PEORIA COUNTY -- The start of Christopher Harris' mass murder trial provided what officials think was the motive for the 2009 slaughter of the Gee family. Rick and Ruth Gee and three of their children were found beaten to death in their home. A fourth child was hurt, but survived.
WCIA-3's Ashley Michels has more from the courtroom.
Original: 1:14 pm
PEORIA COUNTY -- Both sides gave opening statements Wedesday in one of the biggest murder trials in our area. Christopher Harris is accused of killing five members of a Beason family in 2009. WCIA-3's Ashley Michels has been "tweeting" from inside the courtroom all day.
The prosecution's opening statement included the startling revelation that Harris' brother, Jason, will testify against him. In exchange, Jason will get a 20-year sentence.
Prosecutors also stated Harris went to the Gee home to "talk" to 16-year old Justina after an ex-girlfriend was unavailable. Prosecutors further stated Christopher told his brother, "I f***ed up. I killed them all. I didn't want to have any witnesses."
The defense says Christopher will take the stand at some point and testify he killed Dillen Constant in self-defense. Attorneys stated Christopher says other family members were dead when he arrived but didn't go to police because he was scared.
They reported key evidence will show Rick Gee's fingernail scrapings only have Dillen's DNA and that, furthermore, Christopher had no cuts or scrapes on his body.