LYNDON, Kan. – A man accused of beheading a Topeka resident with a guitar string three years ago and keeping his head as part of a Voodoo ritual has pleaded not guilty to premeditated first-degree murder.
James Paul Harris kept the head of 49-year-old James Gerety to talk to it after Gerety was killed sometime in March or April of 2011, police said. Harris, 29, pleaded not guilty Monday and his trial was set for June 23, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported (http://bit.ly/Pdvdij).
During a preliminary hearing March 14, Harris’ former girlfriend, Bobbie Williams, testified that he told her he shot Gerety in the stomach, tortured him for two days and then cut off his head. Topeka police Detective Brian Hill testified that that Williams told him during questioning that Harris kept the head in a canvas bag so he could talk to it as part of a Voodoo ritual.
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