DAVISON, Mich. — A Michigan man has been convicted of using a heroin-laced bowl of cereal to kill his wife in 2014.
Jason Thomas Harris, 47, of Davison, was convicted Wednesday of first-degree murder, solicitation of murder and delivery of a controlled substance causing death.
Christina Ann-Thompson Harris, 36, died overnight Sept. 28, 2014, in what was initially believed to be an accidental heroin overdose. Two days after her death, however, family members went to the Davison Police Department to complain that something was not right.
By all accounts, Christina Harris was a loving mother to her two children, and her family denied that she was a drug user.
Those skeptical included Jason Harris’ own siblings, who told police their brother had talked in the past of “getting rid of Christina.”
Further investigation by police led the medical examiner to change her manner of death to homicide in 2019, five years after Christina Harris died.
“This was a very tragic case and my heart goes out to the family and friends of Christina Harris,” Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said after the verdict. “The circumstances in the case make for a unique story and garner headlines in media, but at the core of it, a family is mourning the loss of their loved one. I only hope that today’s verdict will help them with closure as they continue to grieve, so they can feel some sense of comfort in knowing that justice under the law has been served.”
Frozen breast milk
The case against Jason Harris hinged, in part, on frozen breast milk, according to MLive.
Christina Harris was eight months postpartum after giving birth to the couple’s second daughter. She was still breastfeeding and had stocked up their freezer with frozen milk for the infant.
Several samples of the breast milk were collected and tested. No drugs were found in the milk, indicating that Christina Harris was not a regular drug user.
Jason Harris had told investigators that Christina Harris, who had asthma, had slept poorly the night she died because of a cold. The slain woman’s mother had been at the couple’s home most of the day, however, and said her daughter was in good spirits.
Around 10 a.m. on the morning of Sept. 29, Jason Harris called a neighbor and asked her to check on his wife, which the neighbor told authorities was unusual.
When the neighbor went into the Harris home, which was unlocked, she found Christina Harris unresponsive in bed. The woman summoned a second neighbor, who is a nurse.
The second neighbor confirmed Christina Harris was dead and they called 911.
One of the neighbors told authorities Jason Harris said he’d given his wife a bowl of cereal the night before, but that in the middle of eating it, she dropped it unexpectedly on the floor and passed out.
Christina Harris’ told authorities her daughter’s marriage had been rocky, and Jason Harris’ siblings said he had been involved with other women before his wife died.
According to MLive, testimony at trial revealed that Jason Harris moved another woman into his home two months after Christina Harris’ death. He had also traveled to Rhode Island days after her death to spend time with a woman with whom he’d exchanged more than 5,800 texts, authorities said.
Jason Harris also benefited financially from his wife’s death. Harris, who had been fired from his factory job for testing positive for drugs, collected $120,000 in insurance money after Christina Harris’ death.
He is scheduled for sentencing Dec. 10, MLive reported. He faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison.
©2021 Cox Media Group