After days of listening to Christopher Harrell talk about the death of Michael Lindsey via videotaped police interviews, jurors in the 59th state district court heard from Harrell’s other victim Thursday.
Throughout the trial this week, jurors have seen photos of a home in the 1500 block of West Gandy in Denison where Lindsey’s body was found on October 1, 2017. On Thursday afternoon, they met the woman who owned the home and allowed Harrell to stay there while she went on vacation.
Harrell had, the jurors have heard repeatedly, repaid that trust by allowing all kinds of people to party in the home and by stealing things from the home.
“We walked in. It was absolutely freezing,” Christina Moon said to Assistant Grayson County District Attorney Michael Sissney.
Moon said she had always wanted white linen covered furniture and had it when she left for vacation. When she returned, she said, it was all covered with stains.
There were liquor bottles everywhere and the sink was full of dishes.
“It was just such a betrayal,” Moon said.
Moon said she could tell there were things that were missing but was so overwhelmed by the whole thing that she was too numb to be able to figure out what at first. She called the police that night to report the burglary, as she hadn’t been able to contact Harrell for the last week of her vacation. Moon said she spoke with a Denison Police officer in the kitchen of the home and remembered showing him to the downstairs game room where Lindsey’s body would eventually be found, but she didn’t go in that area.
“I just felt uncomfortable,” she said of the room.
The officer took the report but didn’t do much investigating, she said. Moon then left the house and stayed with her niece. She told jurors it would be days before she spent the night in the home again. Moon said she didn’t know who had been in the home and she didn’t know if they might come back.
The next day, Moon said, she returned to the home in a better frame of mind and called the police again. She had discovered that some of her checks were missing. Two female police officers answered that call, she said, and had their supervisor join them. Moon said though they were in the bottom level of the home, they didn’t walk into the bathroom where Lindsey’s body was smashed into a shower and covered with a door and other items.
It was later that night, Moon said, that several men came to the door and said they were with the Texas Rangers.
“They told me to wait outside,” Moon said.
She said she did so and was eventually taken to the police station. It was there that they started showing her photographs of her home, the last of which was Lindsey’s body.
“I had no idea it was in there while I was there,” she said.
Moon said the house did have an odor when she walked in but she assumed it was from the parties that had likely gone on there while she was gone and the mess that was left behind.
On Oct. 2, 2017, police found Harrell in a hotel room in Mount Pleasant with many of the items that were missing from Moon’s home, including the gun authorities say was the murder weapon, as well as her car titles and other papers. Moore said she got back 90 percent of what was taken.
The other woman who testified Thursday afternoon was responsible for the authorities beginning to look for Harrell in the first place. Lindsey’s daughter, Natasha Lindsey, said she was supposed to meet her father at Braum’s on Sept. 28 and when he didn’t show, she was worried. Later she got a call from his employer who said he hadn’t been to work. Natasha Lindsey said her father loved his job at Walmart and it wasn’t like him to miss work.
She later went to the Sherman Police Department to report him missing. Over the week, jurors have heard about how that report led police to eventually stop Harrell in Lindsey’s truck. Harrell identified himself as Michael Lindsey and police let him go after he claimed he had fought with his sister and would call his family when he was ready.
Natasha Lindsey told police there was no way that man could be her father because he didn’t have a sister. Eventually police traced Michael Lindsey’s phone to Mount Pleasant where they found Harrell.
A medical examiner testified that Michael Lindsey was shot twice in the back of the arm and the bullets ended up in his lungs and chest. He had also been struck in the head. The medical examiner said Michael Lindsey could have died from either bullet wound or the blunt force trauma or a combination of the two.
A forensic specialist testified that the casings found in the house on Gandy were fired from the gun found in Harrell’s possession. They could not say the bullets pulled from Lindsey’s body came from the gun.
The prosecution wrapped up its case Thursday and the defense began by calling members of the Denison Police Department, who had been involved in the investigation of the burglary of the home on Gandy.