HOUSTON (AP) A prosecutor urged jurors during closing arguments yesterday to strongly consider a murder conviction for a woman who ran over her husband in a motel parking lot after finding him with another woman.
The government said Clara Harris, 45, intentionally turned her Mercedes-Benz into a 2-ton murder weapon and hit David Harris, then swung the car and hit him at least once more.
Mrs. Harris said the death of her 44-year-old orthodontist husband was an accident and she hit him just once.
The jury was to consider murder charges, but also was expected to be asked to consider the lesser charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
As prosecutor Mia Magness began her closing argument, she urged jurors to strongly consider murder and not to even consider the lesser charges.
“As a group, if you believe it’s murder and two of you think it’s a lesser offense, you do not have to compromise to accommodate them,” she said.
Defense attorney George Parnham called Dr. Harris’ lover, Gail Bridges, a “home wrecker” who should share blame for what happened the evening of July 24 after Miss Bridges and Dr. Harris had a tryst at a motel.
“I’m not up here to vilify the memory of David Harris … but there were some bad choices, folks,” Mr. Parnham said.
If convicted of murder, Mrs. Harris could face life in prison. Her attorneys have indicated they would lodge a “sudden passion” argument that could reduce the sentencing guidelines to two to 20 years in prison.