Trial Begins for Man Accused of Dismemberment of 2-Year-Old Boy

samara-doole-259144-unsplash-copy-200x300The body of 2-year-old Kirien Knox was found dismembered in Garfield Park Lagoon. The shocking details of the slaying moved those who witnessed the photos to tears. The man charged with the murder, Kamel Harris, has pleaded not guilty.

According to the prosecution, the boy’s mother, Lanisha Knox, left her son with Harris and five others at an apartment while Knox headed out to set up a new life in Iowa, get jobs, and find an apartment. At some point, Harris stopped responding to calls or texts made by Knox.

Police and the prosecution believe that, at some point, Harris “snapped” and murdered the boy and then tried to dispose of the body. However, they did not list a cause of death. They did, however, indicate that Harris snapped because the boy cried incessantly after a “painful reaction to milk.”

Harris Reports the Boy Missing

According to prosecutors, Harris reported the boy missing. However, they found blood evidence in Harris’ car that they believed belonged to the young Kirien Knox. Harris has denied that Kirien was ever in his car. Later, blood tests matched the blood to the boy. However, there is no other physical evidence tying Harris to the killing. But the condition that the body was in at the time it was found would make forensic observations much more difficult.

Prosecutors are instead relying on jailhouse witnesses who claim that Harris confessed to the killing while he was locked up on another charge.

Harris contends that Lanisha Knox sent three people to collect the boy from Harris’ apartment. After they had retrieved the boy, Harris thought everything was fine when they all left in a burgundy SUV.

Conflicting Facts and Testimony

While police and prosecutors maintain that Harris killed Kyrian due to a painful reaction to milk, Knox testified that the boy was never lactose intolerant. Police also maintain that Harris reported the boy missing. If this is true, it could put a hole in his testimony that he released the child to three men in a burgundy SUV and thought everything was fine.

Much of the prosecution’s case against Harris is circumstantial. Their “he flipped out” theory is not entirely credible. Their jailhouse witnesses who claim Harris bragged about the killing may or may not hold sway with the jury. However, they do not have a great case against Harris.

Nonetheless, the media frenzy surrounding this horrible murder already has many people believing that Harris is the killer. Since it is his face associated with numerous articles on the slaying, it may be difficult for Harris to get a fair trial.

The last piece of evidence the prosecution has is blood evidence linked to a car that Harris borrowed during the time they say he disposed of the body. However, this can work against them as well. The prosecution does not have any other forensic evidence tying Harris to the slaying. They do not have a credible motive. The credibility of their hearsay evidence is highly suspect. It is hard to believe that they can convince a jury that Harris is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Talk to a Criminal Defense Attorney in Chicago

Those charged with crimes need criminal defense attorneys regardless of whether they are guilty or innocent. All too often, the criminal justice system railroads innocent suspects with weak evidence. Those who are guilty often find themselves facing exorbitant sentences or extraneous charges. David Freidberg, Attorney at Law, forces law enforcement and prosecutors to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt. Contact us today at (312) 560-7100 and we can begin preparing your defense immediately.

(image courtesy of Samara Doole)

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