Prosecutor: Angry Wife Turned Mercedes Into 4,000-pound Murder Weapon

AP Wire Service

HOUSTON (AP) – When a woman found her husband cheating on her, she ran him over with her Mercedes-Benz and “turned her $70,000 vehicle into a 4,000-pound murder weapon,” prosecutors said in court Thursday.

Clara Harris “hit him again and again and again,” prosecutor Mia Magness told jurors during opening statements at Harris’ murder trial.

Her defense attorney described the 44-year-old Houston dentist as a woman who only wanted to keep her family together but “loses it” after going to the hotel where she married David Harris and finding him with a mistress.

Clara Harris is accused of killing her husband, also 44, in the hotel parking lot July 24 after confronting him and another woman in the building lobby.

Magness said Clara Harris gave her husband an ultimatum, ordering him to choose between her and his mistress, Gail Bridges. When he chose Bridges, Magness said, she got into her car and purposely ran him down.

Parnham said Harris was a loving mother and devoted wife who wanted her husband to come home but was heartbroken after finding out he had misled her and would not end his affair.

“I want you to reserve your judgment until you hear evidence about what physically happened in that parking lot … whether or not Clara Harris intentionally caused the death of David Harris,” Parnham said.

Jury selection was completed Wednesday after two days of questioning. Each day in court, Clara Harris has been flanked by her late husband’s parents, Gerald and Mildred Harris.

“We are a close, loving, Christian family,” Gerald Harris said Wednesday. “Our ultimate hope in all of this is that this family will remain together as a strong family and that our grandchildren will have their parents. We love Clara and want you to know that we want her to be with her children.”

If convicted, Clara Harris faces up to life in prison. If jurors determine she acted under the legal definition of sudden passion, they could consider a lighter sentence of two to 20 years in prison.

Evidence is expected to include a videotape taken in the hotel parking lot by a private investigator Harris hired to follow her husband. Jurors also expected to hear from her 17-year-old stepdaughter, Lindsey, who was a passenger in the silver sedan when David Harris was killed.