Nearly 23 years after a 21-year-old hairstylist was found stabbed to death in her San Jose apartment, a jury today found the suspect in the case guilty of first-degree murder for the killing. Following a month-long trial and nearly 1.5 days of deliberation, a jury of eight men and four women convicted Charles Grant of stabbing Kristi Harris with a knife in her Bascom Avenue apartment Aug. 29, 1988.
Immediately after the verdict was read around 11 a.m., Harris’ family members and friends broke into loud sobs. “We’ve waited 23 years for this,” Harris’ sister, Dana, said. “He took a precious life from us in a very brutal manner. I’ve always wanted him to feel the fear that she did.” Outside the courtroom, wearing a purple ribbon emblazoned with “J4K” or “Justice for Kristi,” Harris’ mother, Sharon, said she was at a loss for words.
“I’m just glad it’s over with. It’s taken way too long,” she said. Prosecutors said Grant killed her when she walked in on him during a robbery. Her roommate later found her body in her apartment. Grant was treated at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center for a laceration to his left hand on the day of the murder. His wound required sutures and he also had a cast that was wet and damaged and required repair during the visit.
Homicide investigators interviewed Grant a few times after the murder and he provided a blood sample. Police arrested Grant in August 2008 after his DNA was matched to DNA evidence taken from the apartment. Prosecutor Brian Welch today credited the Santa Clara County Crime Lab and San Jose Police Department for their role in solving the crime.
“This is a case the Police Department has never forgotten,” Welch said. Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge David Cena ordered Grant to return to court for sentencing Sept. 8. He faces a maximum sentence of 31 years to life in prison.
Copyright © 2011 by Bay City News, Inc. Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.
Comment Advisement We welcome your thoughts, but for the sake of all readers, please refrain from the use of obscenities, personal attacks or racial slurs. All comments are subject to our terms of service and may be removed. Repeat offenders may lose commenting privileges.