A 47-year-old Michigan man was found guilty of the murder of his wife, and mother of two, by spiking her cereal with a lethal dose of heroin. The victim’s breast milk played a key role in the case, according to the prosecutor.
Jason Thomas Harris was convicted of first-degree premeditated murder, solicitation of murder, and delivery of a controlled substance causing death related to the September 2014 death of his wife, 36-year-old Christina Ann-Thompson Harris, Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said in a press release.
According to testimony at trial, the case was initially ruled an accidental overdose but was changed to homicide in August 2019 by the Genesee County Medical Examiner, which allowed police and prosecutors to pursue the murder charge, the prosecutor’s office said.
After the woman’s death, family members went to the Davison Police Department. They suspected that something was not right with her death. They insisted that she did not use drugs and requested further investigation, the release said.
The frozen breast milk that Christina Harris previously stored in the freezer for her infant son was tested and it was determined that she was not a drug user, the prosecutor said.
The Genesee County Medical Examiner ruled Harris’ cause of death as heroin toxicity, John Potbury, Deputy Assistant Prosecuting Attorney told Digital.
“This was a very tragic case and my heart goes out to the family and friends of Christina Harris for their terrible loss,” Leyton said in a statement.
Leyton said it was the first time in the history of the Wolverine State that breast milk was used as evidence in a criminal case, The New York Post reported.
Harris was charged in 2019, five years after his wife’s death. He received $120,000 in life insurance benefits. Two weeks after his wife’s death another woman moved into the home, the Associated Press reported.
Harris’s siblings had also reportedly told police that he had been talking about getting rid of his wife, the Post reported.
The prosecutor added: “The circumstances of this case make for a unique story and garner headlines in the media, but at the core of it a family is mourning the loss of their loved one and I can only hope that today’s verdict will help them with closure,” he said.
Harris’ attorney, David Clark told Digital that Harris’ sentencing will be on Dec. 10. He did not provide any further details.
Harris faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, the press release sai