Sporting what looked like a braided goatee, Christopher Harrell entered the 59th state district court Wednesday in the orange jumpsuit from the Grayson County Jail.
Harrell has been in that jail since October 2017 and has pleaded not guilty to charges that he killed 54-year-old Michael Lindsey back in 2017. The hearing held Wednesday was to determine just exactly what evidence jurors will get to hear when the case comes to trial in May.
Harrell’s attorneys Timothy Brown and Jeromie Oney argued the statements their client made to law enforcement came either before he was mirandized or after he had asserted his right to counsel. Prosecutor Britton Brooks said officers said they backed off questioning Harrell after he said he would only answer certain questions with a lawyer present. However, Brooks said, Harrell just kept talking, so the officers kept listening.
Harrell, who has been outspoken in court in the past, was not so this time around. He sat beside his attorneys and listened to what was going on in the room but didn’t interject. Judge Larry Phillips heard from a number of local law enforcement officers about their interactions with Harrell and ultimately decided statements Harrell made to those officers would be allowed at trial.
Harrell has been in jail since Sherman Police identified Lindsey, 54, as the person found deceased in a home in the 1500 block of West Gandy Street in Denison.
Lindsey had been reported missing by his daughter after he failed to show up at work for several days and could not be contacted. Denison Police Lt. Mike Eppler said Lindsey had been shot twice in the chest. Authorities said Harrell and Lindsey had been neighbors and Harrell was stopped, the same week that Lindsey’s daughter reported him missing, in Lindsey’s truck. Eppler said Harrell identified himself as Lindsey and produced Lindsey’s driver’s license. The officer who stopped Harrell took him at his word and released him.
After the traffic stop, the officer did a little bit more digging and was able to contact a family member to see whether that was indeed Lindsey and was told it was not. Harrell was subsequently located at a hotel in Mount Pleasant and arrested on a charge of fraudulent use of identifying information.
Jerrie Whiteley is the Herald Democrat’s criminal justice editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.