The show is entitled "Murder Comes to Town. The Devil Wears
Sneakers" and is rated as a TV-14 show.
The teaser for the show
reads: "A tight-knit Illinois farming town is rocked when a family
of five is found beaten to death in their home. When the bodies of
the Gee family are discovered, the tiny town of Beason, IL finds
itself in the midst of a gruesome murder mystery."
Logan County Sheriff Steve Nichols said Friday that he, State's
Attorney Jonathan Wright and former Lincoln Police Department Chief
Stuart Erlenbush were interviewed for the documentary. Nichols said
he believes that for those who wish to watch, the documentary will
offer some additional insight into the investigation of the murders.
On May 31, 2013, Christopher Harris was found guilty by a Peoria
County jury of the brutal murders of five members of the Rick and
Ruth Gee family, which included three children. A fourth child was
also beaten to near death, but survived.
On May 30, at the end of the gruesome and explicit trial,
Assistant Attorney General Michael Atterberry delivered his closing
remarks. In those remarks, he commented that in covering up his
crime, Harris had felt he was outsmarting the police. He had even
gone so far as to buy new sneakers in a different size so that his
shoe prints would not match those at the crime scene.
During the trial, Harris' defense attorneys attempted to place
the blame for the killings on one of the deceased children, Dillen
Constant. Attorney Dan Fultz painted a picture of the young boy as
being violent, out of control and deprived of needed medication that
resulted in him being unstable.
As Fultz wound down his closing remarks, he referred to an old
Johnny Cash song about a man who steals pieces to a car over a
number of years and ends up building a Frankenstein vehicle from the
parts. Fultz said the prosecution's case was like that car: "Nothing
fits, it does run, but it is a piece of crap."
When Wright delivered the prosecution rebuttal, he swiftly poked
at the defense, saying he was not going to come to the jury with
Johnny Cash songs. He said the trial was about Rick Gee, Ruth Gee,
Justina, Dillen, Austin and Tabitha.
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The jury then received their instructions and began
deliberation. They broke for the night and returned on May 31 to
finish their work. By shortly after noon, they were back in the
courtroom with their verdicts of guilty on multiple counts of
murder as well as attempted murder and other related crimes.
On July 19 Harris was sentenced to consecutive life sentences for
the five murders. He was given an opportunity to speak and said he
was sorry for the stupid mistakes he had made the night of the
murders, but contended that he did not commit the crimes.
As Judge Scott Drazewski delivered his decisions, he spoke to
Harris directly, saying: "I search for words and I don't have
sufficient vocabulary. You deserve punishment. Society must be
He continued: "Some say this will bring closure. But that isn't
true. The family had to endure this trial, and now they've today had
to hear your hypocritical statement."
The typical format for the Discovery ID productions includes
re-enactments of events leading up to and including the crime, with
a narrative in the background. The shows also typically feature
taped commentary from investigators, prosecutors and family members
Friday afternoon Nichols said he believed family members were
interviewed for the show, but he did not know whether staff members
from the attorney general's office were also included.
[By NILA SMITH]
Investigation Discovery is a
Discovery TV channel.
You can watch the show at 8 p.m.
Central time. The listings are in Eastern time. "Murder Comes to
Town: The devil wears sneakers."
Comcast Xfinity, Channel 471
Direct TV, Channel 285