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A Second Woman Says She Is Wife Of Arrested Vikings Player

January 1, 1996 GMT

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) _ A woman has told a Minnesota newspaper that the woman Minnesota Vikings defensive end James Harris is accused of hitting isn’t his wife, because she is.

``I’ve been bombarded with phone calls from friends and family wondering if I am OK,″ Bonnie Harris told the Star Tribune. ``I am fine. This girl in the hospital is not his wife. As far as I heard, you can only have one at a time.″

Still, police maintain the woman who said Harris hit her is his wife.

Harris remained in jail Monday and can stay there without bail on suspicion of third-degree assault until Thursday, pending possible formal charges.

The woman identified herself as Harris’ wife, Johnetta, Friday when she told police that he hit her earlier that day in their Eden Prairie apartment.

Harris, 27, was arrested that night at Methodist Hospital in St. Louis Park where Johnetta Harris was treated for a possible broken nose and bruised or broken shoulder, according to the Saint Paul Pioneer Press.

Bonnie Harris, of Philadelphia, told the Star Tribune that she left Harris more than a year ago because of ``domestic run-ins″ in which police had to be called. They had shared an apartment in Bloomington.

Bloomington police records show several calls for assistance from that address. The records also show the two were married in 1993. Bonnie Harris said they never got a divorce and had spoken of reconciling.

``We are confident that the victim is married to Mr. Harris,″ Cpl. Jim Franzen of the Eden Prairie Police Department said. ``She presented us with some documentation that she is married to him, so we are not just going by her verbal statement.

``So whether or not he has two wives, I couldn’t say.″

Vikings spokesman Jeff Diamond said Saturday that Harris would not be back with the team next season, a decision made prior to his arrest.

Diamond said he talked to Harris’ agent two weeks ago and told him the Vikings were planning to release him in February.

Harris is the second Vikings player this season to be accused of spousal abuse.

Quarterback Warren Moon is charged with assaulting his wife July 18 at their suburban Houston home. His wife, Felicia Moon, has asked that the assault charge be dropped. That trial is set for February.