Did Christian Harvey, busted on assorted sex-crime charges, seriously try to hire his cellmate to murder his prosecutor? Or was he talking out of his ass?
A jury has sided with the latter explanation despite a recording of the alleged plan, a supposed confession and bail in the case that totaled an impressive $10 million. One possible reason: Harvey is said to have only offered $200 for the hit. Details, photos and video below.
On May 31, 2013, Harvey was in the Arapahoe County detention facility for contempt of court in relation to a sexual assault on a child case.
At the time, 9News reported at the time that he had initially been busted for allegedly impregnating an underage girl when he was eighteen; he'd turned nineteen by the time he was in Arapahoe County lockup and is now twenty.
Harvey's cellmate was 35-year-old Michael Jimenez, described in the report as a former member of the military. Jimenez is said to have informed his private attorney that Harvey had asked him to kill the deputy district attorney assigned to the teen's sex case. That lawyer than contacted the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office, which launched an inquiry.
A few days later, Jimenez sat down with investigators and asserted that Harvey had other targets beyond the prosecutor. Portions of the narrative are blacked out, but the intended victims seem to include the victim in the sex-assault case, her mom and her current boyfriend.
Regarding the prosecutor, Harvey is said to have given Jimenez a detailed description of her and then asked her to "shoot off both of [her] legs" during the murder, for which he offered $200.
Jimenez said he believed Harvey was serious. The then-teen apparently felt that with the prosecutor dead, the case against him would "fall through the cracks."
The ACSO staffers didn't simply take Jimenez's word about Harvey trying to hire him as a hit man. They asked him to wear a "concealed listening device" in an effort to "corroborate Harvey's requests."
On June 5, Jimenez did so — and the arrest report maintains that Harvey repeated his offer, adding even more details in the process.
Continue for more about the acquittal of Christian Harvey, including additional photos and a video, plus an update. The arrest report recaps the on-wire conversation between Jimenez and Harvey like so:
During the conversation, Harvey is said to have offered Jimenez the same $200 he'd mentioned previously for him to kill the deputy DA.
He asked Jimenez to commit the murder at the woman's residence using a shotgun, so it'd look like a "gang hit," the report states.
Afterward, Harvey went on, he wanted Jimenez to take the woman's cell phone, checks and laptop computer, as well as cash and her car — items he allegedly put on a list that his cellmate subsequently gave to investigators.
The crime was to be committed between three days and two weeks after Harvey bonded out of jail, he reportedly said.
But Harvey didn't go anywhere. A judge was informed about the plan and ordered him to be held on a bond listed as $1 million — although that amount was reportedly pumped up to $10 million.
In the meantime, Harvey sat down with two investigators. The report says he "admitted to hiring Jimenez to kill [redacted] in exchange for money. Harvey stated that he wanted [redacted] shot at her residence and her body burned along with her residence."
The burning of the woman's residence is an element not mentioned previously. Did such inconsistencies, coupled with a payment amount equivalent to what plenty of homeowners pay for plumbing services, raise doubts in jurors minds about whether Harvey's plot was legitimate? Quite possibly — because despite the best efforts of the Denver District Attorney's Office, which handled the case against Harvey due to the involvement of an Arapahoe County employee, the jury reached a not-guilty verdict after eleven hours of deliberation.
Don't worry about bumping into Harvey anytime soon, though. He remains in the detention facility on an assortment of charges: not just sex offenses, but also assault and drug-related accusations.
His bail amount now: $250,000.
Update: Shortly after the publication of this post, we heard from Harvey's attorney, Jesse Glassman. Here's his take on the jury's decision, sent via e-mail:
Mr. Harvey expressed his opinions to other inmates in the Arapahoe County Jail. While his statements may have been offensive, there was no real threat of danger to anyone. The 1st Amendment protects speech whether offensive or not.
Another inmate preyed upon Mr. Harvey, who was vulnerable, in order to obtain a better plea offer for himself. The jury must have seen through it.
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Here's a larger look at Harvey's booking photo, followed by a 9News report from 2013.
Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.
More from our Colorado Crimes archive circa April 2011: "Brooks Kellogg, 73, pleads guilty to one murder-for-hire count — but why so light a sentence?"