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Man accused of killing 5 in Illinois takes stand

Published: Friday, May 24, 2013 12:29 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, May 24, 2013 12:33 p.m. CDT

PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — A man accused of killing five members of a central Illinois family with a tire iron has taken the witness stand to speak directly to jurors.

Christopher Harris is charged with first-degree murder in the 2009 deaths of Rick Gee, his wife, Ruth, and three of their children in their Beason home.

Harris took the stand in Peoria on Friday after the state rested its case.

Some jurors turned away on Thursday and one cried as prosecutors displayed autopsy photos of the victims. Pathologist Dr. John Ralston held a tire iron that the state says is the murder weapon.

Harris is charged with first-degree murder. He previously admitted killing one of the children, 14-year-old Dillen Constant. But he claimed he walked in on the boy killing other family members.

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