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  • Writer's pictureCaity Koz

Tyrese Harris Sentenced to Minimum 25 Years for Murder of Dezmel Cardakovic

MANCHESTER, NH - Convicted murderer Tyrese Harris stood in court in front of Honorable Judge Diane Nicolisi and learned how many years he would spend in prison.

Harris was found guilty by a jury in July of second-degree murder, reckless conduct, and falsifying physical evidence.

Harris was brought into the courtroom wearing the orange Hillsborough County House of Corrections jumpsuit and sat with his defense team.

Proposed sentences were read by prosecutors from the New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office and the defense counsel.

The prosecution asked for a sentence of 32 ½ years to life for Second-Degree Murder (Knowing) and 3 ½ to 7 years for Falsifying Physical Evidence, to be served consecutively. They pointed to the fact that Tyrese lied to the police about the shooting, that the gun is still missing, and that “Resorting to violence in response to being disrespected cannot be tolerated.” The latter referenced a jailhouse call where Tyrese said “Disrespect gets your life taken.”

Victim impact statements were read by the family and friends of the victim Dezmel Cardakovic. They shared Cardakovic’s history of surviving concentration camps during the war in Bosnia, the kind of man and father Cardakovic was, and the lasting impact that his violent death has, and will continue to have, on his loved ones.

Cardakovic was fatally shot by Harris on South Willow Street in Manchester in what was described as a road rage incident.

Family members and supporters of Harris read prepared statements in court asking the judge to give a lighter sentence. The defense cited no significant criminal record, Tyrese’s young age, the fact that Tyrese has already been taking part in programs while incarcerated, and that he has a young daughter.

Tyrese Harris spoke, stating “An apology can’t possibly do any justice to what has happened” and that he “hopes and prays to one day be forgiven.”

Harris, who appeared to be tearing up while he spoke, also welcomed any family member of the Cardakovic family to visit for any reason, whether to cry or ask questions, if it would provide any closure.

Harris stood as Judge Nicolosi issued the sentence of 25 years to life for the Second Degree Murder Charge. For the other two charges, Reckless Conduct with a Deadly Weapon and Falsifying Physical Evidence, Harris was sentenced to 3 ½ to 7 years each, both of which are to be suspended for 10 years after Harris is released from his Second Degree Murder sentence.

Before giving the sentence, Judge Nicolosi spoke to both the aggravating and mitigating factors that she considered. Aggravating factors included that Harris could have easily made other choices that would not have resulted in the death of a man, that Harris fled and disposed of the gun which is still yet to be located - endangering the community further, and that Harris attempted to justify the murder as a response to disrespect. Mitigating factors included that Harris is young, has no evidence of past anger or violence issues, that coaches and teachers wrote in to speak of Harris’ character and leadership, and that Harris has already worked towards bettering himself during his time in jail.

Harris, who was in handcuffs and leg restraints, made eye contact with his supporters as he was led out of the courtroom to begin serving his sentence.

Harris has yet to have a trial on the charge of stalking which was brought after he allegedly used jail-issued electronic tablets to communicate with a victim of another prisoner. During the prosecution's statement, it was indicated that Harris intends to plead guilty to the charge.

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