An incorrect address was listed for murder suspect Alphonzo Lamar Harris yesterday. Police said his address is 629 14th Place NE.
It is early in the afternoon and David Fuller is sitting in his small cluttered dining room sifting through mail that has piled up this week.
"You can forget that now," Fuller said to himself softly after opening an invoice addressed to his wife, "All of her bills are paid now."
On Monday, D.C. Police told him that Catherine, his wife and mother of their six children, had been savagely murdered in an alley less than two blocks from their home at 923 K St. NE.
Police yesterday said they arrested Alphonzo Lamar Harris, 22, of 629 14th St. NE and charged him with felony murder in connection with Fuller's death.
Fuller was apparently taking a short cut to a nearby store on Oct. 1 at about 6 p.m. when she was assaulted and killed in a vacant garage in the rear of 802 K St. NE, police said.
Fuller's body was found in a litter-strewn alley, apparently beaten to death with a blunt instrument in a manner that shocked hardened police investigators.
David Fuller said he was gladdened by news of an arrest in the case. But, he said, he is still too distraught to eat or sleep. And he realizes the task of raising their three school-age children rests solely on his shoulders now.
"I have to try to hold out for the kids," he said, "my daughter has epilepsy and I have to be strong for her."
The arrest of a suspect will not erase his pain, Fuller said, or explain why someone would want to harm the quiet but feisty woman who he said was often mistaken for a teen-ager because of her petite five-foot frame.
"She was small, but she would fight you in a minute. I knew she was strong because I'm strong and she could push me around," he said.
Catherine Fuller was born in Georgetown in 1936 and lived most of her youth with her aunt after her mother was seriously injured when she was struck by lightning, relatives said. While her aunt worked, her older first cousin Polly Turner took care of Catherine and had been her closest friend.
"Catherine was what you would call a homie, she didn't go out much." Turner said, "She was not too outgoing but she was daring when she wanted to be."
David Fuller met his future wife at a party in Southeast in 1955. They married in 1969 and she began working in the food service department of Sibley Hospital while he worked as a plumber for the General Services Administration.
Catherine Fuller had three children from a previous marriage, Calvin Milton Davis, 32, Elton R. Davis, 33, and Zenobia Sara Ann Jenkins, 29, who no longer live with the family.
They later had three children: William 12, David, 17, and Laura, 18, who attends a special program because of her epilepsy. Fuller quit her job and became a full-time housewife after their youngest son was born and the family moved to K Street.
David Fuller retired in 1981 after a back injury, and said he had come to depend on his wife heavily for simple tasks because it was difficult for him to move around the house.
"They took a part of my life away," he said fighting tears, "how can you describe that?"
Catherine Fuller's neighbors, like 70-year-old Beatrice Dillard who described her as "a smiling good Samaritan," said they will miss her as well.
"If you asked her to do something, she would do it," Dillard said. "I have slow blood and the doctor says I have to walk a little bit each day. Whenever I asked her, she would walk with me. When I think about what happened, it brings tears to my eyes."
As David Fuller made the arrangements for his wife's funeral, friends, neighbors and relatives dropped in.
"Sometimes you need an old friend to help you out of a rut. It doesn't make you feel much better, but at least you're not alone," said Elmo Aderholt, one of David's boyhood companions.
While visitors talked quietly in the living room, David continued going through the mail. He said the days following the tragedy have not been easy ones, and he said he doesn't know if he can remain in the K Street house.
"I lay down in bed at night and turn over to see if she's asleep, and she's not there. I own this house now, but I might move out to Maryland somewhere, I can't sleep here any more.