Defense in Grisly Mass Murder Case Blames Victim and His Video Gaming Habits

The murder trial of Chris Harris from Arminton, Illinois began earlier this month in Peoria, Illinois. Harris is accused of murdering Rick and Ruth Gee and three of their children with a tire iron in the family’s Beason home in late September 2009. One of the children, a three-year-old girl, survived the attack. Prosecutors laid out what happened after brothers Chris and Jason Harris, intoxicated from a night of drinking and doing cocaine visited the Gee home in search of marijuana.

When the trial began prosecutor Jonathan Wright showed grisly photos from the crime scene and told jurors that Jason Harris will provide testimony against his brother as part of a plea deal. Jason Harris took a plea deal of 20-years in prison on charges of concealment of a homicide, unlawful delivery of a controlled substance and obstruction of justice for his testimony. He claims that his brother told him after the murders that he didn't want to leave any witnesses behind.

We're mentioning the case here because the defense plans to call an expert witness to testify on the effects of violent video games. The defense claims that Chris Harris did not commit the crime, but instead walked in on one of the victims – 14-year-old Dillen Gee – as he was murdering his own family. Defense attorney Peter Naylor said in opening remarks at the start of the trial earlier this month that Chris Harris was forced to kill Dillen in self-defense. The defense will call an "expert witness" that will discuss the effects that violent video games can have on people, and plan to try and paint Dillen as an antisocial teen with low grades and a history of violent tendencies.

Currently the prosecution is presenting its evidence. The trial is expected to continue for the rest of May.

You can get the particulars on the case on the Pentagraph, who are covering this trial extensively.


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