A 30-year-old man was charged Friday with five counts of first-degree murder in what police have described as the brutal slayings of his ex-wife's family.My sister in Spfld says she saw somewhere that Tabitha was described by doctors as "responsive." Doesn't sound that good, does it?
Christopher J. Harris is accused of killing Rick and Ruth Gee and three of their children, who were found dead in their Beason home Sept. 21. He also faces attempted murder charges in connection with injuries suffered by the lone survivor, 3-year-old Tabitha Gee.
Harris was arrested on Thursday afternoon. He is the ex-husband of Nicole Gee, Rick's older daughter from a previousThey got him through the pickup:
relationship. . . .
Earlier Friday, a relative who reportedly sold Harris a pickup truck that's been seized by police says Harris is innocent and plans to hire an attorney from Chicago.Dixie! Used to go there all the time after a long hard night. Mmmmmm, grease.
A witness reported seeing a primer-gray pickup truck in the area late Sept. 20, the night before the bodies were found. The public had been the lookout for the truck ever since.
Police said Thursday that they have recently seized a truck matching that description, and that it was "under the control of Christopher Harris." . . .
Police have not said anything about a possible motive for the slayings. Many people were questioned in the case, and it's unclear how early police shifted their focus to Harris.
But authorities knew last week that Chris Harris had been seen driving a truck that matched the description of one sought in connection with the Beason slayings.
Harris had formerly worked at Dixie Travel Plaza in McLean, where he worked the register at the fuel desk, said general manager Tina Kletz. She said a McLean County sheriff's deputy stopped there last week and asked employees to look for any similar vehicle.
The truck looked familiar to Kletz, but she couldn't place it, she told The Pantagraph on Friday morning. The next day, an employee told Kletz, that Harris drove a similar truck. . . .Character detail:
Harris told Kletz he was a contractor who couldn't get any work when he applied for the job at the truck stop.Goin' fishin'. Probably with a baseball bat.
"He was kind of quiet and he was polite," Kletz said. "He seemed like a good kid to me."
But Harris quit June 28. Kletz said it was "because he was going fishing. That just told me what kind of person he was right there" because he would quit without notice.
Update (10/4/09): Pantagraph:
There was no shortage of questions in the days after five family members were found brutally slain in their home in tiny, quiet Beason on Sept. 21.Hmm. DNA! DNA! DNA!
Two weeks later, the unknowns have multiplied, at least for the public. The arrest of Chris Harris, the ex-husband of a surviving daughter of the family, on Thursday spawned even more questions, and police have kept a tight lid on the investigation.
As Harris prepares to enter a plea Tuesday in court, here's a look at the biggest questions still left:
Immediately after Harris' arrest, Logan County Sheriff Steve Nichols said the investigation was not over and that more arrests were possible.
Some have questioned whether one person by themselves [sic] would have been able to kill five people, including two adults and two teenagers, all of whom died from blunt force trauma.
On Sept. 26, Nichols said the suspect or suspects may have been wounded during a "violent struggle" in the home. In the days after the slayings, police reportedly searched nearby fields for a sharp-edged tool or cylindrical object. . . .
"What happened, how bad it was, we know it was more than one (person)," said Debbie Harris, stepmother to Chris Harris.