Harris gets life in prison for five tire iron beating deaths

July 19, 2013 at 10:39 PM

LINCOLN, Ill., July 19 (UPI) -- The man convicted of beating five members of an Illinois family to death with a tire iron was sentenced Friday to life in prison.

Christopher Harris, 34, who was found guilty last month of killing Rick and Ruth Gee and three of their children during a robbery in the family's Beason home on Sept. 21, 2009, was given an addition 80 years in prison, to be served consecutively, for home invasion, attempted first-degree murder and armed robbery, the Peoria Journal Star reported.

Harris again denied responsibility for the slayings.

"I made a lot of stupid, stupid decisions that night, but I did not commit this crime," he said.

That didn't sit well with the several dozen family members and supporters who filled the courtroom, the newspaper said. In statements to the court, they called Harris "evil" and "an animal."

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