FLINT, Mich. (WJRT/Gray News) – The husband of a woman who died nearly five years ago is accused of trying to hire a hit man and then poisoning her with heroin.
Christina Ann-Thompson Harris died in her home in Davison, Mich., on Sept. 29, 2014, at 36 years old. She had given birth to the couple’s second child together in the weeks before her death.
The Genesee County Medical Examiner's Office initially ruled her death as an accidental heroin overdose.
Police continued investigating and obtained information showing her husband, 44-year-old Jason Thomas Harris, allegedly tried to hire a hit man to kill her and eventually fed her cereal poisoned with heroin.
Police arrested Harris on Tuesday on charges of first-degree premeditated murder, solicitation of murder and delivery of a controlled substance causing death.
Investigators believe Harris fed his wife a bowl of cereal and milk the night before she died, which contained heroin.
He told police that she slept poorly that night and coughed a lot due to cold symptoms, Genesee County Prosecutor David Leyton said. Harris claimed his wife had been taking cold medicine to treat the illness.
Christina Harris’ mother told police she spent much of the evening before the death at the Harris’ house and her daughter seemed to be in good health.
On the morning of Sept. 29, 2014, Jason Harris called a neighbor and asked her to check on his wife, according to Leyton.
The neighbor found Christina unresponsive in bed and called another neighbor, who is a nurse. The nurse came over and quickly discovered Christina was dead.
The Davison Police Department began learning of concerns about Jason's actions leading up to Christina's death a few days afterward. His siblings went to the police station on Oct. 1 and told investigators of statements he made about "getting rid of Christina," Leyton said.
Several of Jason’s co-workers said they also heard troubling statements from him about wanting to get rid of Christina. He allegedly told co-workers that he didn’t want a divorce because he didn’t want to deal with alimony, child support payments and child custody issues.
One co-worker told police that Jason had talked about hiring a hit man to kill Christina, but the hit man got arrested and couldn’t carry out the murder, Leyton said. Jason then allegedly asked the co-worker to carry out the murder for $5,000.
Co-workers also told investigators about conversations they had with Jason about finding drugs that are odorless and tasteless, Leyton said.
Meanwhile, several neighbors and other acquaintances told investigators about Jason being involved in relationships with women outside the marriage.
A neighbor told police that Jason had a woman and her child move in to the Harris' house on Bay Street less than two months after Christina died.
Because Christina had just given birth, she underwent frequent blood tests in the months before her death. Leyton said none of them showed any trace of heroin or any other illegal drug.
A Michigan State Police crime lab also tested three packages of breast milk that Christina made in the days before she died. None of them showed traces of heroin.
Leyton said that shows Christina ingested the heroin suddenly in a short amount of time and that she hadn't been a regular user.
The medical examiner’s office changed Christina’s death certificate last week, indicating she died of homicide rather than an accidental overdose.
Jason faces up to life in prison with no chance of parole if he is convicted.
Christina’s obituary says she left behind two children, two step-children, a step-grandchild, siblings and many other relatives.