Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said a jury returned a verdict Wednesday finding a Davison man guilty on all counts for the 2014 death of his wife.
Jason Thomas Harris, 47 (d.o.b. 11-16-1974), is 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, after he prepared and served her a bowl of cereal that he had laced with a lethal dose of heroin.
According to trial testimony, Jason Harris told police investigators that he had served his wife a bowl of cereal the evening of September 28, 2014 and she had difficulty holding onto her spoon. He said he then had to assist her in getting into bed and the both of them went to sleep.
The next morning, September 29, 2014, Jason Harris told police his wife was still sleeping when he left for work and took the couple’s two children with him. Later that morning, he said he could not get his wife to answer her phone or respond to texts. So, he said he called a neighbor and asked her to check on his wife. The neighbor found the door to the home unlocked and discovered Christina cold to the touch and unresponsive on the bed.
Another neighbor who is a registered nurse was then called and asked to come over and they called 9-1-1. Emergency responders arrived and Christina Harris was declared deceased shortly thereafter.
According to testimony at trial, the case was initially ruled an accidental overdose. Two days after her death, family members of Christina Harris went to the Davison Police Department to complain that something was not right with her death, that she did not use drugs and they felt further investigation was necessary.
As part of the investigation, a sample of Christina Harris’ breast milk which she had previously stored in her freezer for feeding her infant child was tested and came back negative for any trace of controlled substances.
Prosecutor Leyton said this is the first time in the state of Michigan that breast milk had been tested in a criminal case as evidence of a crime and the negative results further corroborated the family’s argument that Christina Harris was not a drug user.
In addition, Jason Harris’ own brother and sister told police a couple days after her death that he had made statements in the past about getting rid of his wife.
Trial testimony also revealed that Jason Harris had been communicating with several women via emails and text messages and sending pictures to them before and after his wife’s death. Just nine days after Christina Harris’ death, Jason Harris purchased an airline ticket to visit a women in Rhode Island with whom he had exchanged thousands of texts before his wife’s death. Two weeks after her death, another woman had moved into their home.
The police investigation revealed that Jason Harris received $120,000 in life insurance benefits from Christina Harris’ death.
The case was investigated by Davison police for almost two years before the Michigan State Police took the case over in August of 2016 after Christina Harris’ parents had contacted them. In August of 2019, the Genesee County Medical Examiner changed the cause of death from an accident to a homicide which allowed police and prosecutors to pursue the murder charge. The case was tried in Circuit Court by Assistant Prosecutor Rebecca Jurva-Brinn.
“This was a very tragic case, and my heart goes out to the family and friends of Christina Harris for their terrible loss,” said Prosecutor Leyton after the verdict was read.
“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 as they continue to grieve and they can feel some sense of comfort in knowing that justice under the law has been served,” Leyton added.
Jason Harris faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole when he is sentenced December 10.