Family and friends of Nicole White crammed into a Pierce County courtroom Wednesday to watch the man accused of beating her to death be arraigned on a second-degree murder charge.
Superior Court Commissioner Meagan Foley entered a not-guilty plea on behalf of Jonathan Daniel Harris, 29, and ordered him jailed in lieu of $2 million bail.
White’s loved ones stood up to get a look at the 6-foot-7, 270-pound Harris as corrections officers escorted him into court.
“Coward,” someone muttered under their breath.
Prosecutors allege in charging papers that Harris beat the 4-foot-11, 110-pound White to death June 6 after the two met for a date they’d arranged through an online matchmaking service. A motive has not been disclosed.
Detectives believe the attack took place at Harris’ Graham home and that he later dumped the 28-year-old woman’s body in the Kapowsin area of East Pierce County, where it was discovered Saturday.
Outside court, White’s friends and family exchanged hugs and held up signs that said, “Justice for Nicole.”
Family spokeswoman Amy Ancira told reporters that White was a vivacious young woman who doted on her two children.
“She just brightened everybody’s life,” Ancira said.
She called Harris a coward.
“I feel like he’s a complete monster,” she said. “He’s taken away a mother, a sister, a friend. I feel really angry right now.”