Christopher (left) and Jason (right) Harris are charged with murder in connection to the 2009 death. (WJBC File Photo)
By Paul Morello
PEORIA - Defense attorneys in the Beason murder case are hoping a trip to the crime scene will help convince jurors Christopher Harris did not kill Rick and Ruth Gee and three of their children in 2009.
Attorney Daniel Fultz submitted a motion to Judge Scott Drazewski on Friday asking to allow the trip.
"If he thinks that there is a way that this will assist the jury in reaching the conclusion that it otherwise may struggle with, then he'll allow the motion. If he thinks it can be adequately captured by electronic means then that's the way we'll do it," he said.
Fultz is arguing 14-year-old Dillen Constant killed his family, and Harris walked in on the murder and had to kill the boy in self defense. He said the layout of the house supports that argument.
"This combat that went on was in a very narrow hallway with a lot of doorways, a lot of obstacles in the way. Going to the home will help the jurors understand how peculiar it is that Chris Harris ended up without any injuries at all on his body if he in fact was the one that engaged in this combat with the family," Fultz said.
Chris and his brother Jason, from Armington, are charged with murdering the family.
The motion to allow the trip will be considered on April 1.
Violent video game expert could testify
Drazewski has also granted Fultz the option to use violent video game expert Dr. Craig Anderson in the trial.
Fultz hopes to show jurors that Constant had a penchant for violent video games, and wants to link that to the boy allegedly killing the Gees.
"Children who engage in this kind of behavior, in addition to other factors in their lives, which were present in Dillen's life, tend to act out in these violent kinds of ways," Fultz said. "There's a fairly significant amount of research out there that shows children are significantly influenced by those kinds of factors."
Chris Harris' trial is scheduled for April.