Church elder gets life in prison for killing wife after less than 2 years of marriage
After less than two years of marriage, a former Missouri church leader was found guilty of murdering his wife and sentenced to life in prison.
For the murder of his 38-year-old wife Tanisha on January 8, 2018, Robert Lee Harris, an elder at Repairers Kansas City, a charismatic nondenominational church in Missouri, was given a life sentence with no chance of parole for 50 years on Thursday.
According to Overland Park police, they were summoned to an apartment in the 8000 block of Perry Street about a domestic disturbance at around 4 p.m. on the day of the murder.
Although Harris was discovered by himself in the apartment, he contacted the police a few hours later to report his wife missing. Officers grew skeptical of him after more questioning, and he eventually confessed to being involved in his wife’s abduction. Later, at Raymore, a field contained her body.
A young guy who claimed to have had an illicit connection with the former church elder and Army veteran testified throughout his trial over the course of the summer.
The young guy, who went by the name Steven Junior, stated that the elder’s wife was his buddy and that he sought justice for her in a profanity-filled video clip on Facebook Live.
He also alleged hypocrisy among churchgoers at Harris’ church, which was led by controversial Pastor Carlton Funderburke.
Funderburke, who now co-presides over Church at the Well Kansas City with his wife, was forced to issue an apology earlier this year after being captured on camera throwing a spiritualized tantrum from the pulpit in which he referred to his congregation as “cheap sons and daughters” and “broke, busted, and disgusted” for not “honoring” him with a Movado watch.
After the murder, Funderburke claimed the couple was deeply active in his church and there were no indications that their union was in jeopardy.
The Kansas City Star quoted Funderburke as saying, “It’s extremely disturbing. They were highly involved, very engaged, active in the community of church. These were not ordinary attenders or regular parishioners. They’re part of the background of what we do as a ministry.
Tanisha had worked in a bank outside of the church, according to Funderburke, while Robert Harris had worked at a hospital. Tanisha’s kid resided with the couple, and they both had daughters from prior relationships.
Robert Harris may be seen preaching passionately in a video on his now-restricted Facebook page. He mentioned his late wife in another post as he described her as his “favor” from God.
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