The end of testimony in Harris' mass murder trial, Part 2

Published 05/29 2013 04:29PM

Updated 05/30 2013 09:23AM

PEORIA COUNTY -- Jurors in the Christopher Harris murder trial could begin deliberations as early as Thursday. Both sides finished laying out their cases Wednesday morning. Harris is accused of killing five members of a Beason family in 2009. WCIA-3's Ashley Michels explains what happens next.

Now that the jury has seen all the evidence and heard from each witness, they're charged with deciding Harris' fate. First, they'll hear each side's closing arguments. It's like a recap of everything they've seen in court the past four weeks.

The state will likely focus on the physical evidence, like Harris' bloody prints, and the fact he lied over and over since the beginning. Harris' team is expected to argue that's not enough to prove he did it.

When they're done, it's all up to the jury. If they don't agree completely with one side or the other, they can convict Harris on lesser charges.

For example, if they don't think he's guilty of first degree murder, they could still convict him on second degree charges. That means, Harris may have thought he was killing in self-defense, but was wrong. There's no telling how long deliberations will take, but all 12 jurors must unanimously agree on all 38-counts, including murder and aggravated battery.

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