PEORIA COUNTY -- It took less than a day of deliberations for jurors to reach their verdict in Christopher Harris' mass murder trial. Guilty.
They say Harris broke into Rick and Ruth Gee's home, killed them and three children, and left their 3-year old daughter clinging to life. The verdict was reached faster than some expected; just over five hours to reach unanimous agreements on all 38 counts, including murder, home invasion and aggravated battery of a child. All were returned guilty.
As the judge read through each one, Harris hung his head low and covered his face with his hands. His attorney, Dan Fultz, says the reality hit Harris like a ton of bricks.
Harris' family was not in court. Both of their sons, Christopher and Jason, will go to prison for the crimes.
The Gee and Constant family's were in court, holding each other closely and shedding a few tears as the jury convicted the man who killed their family. They declined to speak publicly afterward, but said they do feel closure.
Attorneys on both sides said the case was challenging and are relieved it's all over. Harris' defense team says it will file a few post-trial motions, but will not be involved in an appeal.
Harris will be sentenced later this summer. He faces mandatory life behind bars.
Original: 12:32 pm
PEORIA COUNTY -- Jurors reached a unanimous verdict in the Christopher Harris mass murder trial. He's been found guilty on all counts in connection with the mass murder of five members of a Beason family in 2009.