Lawyers: Former Cumberland Hospital psychotherapist accused of sex crimes dies by suicide

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Posted at 5:58 PM, Feb 22, 2021

NEW KENT COUNTY, Va. -- A former Cumberland Hospital for Children and Adolescents psychotherapist has died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound on the same day he was expected to plead guilty to a sex charge, according to the alleged victim’s lawyers in the case.

Williamsburg police say they found a male with a self-inflicted gunshot wound around 10:00 a.m. in the 1000 block of Ironbound Road. He was flown to VCU Medical Center.

That was around the same time Hershel Mickey Harden was supposed to report to the New Kent County courthouse for a plea hearing. In the plea agreement, he was expected to plead guilty to one count of object sexual penetration by force.

The Office of the Attorney General charged Harden with two counts last February for abuse that they say began in 2018 involving a former teen patient.

Harden’s attorney told the court Harden was seeking counseling and due to media pressure, he mentioned harming himself.

The judge revoked his bond and ordered a habeas.

Harden’s alleged victim traveled from North Carolina to face him. Her attorneys filed an opposition to reject Monday’s plea on her behalf.