Harris Trial: day two focuses on blood evidence and crime scene photos

By WEEK Producer

May 9, 2013 Updated May 9, 2013 at 8:35 PM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- Day two of testimony in the murder trial of Christopher Harris, prosecutors traced a path through the Beason home where the five family members were brutally killed.

Late Thursday afternoon a judge had to threaten a witness with jail time if she did not answer a question, revealing Ruth and Rick Gee's sexual relationships with other couples.

It's another turn in a trial becoming filled with sex, violence and drugs.

Much of the testimony came from former Illinois State Police crime scene investigator Michael Oyer, who spent around 3 hours on the stand. Oyer said Dillen Constant had head injuries and several bruises on his hands. All of the other four victims had similar injuries including head wounds.

One juror covered his eyes when photos of 16-year-old Justina Constant were shown, because of their graphic nature.

Earlier in the day, Lincoln Fire Protection District Chad Letterle choked up on the stand when he described entering Tabitha Gee's bedroom and finding the 3-year-old still breathing.

He said "I picked her up and carried her back out, she survived."

Thursday afternoon we heard from two friends of Rick and Ruth Gee. One of the friends said she was chatting online with Ruth Gee the night of the attack. She said the two talked for three hours before Ruth stopped answering at 12:42 a.m.

On cross examination, the witness was resistant to talk about the Gee's sexual relationships. She agreed to do so only after the judge threatened to hold her in contempt of court.

Testimony continues Friday. The case is expected to last through the end of the month.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.