Trial Begins for Man Accused of Killing Main Line Model in Her Condo

Jonathan Harris faces first-degree murder charges in the killing of Christina Carlin-Kraft inside her Ardmore apartment in August 2018

What to Know

  • Jonathan Harris faces murder charges in the August 2018 death of Christina Carlin-Kraft in her Main Line apartment.
  • A jury was selected in Montgomery County Monday in the high-profile case.
  • Harris has pleaded not guilty despite a taped confession following his arrest.

The jury that will decide the fate of a man accused of murdering a model inside her Main Line apartment last summer has been selected.

The jury picked in Norristown, Montgomery County, Monday will decide if Jonathan Harris killed Christina Carlin-Kraft inside her Ardmore home last August. He has pleaded not guilty despite a confession following his arrest.

During the alleged confession, Harris told police the two got into a fight after she refused to pay for an ounce of cocaine. The taped confession made over hamburgers and french fries is going to be allowed during the jury trial.

Harris, now 31, is charged with first, second and third-degree murder as well as robbery and related counts in the Aug. 22 slaying of Carlin-Kraft.

Opening statements could already occur Monday.

Jonathan Harris. See larger photo here.

Officials say the 36-year-old Carlin-Kraft took a ride-hailing service to Philadelphia where she met Harris. The two later returned to her Main Line apartment.

According to a statement police obtained during his arrest and shared in court during an earlier hearing, Harris said he was set to sell an ounce of cocaine to Carlin-Kraft for $1,200. After the two drank and had consensual sex, Harris said, Carlin-Kraft refused to pay for the drugs.

He described a violent struggle in which Carlin-Kraft hit him with a glass bottle and he slapped her, repeatedly punched her and tied her up when she tried to flee. He gave her a phone when she asked to call her dad, he said, but he started to choke her when she tried to call 911.

When she stopped screaming he fled, he said, taking some clothing, taking the cocaine and jumping over the balcony. He told police he thought she was alive when he left.

Carlin-Kraft's beaten body was found in her bloodstained bedroom inside her upscale condominium near the popular Suburban Square shopping center after police visited the home to do a wellness check.

Christina Carlin-Kraft, 36, was found dead inside her Ardmore condo on Aug. 23, 2018. An autopsy found she was strangled. | See Larger

Harris eluded authorities for about a week before getting nabbed while getting off a bus in Pittsburgh, investigators said. He was allegedly trying to leave Pennsylvania.

Surveillance video and evidence gathered during the investigation led officials to issue a warrant for Harris' arrest.

Investigators say Harris had been released from state prison last July. He has an extensive criminal record including assault, theft and drug charges, according to online records.

Harris faces life in prison for the murder charges.

During an earlier hearing, Harris' Philadelphia-based attorney Charles Peruto Jr. said he won't comment, adding "it's best if I do all the talking in court."

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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