Kerrigan case still spinning

January 18, 1994|By Bill Glauber | Bill Glauber,Staff Writer

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Tonya Harding completed triple axels in the early morning.

Nancy Kerrigan glided on to the ice in Stoneham, Mass., and staged an afternoon fall.

And NBC News reported in the evening that that law-enforcement officials are moving closer to arresting Harding's ex-husband, Jeff Gillooly.

It was just another fast-paced 24 hours in the Skategate case yesterday.

And today could get even more interesting, as Harding prepared to meet the Multnomah County district attorney.

Also today, Shane Minoaka Stant, the man accused of clubbing Kerrigan on the leg Jan. 6 in Detroit, is scheduled to fly, under guard, to Portland after waving extradition from Phoenix.

For a few hours yesterday, Harding and Kerrigan performed in familiar settings on opposite coasts.

They simply skated.

Harding ducked inside a Jeep and left her home near midnight. She then showed up at her training rink in nearby Clackamas and performed flawlessly.

It was her first practice since winning the U.S. Figure Skating Championships in Detroit.

"When I don't skate, I feel lazy," she said. "It's just not me."

Later in the day, it was Kerrigan's turn to perform before the news media.

She loosened up, skated for one hour around the practice arena -- and even fell to the ice.

For the cameras, of course.

"We did that one on purpose," said Kerrigan's coach, Evy Scotvold.

Kerrigan said that if she had to, she could have performed in the Olympics.

She probably will get her wish. Her sore right knee is healing, and she is said to be on target to claim the Olympic berth granted her by the U.S. Figure Skating Association's International Committee.

"I was kind of stiff at first, my knee, especially," Kerrigan said. "After I kept going, it loosened up more and more and I felt better."

Kerrigan added that she had not been contacted by Harding. And she had not received a letter that Harding wrote her.

She also declined to comment on the case.

Meanwhile, off the ice, the legal maneuvers continued.

With three men arrested, investigators are turning their attention to Harding and her ex-husband, Gillooly.

Both have denied any involvement in the attack.

Assistant district attorney Norm Frink said a meeting with Harding is planned. But no meeting is yet set with Gillooly.

"No final decision has been made one way or another about arresting anybody," Frink told the Associated Press.

But NBC News said an arrest of Gillooly is imminent.

The network said it learned that authorities have bank and wire-transfer records that could tie Gillooly, who still lives with Harding, to the three men previously arrested.

The network also said the records could confirm bodyguard Shawn Eric Eckardt's claim that Gillooly financed the attack.

Earlier, The Oregonian newspaper said investigators suspected Gillooly paid for the attack with some funds donated by Harding's supporters for her skating.

The paper also said that the price of the hit was $6,500, not the previously reported $100,000 bounty.

Among those who contributed money to Harding's training were the U.S. Figure Skating Association and New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

But Gillooly's attorney said that neither his client nor Harding was involved in the plot. He said it was Eckardt who arranged the assault.

"This is a tragedy for Tonya Harding, who has worked long and hard for this moment," Hoevet told the Associated Press. "If Tonya recovers from this, she's always going to be tarnished by it because Shawn Eckardt has done this to her. This is a case where there are two victims."

As for his own client, Hoevet said Gillooly is "sitting on pins and needles."

"He's tense and nervous," Hoevet said.

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