By Heart of Illinois ABC
BLOOMINGTON– Christopher Harrison’s attorney is not disputing that Harrison shot and killed Reginald Hart Jr and Joseph Gardner after they attempted to rob him back in 2018. Where the state and defense disagree is whether or not Harrison was justified in doing so.
Prosecutor David Fitt gave the opening statement for the state.
“Drugs, money, and guns. Those three things are why we’re here today,” said Fitt as he addressed the jury.
Fitt called Harrison a drug dealer that did business out of his mother’s apartment. He said Harrison was actually proud to be a drug dealer.
“He flaunted it on social media, he recorded videos of himself playing, and posing with drugs, money, and guns,” said Fitt.
Fitt said evidence would show that Gardner, Hart, and Harrison had an agreement in which Harrison would sell cannabis and they would split the cash. That was until the relationship apparently soured. That was when Gardner and Hart decided to rob Harrison.
“Gardner and Hart chose to try and rob Chris, they did rob him, they plotted and planned that,” said defense attorney Kevin Sanborn.
Sanborn began his remarks by reading texts which revealed their plan to rob Harrison. Sanborn argued Harrison was legally defending himself.
“As the evidence will show, Gardner and Hart were the ones who ultimately caused their own death,” he added.
The state says Gardner and Hart were fleeing when Harrison shot and killed them.
“The evidence will show that he could have let them go, and he shot them 21 times together,” said Fitt.
The jury also heard testimony from Noah Harrison, who was the one who let Hart and Gardner into the apartment on April 25. He testified he saw the two running from his brother’s bedroom not long after, with his brother chasing them. Later, a Normal police sergeant who responded to the scene showed the jury the firearms that were found once they arrived.
Court resumes Wednesday at 9am, when the state is expected to continue to present testimony from their witnesses.