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Big Contradictions in Harris Brothers' Testimonies
It's a day some Beason residents have been waiting for for nearly four years: Christopher Harris, under oath, answering questions about what happened the night Rick and Ruth Gee and their three children were murdered in their home.
Harris grew emotional on the stand as he described walking into the home to find the family he knows well, dead.
But his version of the night's events and that of his brother are night and day.
Harris admits he was in the victims' house the night of the murders. But the reason why contradicts the testimony his brother and co-defendant, Jason Harris, delivered on the stand last week.
Christopher Harris told jurors today that he went to the Gee house to get marijuana from Rick. He said the two smoked together often. But last week, Jason Harris testified Christopher Harris wanted to talk to 16-year-old girl.
After detailing his attempts to contact three ex-girlfriends the night of the murders, prosecutors asked Harris if he wanted to sleep with 16-year-old Justina Constant.
Harris replied, "Absolutely not."
Prosecutor Steven Nate asked why. Harris said, "She was family. She was a 16-year-old girl."
Jason Harris also testified that his brother walked into the house with a tire iron up his sleeve. Christopher Harris said he found the tool inside, and used it to defend himself against 14-year-old Dillen Constant.
"Those inconsistencies could be important," criminal defense attorney Kevin Sullivan said. "But again, I think it all comes down to credibility. Does the inconsistency--does that undermine Christopher Harris' credibility, or does that further confuse the jury to say 'we really don't know what happened in this situation?'"
Christopher Harris is charged with 38 counts in the beating deaths of Ric and Ruth Gee and their three children. He admitted today to making some "huge mistakes," but said he didn't commit the murders.
Christopher Harris' attorney closed his testimony by asking, "Chris, you told a lot of lives to the police, didn't you?"
Christopher Harris said yes.
Defense attorney Dan Fultz asked, "You did a lot of stupid things?"
Christopher Harris said yes.
Fultz continued to say Christopher Harris isn't on trial for those matters, and asked him what he's on trial for.
Christopher Harris said, "Murder."
Fultz asked, "Did you do it?"
Christopher Harris said no.
Christopher Harris remained mostly calm on the stand, but he grew emotional when he described going into the house to find the bodies, looking down and speaking more slowly.
Prosecutors worked to paint Jason Harris as a truthful person. Christopher Harris said he didn't tell police what happened, because he didn't want to have to explain.
Defendant Testifies in Harris Trial (5 p.m. May 24)
Jason Harris Testifies About Involvement in Murders (6 p.m. May 15)