Attorney Dan Fultz spoke on behalf of Christopher Harris,
claiming that a list of subpoenas he is requesting will show that
Dillen Constant was a violent young man, had a mental disorder and
was capable of killing his entire family.
Fultz holds that
Christopher Harris, who is currently charged for the crimes with his
brother Jason, merely acted in self-defense when he entered the Gee
home, witnessed a horrific event going on and in the end killed
On Sept. 26, Christopher Harris and his attorneys were in court
seeking to get subpoenas for confidential records pertaining to
Constant. Their motions were denied because Judge Harris said they
lacked specificity as to who and what needed to be subpoenaed.
After the motions were denied, the judge gave the defense
attorneys an opportunity to refile their motions in a manner that
would provide the court more detail and show that the requests were
Fultz filed the new motions last week. After their filing, the
state's attorney's office and the attorney general's office were
given the chance to review the motions and file their objections.
On Tuesday, the defense and prosecution met again in front of
Judge Harris to argue their points and hear the judge's decision.
Fultz spoke first, saying that the judge's reasons for dismissing
the first request had been well taken by the defense, and they were
now re-entering their requests with more specific details.
He said that in presenting his requests, he had followed the core
test for evidence. The state and the defense are leaning on the
court case of the People v. Nixon as the rule to follow in
requesting confidential documents.
Accounting for relevance, the first rule of the test, Fultz told
the judge that the materials he was asking for were relevant to his
He said the second rule applied as well because the documents
being requested are items that could not otherwise be obtained.
Fultz also told the judge that he could not present his defense
without these documents.
The attorney is asking for confidential documents pertaining to
Constant's mental health and his behavioral patterns. He told the
judge that Constant was known to have violent tendencies, and these
documents would show that.
He finished by saying that the facts of the case do meet the
threshold of rule and show that the attorneys are not fishing for
something they are not sure is there.
Fultz also told the judge that a number of people who have been
interviewed since the crimes were committed can speak to Constant's
state of mind. He said he is waiting for the investigators'
interview with Nicole Gee, but he has spoken to her.
Fultz had also entered a subpoena for the state's attorney's
office, but asked the judge to strike that request and amend it to
include the Logan County sheriff's office and the Lincoln Police
When Assistant Attorney General Steven Nate took his turn to
speak, he said that Fultz has still not passed the test under the
People v. Nixon because he has failed to show that once the records
are released they will be admissible in court.
Nate said Fultz was claiming Constant had a mental disorder, but
had no real proof of it. He said Fultz was basing his claim on the
fact that three years prior to the murders Constant had been taking
prescription Ritalin. Nate told the judge that this was not relevant
to the events of September 2009.
Ritalin is a trademark for methylphenidate. According to
WebMD.com: "Methylphenidate is used as part of a treatment program
(including psychological, educational, and social measures) to treat
attention deficit hyperactivity disorder -- ADHD. It can help
increase your ability to pay attention, stay focused on an activity,
and control behavior problems. It may also help you to organize your
tasks and improve listening skills. This medication is also used to
treat a certain sleep disorder (narcolepsy). Methylphenidate is a
mild stimulant that is thought to work by changing the amounts of
certain natural substances in the brain."
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Nate continued by addressing the matters of confidentiality. He
said the records Fultz was asking for included mental health and
medical records, but he had not shown how those records will
directly relate to the murders.
Nate asked the judge to consider how he would handle the
documents if he chose to allow them to be subpoenaed.
As it stands, the judge will review the documents, if subpoenaed,
and will determine if they are relevant. If so, he would then
provide both the defense and the prosecution with copies of the
Nate asked that in doing his review, the judge not isolate
instances without providing the full record, as it would take the
single incident out of context.
He offered as an example, if a review of the school records would
show that one time in three years Constant was caught acting out
against another person, that should not be isolated information. The
full record should be submitted to show that in the three years
there was only the one occasion.
He told Judge Harris: "The defense plans to put D.C.'s character
on trial. We want to be sure it is a true representation of what
that character is."
The judge told Fultz that he has already checked the Logan County
records and that no juvenile delinquent file exists for Constant.
This is one of the files that Fultz was asking be released. As there
is none, there is nothing to release.
Fultz said he would withdraw that particular request.
In answer to some of Nate's arguments, Fultz said that records
pertaining to Constant's mental health could not be limited to
events just prior to the murders. He told the judge there were
events that would show Constant leading up to committing the
He also told Harris that he didn't know of any case law that
required the judge to release all of a person's file if only part of
it is relevant. Fultz said he wanted only relevant facts released,
that the entire files would not be needed.
However, Fultz said that if the judge did agree to turn over
complete files, then he would probably end up just turning all the
records over to the attorneys.
When Harris delivered his decision, he said that in the initial
motions from September, Fultz had not passed the test of evidence.
He said the motions lacked specificity and that Fultz had not proven
the requests were not a fishing trip for what they hoped they could
In the second set of motions filed last week, there was more
Harris said that he still hasn't seen evidence of what the
subpoenaed documents could hold, but had simply been told what they
might contain. The judge said that left him operating in a vacuum,
so to speak. However, he also noted that he believed the defense had
met the threshold of showing the relevance of the documents as
evidence. He said he would then conclude that the defense had met
the first and second rules of evidence.
He said he was taking the fourth element in good faith that the
search of these records was not fishing.
In the end, the judge said that he would find that the defense
has met the legal requirements based on the People v. Nixon and
should be allowed to issue their subpoenas.
Subpoenas will be issued for Dr. Matthew Rossi, Hopedale
Pharmacy, Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois, Chester-East
Lincoln School and Lincoln Junior High School. There will also be
subpoenas issued to the Logan County sheriff and the Lincoln Police
As the hearing came to an end, Nate reminded the court that the
subpoenas were strictly for discovery of evidence, and that didn't
mean any of it would be admissible.
Judge Harris confirmed that, saying that admissibility of the
evidence would be determined at a later date.