Harris, 21, of Cape Girardeau appeared via video conference from the Cape Girardeau County Jail, where he has been held on a $100,000 cash-only bond since his arrest. Harris was apprehended the same day that Nicholas Gilbert was found dead by police shortly after midnight at The Spot, a now-closed nightclub on South Sprigg Street.
Harris used fewer than a dozen words to tell Judge Gary Kamp that he intended to hire a private lawyer rather than apply for a public defender. Kamp continued the case until Jan. 28 to give Harris time to secure representation.
Harris was charged with second-degree murder, which carries the most serious punishment short of the death penalty, and armed criminal action after witnesses told police they saw Harris and Gilbert arguing at the nightclub before seeing Harris pull a gun from his waistband and pull the trigger.
Gilbert's death triggered activation of the Cape Girardeau/Bollinger County Major Case Squad. The unit has not said whether it had found the gun, nor what it makes of a trail of blood that began about 10 feet from Gilbert's body and ended in the parking lot of the club, which closed its doors after the shooting.
Harris' family expressed disbelief that Harris could be responsible for the crime. Gilbert's family denied requests for interviews
Harris initially denied that he was at the nightclub the night of the shooting. According to his family, he later admitted he was there but denied being the shooter.
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