Christopher Harrison convicted of second-degree murder in 2018 Normal killings

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BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — The man accused of killing two people in Normal in 2018 was convicted of second-degree murder on Monday.

Christopher Harrison, who was 17 at the time, was accused of shooting and killing Reginald Hart Jr. and Joseph Gardner at a Normal apartment complex in April 2018. Attorneys argued that Harrison fatally shot the two when they tried to rob him of his money, drugs, and guns. The three were reportedly involved in selling drugs.

A McLean County jury ultimately found Harrison guilty of two counts of second-degree murder, which defense attorney Kevin Sanborn said was a best-case scenario since penalties were significantly lesser than first-degree, which the prosecution was pursuing.

Another court date has been set for Aug. 3, where a judge will decide to sentence Harrison as either an adult or a juvenile. If he is sentenced as an adult, he is facing around 40 years in prison.

At the time, police found more than 190 grams of marijuana, three guns, an A-R 15, a 9MM pistol, and a Remington shotgun, all in Harrison’s apartment. Authorities said the A-R was stolen and that Harrison did not have a valid FOID card.

Authorities said Gardner and Hart died from a total of 21 gunshot wounds to the back of the head, neck, and back.

The murder trial kicked off on June 8. The jury deliberated over the course of two days.

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