Police: Kan. suspect decapitated man with guitar string

Police say 29-year-old James Paul Harris practiced voodoo and kept the head of 49-year-old James Gerety to talk to after the March or April 2011 killing


Associated Press

LYNDON, Kan. — A man accused of beheading a Topeka resident with a guitar string has pleaded innocent to premeditated first-degree murder.

Police say 29-year-old James Paul Harris practiced voodoo and kept the head of 49-year-old James Gerety to talk to after the March or April 2011 killing.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that Gerety's partial remains were found a year later in Carbondale, 18 miles south of Topeka.

Harris' former girlfriend testified in March that he told her he used a guitar string to sever Gerety's head. She said he disposed of the body but kept the head in a bag. A Topeka police officer said the ex-girlfriend told him Harris practiced voodoo and that he liked to talk to the head.

A judge on Monday set Harris' trial for June 23.

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