Lyft driver testifies strangled model was 'happy-go-lucky' hours before death

Jim Melwert
May 07, 2019 - 1:40 pm
Jonathan Harris and Christina Kraft

Montgomery County District Attorney's Office/Facebook

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UPDATED: 5:35 p.m.

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NORRISTOWN, Pa. (KYW Newsradio) — Jurors in the trial of a Philadelphia man accused of murdering a one-time Playboy model in her Ardmore condo last summer heard from the man who was the last one to see the two before she was killed.

Jurors watched video Tuesday of Christina Kraft as she met Jonathan Harris in Center City around 2:15 a.m. on Aug. 22, 2018. 

About 15 minutes later, she convinced a Lyft driver, who was about to go home for the evening, to drive them back to her condo near Suburban Station in Ardmore.

That driver testified she was in a happy-go-lucky mood, asking him to play Rob Base’s "It Takes Two," and singing it over and over even though she didn’t know the all the words.

The driver said she was affectionate with Harris, sitting close to him, kissing him. 

When they got to her condo, the driver said Harris indicated he didn’t plan to stay long and wanted to get back to the city. He offered the driver $100 if he waited 10 minutes to give him a ride back to the city.

The driver waited about 20 minutes before leaving.

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According to the statement Harris gave police, he went back to her condo to sell her cocaine. After an argument over payment for the drugs, he said he hit her when she started screaming, eventually choking her to death.

Prosecutors say he killed her because he knew she would go to police. 

Just after doing so, Harris was taken into custody by Philadelphia sheriff’s deputies, suspected of being high on K2. 

While hospitalized, testimony revealed that Harris told a man who he shared a hospital room with that, “There’s nothing like squeezing somebody and feeling the last breath come out of their body.”

Harris has admitted he killed Kraft. Prosecutors are insisting for first-degree murder and a life sentence. Harris' attorney argues it was not pre-meditated.

The medical examiner also testified that Kraft did not have cocaine or any other drugs in her system, just a blood-alcohol level three times the legal limit.