Former cellmate testifies in Harris murder trial

By WEEK Producer

May 23, 2013 Updated May 23, 2013 at 7:48 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- A former cellmate of Christopher Harris took the stand in Peoria County court on Thursday.

Ty Cline testified that Harris admitted to him that he killed the Gee family in September 2009.

Before Cline took the stand, defense attorney Dan Fultz tried to get him impeached from the proceedings. Cline was convicted of murder in Logan County in September of 2011.

Fultz questioned Cline's motives and credibility, saying he only agreed to testify in order to get moved from a maximum security prison to a medium security facility.

Cline told jurors Christopher Harris told him in June of 2011 that he killed the Gee family after a night of drinking and "country cruising".

Thursday afternoon the pathologist who conducted the autopsies of the five members of the Gee family took the stand.

He testified that the injuries and wounds inflicted were consistent with those from a blunt instrument.

During Dr. John Ralston's testimony, jurors viewed graphic autopsy photos.

At one point defense attorney Dan Fultz called for a break after he noticed a juror crying and three others putting their heads down when pictures of Austin Gee,11, were shown.

Dr. Ralston said some of Dillen's injuries are consistent with someone being pushed against a wall or stomped.

He said Rick Gee and Dillen Constant sustained the most injuries.
Dillen, he said, was hit at least 52 times and Rick Gee sustained 28 blows. He says all the victims died from cranial injuries caused by multiple blunt force trauma.

The prosecution is expected to rest early Friday.

Christopher Harris will take the stand in his own defense. That is also expected to happen Friday.