crime & courts

Woman becomes second arrested in September murder

The woman who allegedly planned a September robbery in Bloomington that led to the murder of a 66-year-old man has been arrested.

Christina Harmon, 32, was arrested March 10 and charged with murder in the Sept. 12 beating death of Donald Gentry. Her alleged accomplice, 63-year-old John Griffin, was arrested and charged in October.

Detectives in the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office believe Harmon planned the robbery that led to the murder, according to a probable cause affidavit. Harmon confessed to knowing where Gentry kept his drugs and knowing Griffin was planning to short-change Gentry in a drug buy.

“Harmon stated she told Griffin if Gentry found out, then there would be a fight,” according to the affidavit.

A witness who had been in a car with Griffin and Harmon prior to the murder told detectives Harmon had asked Griffin if he’d brought a weapon before telling him that Gentry typically kept a hammer on his porch.

Harmon had been interviewed by authorities shortly after police found Gentry dead in his trailer with his head bashed in. A neighbor had seen a man and woman at the residence that morning several hours after the murder occurred, and he described the woman to a Bloomington Police Department detective who recognized her as Harmon. Harmon had been a police informant and had conducted controlled drug buys from Gentry in the past.

Harmon denied any involvement in the murder during the initial interview with the sheriff’s office. The man the neighbor had seen with Harmon was identified as her then-boyfriend, who later told detectives Harmon had told him about the murder the night it happened and said Gentry had been killed by people named John and Rosetta.

In a second interview with the sheriff’s office, Harmon admitted she’d fabricated the Rosetta character but told detectives Griffin was the John responsible for the murder. She said she had gone with Griffin to buy Gentry from drugs early that morning but that Griffin went inside the trailer alone.

A fight broke out while Griffin was in the trailer, Harmon said. Griffin returned with a large brick and a bag of pills, his face covered in blood. They drove to a Motel 6 to dump the brick.

Harmon showed detectives where they’d dumped the brick, and detectives found the brick and a hammer. She was also part of an undercover operation that led to Griffin’s arrest.

In January, a woman who knows Harmon emailed the prosecutor’s office and said Harmon had told her the robbery was her idea. An interview with her led to other witnesses, including the man who said he’d been in the car with Harmon and Griffin.

Sheriff’s office detectives, assisted by BPD’s special investigations unit, arrested Harmon. In an interview the day of her arrest, she denied having any conversation in front of witnesses about getting drugs from Gentry.

She was taken to Monroe County Correctional Center where she is being held without bond.

Jack Evans

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