Those that were in the court room did not know that when Rev. James Harris sat through his three day trial, he was secretly scheming while his face remained stoic and free of emotion.
On Thursday, after Harris was convicted of sex crimes involving juveniles, everyone was shocked to see him making an attempt to swallow a handful of white pills.
Harris was grabbed by courtroom deputies who tried to force him to spit the pills out while he was removed from the West Palm Beach courthouse. Harris wrestled with the deputies and after they calmed him down, West Palm Beach Fire Rescue was called to the scene and immediately confiscated the pills so that they could find out exactly what kind of pills they were.
The 64 year old preacher was charged with sex crimes perpetrated on a a 15-year-old boy in 2008 and 2009. Harris reportedly approached the victim, an athlete, with stories about having many contacts that could help him, like trainers that could get him into the NFL.
The teenager testified that Harris preformed acts of a sexual nature on him two times and even videotaped the encounters. The prosecutors in the case played the videos in court.
One of the videos showed the teenager being directed to stimulate himself under Harris’ direction while adult movies played at the same time. In the other video, the teenager is seen having sexual intercourse with his 14 year old girlfriend. The teenage girl was unaware of Harris’ presence, videotaping them and immediately left when she heard him talking.
After seeing the videos, it did not take long for the jury to return a verdict of guilty on all charges: lewd and lascivious battery, lewd and lascivious conduct, sexual activity with a minor, showing obscene material to a minor, and two counts of promoting sexual performance by a minor.
After his pill-popping episode, Harris was removed from the courtroom in a stretcher and handcuffs. The convicted preacher has been placed on suicide watch which means that he will be closely observed at Palm Beach County jail, where he will remain until he goes back to court for his sentencing hearing.