Man charged with burglarizing home of Main Line model 3 days before her murder

EMBED </>More Videos

Police charge man with burglarizing main line model's home days before her murder, as seen on Action News at 11 p.m., December 6, 2018

Police have arrested a man who they say burglarized the Main Line home of a model just three days before she was murdered.

Andre Melton, 31, was captured during a traffic stop in Southwest Philadelphia Wednesday night.

Andre Melton


Court records identify Melton as the alleged suspect who burglarized Christina Kraft's Ardmore condo on August 19. Three days later, Kraft was found strangled.

John Welsey Harris, of Johnstown, Pennsylvania, was charged with her murder. He was arrested as he got off a bus in Pittsburgh in August, according to Lower Merion Township police and the Montgomery County District Attorney.

Harris was charged with first-, second- and third-degree murder along with robbery, theft and related offenses in the slaying of Kraft.

EMBED More News Videos

Ardmore model allegedly murdered during fight over cocaine.Vernon Odom reports during Action News at 6 p.m. on October 5, 2018.



Court records showed Harris had just been released from state prison on July 15. He was serving time on a list of charges including assault. Officials said he was staying with a sister in Southwest Philadelphia.

According to investigators, Kraft left her apartment on Sibley Avenue in the early morning hours of Wednesday, Aug. 22 and used Lyft to go to the 1400 block of Chestnut Street in Center City Philadelphia.

Surveillance video showed Kraft meeting with Harris near South Broad and 13th streets, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele said in a press conference days after the murder.

A short time later, the two entered a vehicle.

According to investigators, records indicate the front door of the apartment opened at 3:08 a.m. and the back door leading to a terrace was closed at 5:19 a.m.

Kraft was killed during a violent struggle within that two-hour timespan, Steele said.

Kraft's body was discovered on the evening of Aug. 22 during a wellness check by police.

"Christina was beaten, and the beating was substantial. Her nose was broken, she had black eyes, there was a lot of blood," Steele said. "Then she died of strangulation. Something was put around her neck."

EMBED More News Videos

Suspect arrested for murder of model Christina Kraft in Ardmore, Pa. Jeannette Reyes reports during Action News at 4:30 a.m. on August 30, 2018.



During an October preliminary hearing for Harris, he told investigators he thought he was going back to Kraft's apartment to sell her $1,200 worth of cocaine.

Harris allegedly claimed the two used some of the drugs and then had sex.

But when it came time to pay him, the 36-year-old model allegedly refused, leading to a violent fight.

He described a violent struggle in which Kraft hit him with a glass bottle and he slapped her, repeatedly punched her and tied her up when she tried to flee. He gave her a phone when she asked to call her dad, he said, but he started to choke her when she tried to call 911.

According to authorities, Harris said: "I never meant to kill her. She was breathing when I left the apartment."

Kraft was a model who according to a booking page credited herself with a "tasteful photo shoot for Playboy that was beyond Hollywood glamour."

Her profile also lists photo shoots for Vanity Fair, Victoria's Secret, and Maxim.

------
Send a News Tip to Action News
Learn More About 6abc Apps
Related Topics:
philly newsmurderburglaryarrest
(Copyright ©2018 WPVI-TV. All Rights Reserved.)