Life was sweet late last summer for Henry Lloyd Garvey, an award-winning, high-energy, upwardly mobile member of the Howard University medical school faculty.
"He was certainly the heir apparent" to the chairmanship of the school's pharmacology department, a colleague said. A month's vacation in Europe with his wife, Garvey told a friend, had been almost idyllic.
And then, the good life collapsed into scandal.
In a Langley Park apartment on Labor Day weekend, Garvey was shot. After lingering in a coma at a Baltimore hospital, the 46-year-old Jamaican-born professor died in February. But questions about Garvey and his relationships with students have survived.
A Howard medical student, Jacquelyn Robinson, 24, with whom the married Garvey secretly had been having an affair, was charged in the shooting and convicted of assault charges before Garvey's death. A grand jury in Prince George's County indicted her again in the Garvey case last week, this time on a charge of second-degree murder.
And although last fall's turn of events "was incredible for a number of people," said Dr. Eleanor Franklin, a Howard colleague of Garvey's, there was a second shock in store.
In a pending complaint, filed in December in U.S. District Court here while Garvey was hospitalized, a second medical student, Fatemah Najafian, sued Howard and Garvey for $3 million for alleged sexual harassment, claiming that sexual advances by Garvey forced her to quit the school last spring.
According to the lawsuit, Garvey exposed himself to Najafian during a conference in his office, warned her to steer clear of other men and "angrily confronted" her after learning that a male student was interested in her.
When she refused to go to bed with him, Najafian's court papers state, Garvey, an associate professor of pharmacology, allegedly flunked her in his course.
University officials, contending in court papers that Najafian was a poor student with personal and financial problems, flatly deny her allegations.
Lawyers for Howard have asked District Judge Norma Holloway Johnson to dismiss the suit on procedural grounds.
On the Howard campus, Garvey appeared committed, if somewhat intense.
"Sometimes he'd go overboard," said Franklin, who was an associate dean for 10 years. "He'd get upset when some students ran short of money. He'd fly around the halls asking why we weren't feeding the medical students . . . .
"His troubles came as quite a surprise to me," Franklin said.
The "troubles" surfaced violently with Garvey's shooting on Monday, Sept. 3, during a visit to Robinson's apartment in the Maryland suburbs.
Garvey fled the apartment, ran down nine flights of stairs and drove himself to a hospital, "hemorrhaging and losing blood" and taking the gun with him, according to a lawyer familiar with the case.
Robinson, whom one Howard professor described as a good student, was convicted in January of assault and battery, using a handgun in the commission of a felony and malicious wounding, and began serving a five-year prison term at a Maryland correctional facility in Jessup. She recently was released on $500,000 bond pending an appeal of her conviction.
A request to interview Robinson was denied by her lawyer, Edward Camus.
In the sexual harassment case, Najafian, 36, said she resisted Garvey's alleged attentions. In 1983, on a visit to Garvey's office for guidance in applying to Howard, she said, Garvey, who was later to be her faculty adviser, kissed her on the cheek.
"I asked, 'Why are you doing this?' " said Najafian, who was born in Iran and speaks in accented English.
"That's for good luck," she said Garvey told her.
The show of affection from a faculty member, she said, made her feel "nervous and uncomfortable."
Garvey, a member of the school's admissions committee, later informed her he had been instrumental in winning her acceptance, according to Najafian.
Najafian alleges in court papers that a series of displays of affection followed as she progressed through her first semester in the fall of 1983, culminating in the office visit when Garvey allegedly exposed himself to her.
Najafian said the session was interrupted by a knock at the door and the sound of someone getting out keys.
Afterward, Najafian said, she received nighttime telephone calls from Garvey at her home, warning that "if you want to be an MD, you'd better make me happy."
In retaliation for rebuffing him, according to Najafian's court papers, Garvey failed her in January 1984, and she withdrew from the school last spring.
Howard lawyer Leland Ware and other university officials said in an interview, however, that they question Najafian's credibility on several key points.
Medical school exams, for instance, are graded by machine; Garvey could not have given her a failing grade if she was, in fact, passing, they said.
The Howard officials noted that Najafian already had received an unsatisfactory grade in a first-semester course on anatomy that was not taught by Garvey. "She was a very weak student," said Franklin, the former associate dean.
Others disagree. "She's an excellent student," said Dr. Ernest Middleton, director of a review course at Georgetown University medical school, where Najafian was enrolled last summer. Middleton said Najafian scored well on standardized admission tests and is "across the board an above-average student."
According to Najafian, Middleton told her that Garvey said last year she would "never get back into Howard" and that it was "not a question of whether she can do the work."
"I don't think I said he said that she'd never get back in," said Middleton. "But he was not happy with her, he was not supportive of her . . . . I was aware of some discord."
Last summer, Howard officials first denied a request by Najafian to be readmitted to the school, then changed their minds shortly after Garvey was shot -- a move the school said was not connected to the shooting. Howard officials said they had learned of Najafian's allegations in August and were investigating them when the shooting occurred.
Instead of enrolling again at Howard, however, Najafian filed suit, saying she hopes for a court test to determine the true nature of Henry Lloyd Garvey.