Assault-Second Degree
  • Attempted Second Degree Rape