Osage County murder suspect remains in Texas federal prison – Osage County Online | Osage County News

Osage County murder suspect remains in Texas federal prison

An inmate in a Texas federal prison will likely serve out his term before returning to Osage County to face a murder charge.

A single count of murder in the first degree was filed against James P. Harris, 29, in October in Osage County District Court, accusing him of killing 50-year-old James E. Gerety between March 3, 2011, and April 20, 2011.

On March 24, 2012, a woman hunting mushrooms found a human body part lying on the ground about four miles northwest of Carbondale. Subsequent DNA testing on the body part identified Gerety as the victim, and investigation led to the determination that the manner of death was homicide.

Osage County Attorney Brandon Jones and Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor announced on Oct. 31 that an arrest warrant had been served on Harris at the Federal Correctional Institution in Texarkana, Texas, along with a detainer to keep him from being released before custody was transferred to Osage County. At that time authorities expected him to be released to Osage County sometime in December. Harris’ scheduled release date from the Texarkana prison is April 17, 2014.

Contacted last week, Jones said the detainer remains active, but Harris has not yet requested disposition on it, indicating he would likely finish the federal sentence before custody would be transferred to Osage County on the murder charge.

Federal court records show Harris pleaded guilty to one count of felon in possession of a firearm in U.S. District Court in Topeka on Aug. 6, 2012, and was sentenced to 30 months in custody of the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.

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