Defense not able to suppress statements by man accused of killing model in Ardmore

Steve Tawa
March 08, 2019 - 2:31 pm
A judge has denied a defense request to suppress the statements that a 31-year-old defendant gave to detectives, following the murder of a model in her Ardmore condo last August.

Steve Tawa/KYW Newsradio

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MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — A judge has denied a defense request to suppress the statements that a 31-year-old defendant gave to detectives, following the murder of model Christina Kraft in her Ardmore condo last August. 

A homicide investigator with the Montgomery County Detective Bureau testified about his interaction with Jonathan Harris, whom he picked up in Pittsburgh after federal marshals nabbed him.

RELATED: Police: Man accused of murdering model says they fought over payment for drugs

Detective Todd Richard said Harris immediately shook his hand, saying "I'd like to tell you my side of the story." Richard described Harris as "polite and articulate" from the interrogation room to the follow up four-hour car ride back, during which Harris was allowed to call his mother and sister on a three-way speakerphone from the back seat. Richard quotes Harris as telling them "I'm going away to jail for the rest of my life."

Defense attorney Chuck Peruto Jr. does not think it rises to a first-degree murder case, suggesting "there was no intent to kill."

"What degree of murder is it, if murder, or manslaughter? What occurred here? My client committed the crime, this is just a culpability issue," Peruto Jr. said. 

He suggested that it should be downgraded, to perhaps manslaughter. On the off chance that there was a plea deal conveyed by Montgomery County prosecutors.

"I would take it, like Jim Brown running for the goal line," he said.

Prosecutors also asked for, and Judge William Carpenter agreed, to add the charge of strangulation when the case goes to trial.

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