Tourist to Donegal accused of murder
on 27/02/2013 00:00:00
Bar manager Laura Doherty said the 22-year-old was a regular at her Kicking Donkey pub in Bundoran town centre.
Mr Harkness came to Bundoran in September to attend a three-month Donegal Adventure Centre course on outdoor sports, mainly surfing. "He was with a few Americans on the course and they all appeared to be good friends," said Ms Doherty. "He made friends with many locals and he often visited the bar, especially on Thursday nights, when he enjoyed the music.
"I never had any trouble with him or reason to suspect that he might be trouble. He was a lovely fellow and there was never a moment when he looked likely to be out of control. Now we hear he is accused of shocking crimes. We're all gobsmacked. It's positively not the Stephen Harkness that was enjoying himself in Bundoran."
Mr Harkness, a private first class in the Marine Corps until he left in Jan 2012, was deployed in Camp Lejeune near Jacksonville, North Carolina, and served in Afghanistan.
Mr Harkness and another former Marine, Jeffrey Allen, aged 21, also from Verona, and Anthony Baumgartner, aged 23, of Florence, Kentucky, are in custody without bail, accused of kidnapping, torturing, and murdering 19-year-old heroin dealer Daniel Delfin and dismembering his corpse on Jan 9 in Boone County, Kentucky.
Boone County Sheriff's Office spokesman Tom Scheben said the three men admitted the crime.
He said they decided Delfin was evil and set up a drug deal to kidnap and kill him.
Donegal Adventure Centre manager Collie MacPhaidin said: "We are bemused and surprised at what happened to him when he returned home."