Robert Harris, a former church elder charged with killing his wife after less than two years of marriage, has been convicted of first-degree murder.
Harris, who served as an elder at Repairers Kansas City, a charismatic non-denominational church in Missouri, was convicted last Friday of killing his then 38-year-old wife, Tanisha on Jan. 8, 2018. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 3, The Associated Press reported.
Overland Park police say that at about 4 p.m. on the day of the murder, they were called to an apartment in the 8000 block of Perry Street about a domestic disturbance.
Harris was found alone in the apartment, but several hours later, he called the police to report that his wife was missing. When he was further questioned, officers became suspicious and admitted he had something to do with her disappearance. Tanisha Harris' body was later found in a field in Raymore. Her husband was taken into custody.
Several people gave testimony at Harris' trial at the Johnson County District Court, including a young man who testified that he was involved in a romantic relationship with the former church elder and Army veteran.
The young man publicly identified himself as Steven Junior. In an intense, expletive-filled video recording on Facebook Live, he said he wanted justice for Harris' wife, who he said was a longtime friend.
He also accused congregants at Harris' church, where controversial pastor Carlton Funderburke served as lead pastor, of being hypocrites.
Funderburke, who now leads Church at the Well Kansas City with his wife, was recently forced to apologize after he was shown in a now-viral video clip throwing a spiritualized tantrum from the pulpit in which he called his congregation "broke, busted and disgusted" and "cheap sons and daughters" for not "honoring" him with a watch from the luxury brand Movado.
"That's how I know you're still poor, broke, busted and disgusted because of how you've been honoring me. I'm not worth your McDonald's money? I'm not worth your Red Lobster money? I ain't worth your St. John Knits? Y'all can't afford it no how," Funderburke, who is married with three children, lamented over his congregation's refusal to buy him a watch from the luxury brand that ranges in price from $300 to more than $3,000.
Funderburke has since apologized for the video.
In an interview discussing Harris' arrest shortly after Tanisha Harris' murder, Funderburke, who presided over their wedding, said he was devastated and could never have predicted such an outcome for their relationship.
"They were a loving couple. ... They were a wonderful newlywed couple," he said.
"They were very involved, very engaged, active in the community of church. These were not regular attenders or regular parishioners," he added. "They're part of the background of what we do as a ministry. ... It's very shocking."