Deliberations are underway in the murder trial of a Johnson City man accused of killing his girlfriend’s 11-year-old son in 2019.

46-year-old Larry Harris has been on trial in Broome County Court this week for the murder of Jerome Smith who was found unresponsive at a home at Burbank and Grand Avenues on February 2 of 2019.

The Johnson City fifth-grader’s mother, Shakia Crute, had been charged with manslaughter in connection with her child’s death but later pleaded guilty to hindering prosecution and endangering the welfare of a child.

SHAKIA CRUTE (Photo: Johnson City Police Department)
SHAKIA CRUTE (Photo: Johnson City Police Department)

Closing arguments in the Harris case wrapped up on May 6 and deliberations were scheduled to resume in the morning.  If convicted, Harris could face a sentence of up to life in prison.

Meanwhile, Harris is still awaiting trials on separate drug charges and allegations that he sexually assaulted a child.

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He was charged with drug possession after police searched a Binghamton apartment a month after Smith’s death.  While Harris was being held in connection with the child’s death, a person came forward alleging sexual abuse against a child and rape for incidents between October 2013 and March of 2019.

Broome prosecutors said Harris would be tried separately on those allegations.

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