A Delaware County jury found a Muncie man guilty of murder Monday for his role in the February 2022 fatal shooting of his brother’s roommate.
Jason Harris, 34, was also convicted of criminal confinement, unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon, obstruction of justice and misdemeanor theft.
According to a news release from the Delaware County Prosecutor’s Office, the jury also found Harris to be a habitual offender due two prior unrelated felony convictions for aggravated battery, which were Level 3 felonies, and found him guilty of using a firearm during the commission of a murder.
According to a Feb. 8, 2022, probable cause affidavit, a Muncie Police Department detective responded to a Clark Street residence for a missing person report.
Kyle Harris, Jason’s brother, had previously told police that his roommate, Erik Sparks, was missing and that a verbal altercation had resulted in his brother pointing a firearm at Sparks and threatening his life.
Sparks had wanted Jason to leave the residence.
“Kyle advised when he woke up on today’s date, Erik was gone and Jason was at the house. When Kyle asked Jason where Erik was, Jason made a motion with his hand pulling his thumb across his throat as if Erik was dead,” the affidavit stated.
Kyle also advised officers that his brother told him “they had to leave now” after the missing person report was made.
Officers were aware of a history of violence involving Jason, including an incident where he stabbed his brother, according to the PCA.
Officers found Jason at the back of the residence and detained him.
During his initial interview with police, Jason initially claimed that he and Sparks were walking on the Cardinal Greenway trail when someone put both of them on their knees and shot Sparks twice in the head.
After police found Sparks’ body, Jason admitted to officers that he had an argument with Sparks in a car, made him stop and walked him down the trail at gunpoint, where he ordered him to his knees before shooting him, according to the affidavit.
“Jason Harris will now be held accountable for brutally executing Erik Sparks on a cold and dark night last February,” Delaware County Prosecutor Eric Hoffman said in a news release. “It is my sincere hope that this will be the first step in the healing process for Erik’s family and friends.”
Sentencing for Harris is set for Jan. 18 in Delaware Circuit Court 5.