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Jason T. Harris, 44, was arrested and charged this past week with trying to hire someone to kill his wife and then fatally poisoning her cereal with heroin in 2014. County Prosecutor David Leyton announced that Harris is charged with three felonies, including premeditated first-degree murder, solicitation of murder, and delivery of a controlled substance causing death. Two of these charges can result in a life sentence.
The medical examiner initially ruled the death of Christina Ann-Thompson Harris as an accidental overdose in 2014; however, investigators now believe that Jason Harris poisoned her at their home in Davison, Michigan.
We believe Jason Harris murdered his wife. We believe he put heroin in her cereal and milk the night she died after getting it from someone, thinking it would be tasteless and odorless.
Jason Harris’s attorney, Nicholas Robinson, said that Jason has been cooperating with state police and is still mourning the death of his wife. “We were very surprised and frankly saddened to learn the original determination of accidental overdose has been overturned and that has led to these charges,” Robinson said. He declined to respond further to the prosecutor’s allegations.
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Jason Harris has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges against him and “looks forward to demonstrating his innocence in the unfortunate passing of his wife.” He is currently held in custody at the Genesee County Jail.
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By the time police arrived at the Harris home that day in 2014, Jason Harris was also there and Christina was dead. He informed police that his wife had been battling a cold for the past few weeks, and when he had left for work that morning, she had been coughing uncontrollably. He attributed the death of his wife to the cold and her weakened state. However, a post-mortem medical examination determined her death to be a result of accidental heroin toxicity – a ruling that shocked Christina Harris’s friends and family.
Many people who knew Christina, a mother of two children including an infant, said “that she would never use drugs, let alone heroin,” Prosecutor Leyton said. “By all accounts, Christina Harris was an incredibly loving mother.”
Christina’s family and friends have stayed adamant over the years that she would never use drugs and that her death was a result of foul play. Upon investigation, police verified that Christina had never had any issues with substance abuse and had never tested positive for any drugs at doctors’ visits during her pregnancy. Investigators were also able to obtain samples of breast milk that Christina had frozen prior to her death, and found no controlled substances.
Police then turned their attention to Jason Harris, and what they discovered was chilling.
A few days after Christina’s death, Jason Harris’s brother and sister went to police and told them that Jason had “made comments in the past about, quote, getting rid of Christina Harris.” They also said that Jason was seeing other women prior to his wife’s death.
During the investigation, some former coworkers of Jason’s additionally told police that Jason had asked them what pills were odorless and tasteless after trying to put Xanax in Christina’s water. He told them that he wanted to knock his wife out and be able to move her body without her feeling anything.
Harris also told coworkers that he had paid $5,000 to have a hitman kill Christina, but that the man was arrested while doing surveillance for a parole violation before he could carry out the deed. Jason Harris then asked his coworkers if they would kill his wife for $5,000.
The defendant was also on record as telling multiple people that he had fed milk and cereal to his wife the night before she died, causing investigators to believe that he had put the heroin in her food to poison and kill her. Jason has a history of drug abuse and was even fired from his job for a “pattern of positive drug testing,” which prosecutors say proves that he has easy access to drugs like heroin. Jason also had a motive for his wife’s death – a total of $120,000 in life insurance money which he promptly collected.
The verdict as to whether Christina Harris’s death was an accidental overdose or premeditated murder by her husband remains to be seen. Jason Harris is scheduled to appear in court this upcoming Thursday on September 5th.
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