The Wedding Day From Hell
Wwest News Service (WNS)
William A. West
Ashtabula Township_Thursday was a day James M. Charles, 43, expected to remember as the day he married his sweetheart Tammy Forney-Charles, 33. The happy couple were married in a service officiated by a judge. Short, simple and quick. Then the day went to hell.
Charles, tired from the previous night’s work, was at his 3306 Court St. home taking a much-needed nap. Neighbor Leo Sackett noticed something looking like steam coming off Charles’ roof.
A determined Sackett called out a number of times to his neighbor before Charles looked out and discovered that his house was going up in flames.
Charles left the structure, but reentered the house to battle the flames with a fire extinguisher. He came to realize that he was losing the battle and climbed out a broken window to escape the flames. Charles sustained several cuts that would require getting stitches later in the evening.
Ashtabula Township and Ashtabula City fire departments responded to the scene. The fire caused an estimated $40,000 damage ATFD Chief Mike Fitchet said.
Charles and his new wife Tammy received permission from the ATFD Chief to enter their home to retrieve clothes and other items. The couple was busy putting stuff in their truck when Charles’ ex-companion Daphne Harris, 46, and friend Michael Harper, 38, both of Ashtabula, began cruising up and down Court Street in a small car.
The Harris and Harper team started shouting, taunting, using hand gestures and otherwise thoroughly enjoying the misfortune that had befallen the newly-weds. The dynamic duo then parked their car at 3230 Court St.
That is when they gained the attention of neighbors. Mrs. Charles and Harris confronted each other immediately according to several witnesses.
“The blonde girl (Daphne) jumped right out of the car,” a neighbor said. “She was going right up to Jame’s wife. They
ended up nose-to-nose with each other.”
Charles had his wife and Harris separated when Harper shouted something from the car according to a witness. Charles
got in the car and they started “duking it out” a witness stated.
A neighbor tried calm matters down when he noticed the blonde girl.
“She was pointing a gun right at Jame’s head,” the witness said. “She said get out this car or I am going to shoot you right here.” “The blonde (Harris) told him that three or four times”
I called 911 when she pulled out the gun,” Dora L. said. “It was an old revolver. It was a very old gun. I don’t think she knew how to use it.”
All four people were taken into custody by Ashtabula County Sheriff’s deputies.
“It was pretty crazy,” Dora L said. “His house caught on fire and then he (Charles) goes to jail. They got married today too.”
“Yup, a wonderful day in the neighborhood,” Dora L. said.
Harris, 3206 Fargo Drive, is charged with felonious assault, aggravated menacing and aggravated disorderly. She appears to have violated a protection order stay away from James Charles.
Charles, Forney-Charles, 1705 W. 3rd, and Harper, 1700 E. 47th St. face disorderly conduct charges.
The Wedding Day From Hell