Jury takes 10 minutes to sentence Denison man to life in prison for murder

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GRAYSON COUNTY, Tex. (KXII) - The man who shot his friend twice, then bashed him in the head with a rock will spend the rest of his life in prison for murder.

The jury's decision this morning was extremely quick, and the reaction from the family, emotional, as they finally saw the man who is convicted of killing someone they describe as a loving family man-- put behind bars for life.

After a very quick conviction Monday, a Grayson County jury was back at the justice center Tuesday to sentence Christopher Harrell.

"This jury was ready to send Mr. Harrell a message, and he received a life sentence which is appropriate," said district attorney Brett Smith.

Harrell was house-sitting for a friend at a Denison home in 2017.

Prosecutors Britton Brooks and Michael Sissney say Harrell befriended Michael Lindsey and invited him over.

Then they say he shot Lindsey twice in the back, and hit him in the head with a rock.

He hid Lindsey's body in the back of the house, and took off in Lindsey's truck, but not before stealing items and money from the home to pay for meth.

Harrell gave police Lindsey's ID when he was pulled over, and Sherman police let him go.

"It didn't take long to focus on Chris Harrell through cell phone tracking," Smith said. "He was tracked to Mt. Pleasant and was found in possession of the murder weapon."

The jury found him guilty in less than 30 minutes Monday.

Tuesday, they sentenced him to life and a $10,000 fine in less than 10 minutes.

Smith called Harrell a senseless criminal.

"He has taken that to a new level by committing a heinous act of violence."

Lindsey's daughters both delivered victim's impact statements in court, saying Harrell tore their life apart.

They describe their father as a giving, selfless and strong man who cared about his family more than anything and worked hard every day.

"Our job is to see justice is done, that's what we did in this case," Smith said. "But we can never make our victims whole."

Harrell will be eligible for parole after serving 30 years.

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