Defendant Testifies in Harris Trial
Testifying in the trial against him today, Christopher Harris said he used bad judgment and made some huge mistakes, but he did not murder five members of the Gee family.
Harris appeared calm as he answered questions, but during a scathing cross-examination, one of his statements didn't match his own story. Prosecutors asked him about a laptop in the Gees' bedroom--specifically the web camera attached to that computer.
Police found the body of Ruth Gee in that room, and her husband Rick in the hallway outside the door.
Prosecutor Steven Nate asked, "If the webcam was running that night, it would've shown what happened to Rick Gee, right?"
Harris said, "Yes."
"It would've shown you striking him?," Nate asked.
"Yes," Harris responded.
This could be a key, because Harris has admitted to getting rid of evidence--specifically the Gees' laptop--after leaving the crime scene.
Harris also testified he killed Dillen Constant in self-defense after walking in on the 14-year-old boy killing his own family.
Criminal defense attorney Kevin Sullivan said the timing on Harris' testimony isn't accidental.
"With the long weekend coming up, maybe the defense decided we want to get our client on now, so the jurors will have three days to think about or reflect back on what transpired," Sullivan said. "The last person they heard before the three-day weekend was in fact the defendant."
Harris said he went to Beason the night of the murders to get marijuana from Rick Gee. While describing what he found when he walked inside the house, Harris appeared emotional, sniffling and speaking with more pause.
He said he found Rick, Ruth, and Austin, but never had a chance to check on the last two before Dillen came up behind him with a big knife covered in blood.
Harris said he swung at him with the knife, and that's when he picked up a tire iron in the house and hit the teen.
Harris is charged with killing Rick and Ruth Gee and their three children--Justina, Dillen, and Austin--in their Beason home in 2009.
Harris described knowing the victims "very well." They are the family of his ex-wife.
He said he was at the Gee house "all the time" and the kids considered him "uncle Chris."
Harris said he made some "huge mistakes" by lying to police in the weeks after the murders. He said he didn't want to have to explain.
A few parts of Chris Harris' story are different from the testimony his brother gave on the stand last week. Katie Heinz explains.