ARDMORE, Pa. (CBS) — The man accused of killing a former Playboy model in her Main Line apartment appeared in court for a preliminary hearing on Friday.
Jonathan Harris, 30, of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, is accused of a slew of charges, including first, second and third degree murder in the death of Christina Kraft. Harris walked into a magistrate’s office in Ardmore, handcuffed and not saying anything.
Kraft was killed after a cocaine-fueled fight at her Main Line home following a botched drug deal, according to testimony provided at Harris’ preliminary hearing in Ardmore.
The Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office says Harris met the former model in Philadelphia one night in August. The two then took a car to Kraft’s apartment on Sibley Avenue in Ardmore.
Around 3 a.m. on Aug. 22, the door to her apartment was seen on a security camera opening, but that door did not reopen again until Lower Merion Township Police were called to check on the victim.
Authorities say Harris used a backdoor to flee the apartment after strangling Kraft to death.
Montgomery County Detective Todd Richard said he transported Harris from Pittsburgh to Montgomery County after authorities tipped off where Harris was trying to flee.
Richard stated Harris first denied having killed Kraft, but on the drive back to Montgomery County, recalled what happened in detail.
According to a statement by the defendant, Harris and Kraft met in Philadelphia and then took a Lyft to her Ardmore apartment. Harris had an ounce of cocaine on him at the time and wanted to sell it to Kraft for $1,200.
The statement reads that when they got to her apartment, they used the cocaine and then had sex. He then wanted her to pay for cocaine but she refused. That’s when a fight broke out between the two.
According to Harris’ statement, Kraft started raising her voice and was telling Harris to get out. Kraft then grabbed a glass bottle and hit Harris on the head. He slapped her on the face and she fell to the floor. When she realized what happened, she started screaming at the top of her lungs. Harris then punched her and tied her up.
Kraft then regained consciousness, said she was OK and asked to call her dad. Harris gave her his cellphone but after seeing her trying to dial 911, Harris took the phone and threw it. He later found an object that authorities have not yet revealed and strangled Kraft to death, according to Harris’ statement.
Harris later told the detective he never meant for Kraft to die. If he could take back what he did he would. Harris also told the detective that he didn’t know whether to burn the house down.
“Ms. Kraft was repeatedly struck in the head, she was, in fact, beaten. Her hands were bound at a point and she was strangled to the point of killing her,” said Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Brianna Ringwood. “We contend that the suspect placed his hands and an object around her neck and strangled her to death, and that is premeditation.”
A robbery charge was added during the hearing. A magistrate judge allowed the charges to proceed.
Harris’ attorney would not say whether he plans to go to trial or if he expects his client to take a plea.
Friends of Kraft were emotional walking into the magistrate’s office.
“She was a great girl, known her for 15 years,” said family friend Mark D’Ambrosio. “It’s just horrible.”
Authorities are still searching for Andre Milton who is wanted in connection with an earlier break-in at Kraft’s home. Authorities do not believe Milton is connected to Kraft’s murder.