FLINT, MI (WPRI) — Less than two weeks after his wife’s death, Genessee County Prosecutor David Leyton says Jason Harris bought a plane ticket to visit an unidentified woman in Providence he had texted nearly 6,000 times.
This week, charges were brought against Harris in the September 2014 death of his wife, Christina Ann-Thompson Harris. The Davison woman’s death, initially believed to be an accidental heroin overdose, has now been deemed a homicide by the coroner.
Leyton says it was Christina’s friends who called the medical examiner’s initial ruling of an accidental heroin overdose bizarre. At a press conference Tuesday, Leyton announced his office believed on the day she died, Jason Harris put heroin into his wife’s cereal and milk to kill her.
“It’s been a long hard road to get here. We want justice for Christina,” Leyton said.
According to the Washington Post, on Oct. 1, 2014, Jason’s sister and brother told Davison police he had made comments in the past about “getting rid of Christina,” and thought he was seeing other women. Leyton announced on Tuesday they were right.
That wasn’t all as prosecutors said Harris was quick to collect Christina’s $120,000 life insurance once her death was deemed accidental by the coroner’s office. He also says Harris told a co-worker about his failed attempt to hire a hit man.
“This co-worker said during that time Harris offered him $5,000 dollars to kill Christina,” Leyton said.
Despite her death being ruled accidental, police kept the investigation open, according to the Washington Post.
Ultimately, Leyton says it was Christina’s frozen breast milk she had saved for her then four-month old child that sealed the case. Leyton said the milk was recovered at her parents’ home in three plastic packages and then frozen for years. It was tested in 2016, and “in each instance,” he said, “no controlled substance was found.” He added it was the first time in Michigan’s history a prosecutor asked the crime lab to test breast milk.
After all this time, it’s still unclear why it took five years to bring charges to Harris.
“One thing that I will not do is arbitrarily charge anybody with any crime I want to thank Christina’s mom and dad for their patience. I know this has been a long time coming,” Leyton said.
Harris faces three felony charges, including first-degree murder, and could spend life in prison if convicted. His defense attorney, Nicholas Robinson, told The Washington Post his client pleaded not guilty.