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View Full Version : Clara Harris convicted: Question for Bill, JD


LapuaMan
February 15, 2003, 11:56
Bill:

What's your assessment of the lawyering on behalf of Clara Harris? Conviction plus 20 years for running over her husband three times with her Mercedes in a jealous rage.

Couldn't she have done that good or better in a plea bargin? I can't see that "accident" business floating with a Texas jury. If she'd have come clean on it and admitted it, there would be plenty of sympathy to lower her sentence, given the provocation of her cheating husband. Anyway, am interested in your opinion.

L

DABTL
February 15, 2003, 14:01
The lawyer appeared quite emotionally involved with his client. That detracts immediately from his ability to adequately proceed with her defense, but it happens.

I heard about the accident theory for a while before I saw the video. As you can imagine, courtroom theatre is not my recreational interest after spending the day in court. But when I finally saw the video I could not imagine how anyone could have claimed it an accident. It looked like a grainy shot of the Daytona 500 action.

You loose credibility with juries when you tell them things that cannot be true, such as the accident thing. I would more have thought manslaughter arising from sudden emotion would have been the better defensive position.

We kind of take murder seriously here in Texas so probation would have to come from a jury and not the DA. Plea bargaining for probation would have been most unusual.

She will have to complete 60% of her sentence before she is considered for parole. That means 12 years confinement.

It was pretty much the normal murder case other than the amount of publicity it got.

Dean P
February 15, 2003, 14:56
Was it an all woman jury? If I had been on it, she would have walked.:?

Templator
February 15, 2003, 15:14
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/front/1772923

The woman ran over her husband 3 times while she had his daughter (her stepdaughter) in the car.

You don't kill a spouse for infidelity,.. you divorce them.

I consider 20 years to be a minimum sentence for her crime. If the genders were reversed, considering that it's in Texas, a man would be lucky not to get the needle.

DABTL
February 15, 2003, 15:59
Originally posted by Templator
http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/front/1772923

The woman ran over her husband 3 times while she had his daughter (her stepdaughter) in the car.

You don't kill a spouse for infidelity,.. you divorce them.

I consider 20 years to be a minimum sentence for her crime. If the genders were reversed, considering that it's in Texas, a man would be lucky not to get the needle.

As the killing was not for hire or robbery it did not carry the death penalty as a possibility. Life was the maximum sentence possible.

The defense lawyer apparently argued that since Clara was now a widow and single mother she deserved mercy! :rolleyes:

geerhed
February 15, 2003, 16:10
Originally posted by DABTL
The defense lawyer apparently argued that since Clara was now a widow and single mother she deserved mercy! :rolleyes:
Wasn't the same said of those two loser scumbag brothers in LA who shotgunned their parents to death? Maybe it was one of the jury who said it; some woman emoting, "but the poor boys don't have their mother anymore!"

Yes, because they pumped her (and their father) full of 12-gauge rounds at close range!:skull:

Interestingly, the SLA bank robbers/murderers on the lam for 20 years got 6-8 years in the pen. I thought crimes of passion received, well, more clemency? I avoid the stupid lawyer shows on TV, so I'm not basing my opinion on that.:rofl:

LapuaMan
February 15, 2003, 21:54
thanks much bill. I've paid only casual attention to this case tho' it was kinda interesting. I just recently saw the video (wow, three big donuts on the dude, pretty good driving....) and only recently heard the testimony from the victim's daughter who was in the car at the time.

from a layman's perspective, other than praying for jury nullification, it sure seemed that this defense had no chance at all. I just wanted to hear from a pro.

DABTL
February 16, 2003, 09:53
Originally posted by LapuaMan
thanks much bill. I've paid only casual attention to this case tho' it was kinda interesting. I just recently saw the video (wow, three big donuts on the dude, pretty good driving....) and only recently heard the testimony from the victim's daughter who was in the car at the time.

from a layman's perspective, other than praying for jury nullification, it sure seemed that this defense had no chance at all. I just wanted to hear from a pro.

There is always a chance. That is why many impossible cases get tried to a jury. The OJ Simpson case comes to mind. There the prosecutors were so inept they litterally lost the case. I think the defense lawyer got too emotionally involved to have pulled it out of the fire.

Sailor553
February 16, 2003, 11:34
One more thing: George Parnham has been gaining the reputation of loosing "high profile" murder cases here.

DABTL
February 16, 2003, 12:37
Originally posted by Sailor553
One more thing: George Parnham has been gaining the reputation of loosing "high profile" murder cases here.

You are supposed to lose murder cases. Why indict someone who did not commit the crime?

Enquiring Minds
February 17, 2003, 08:09
Another poor husband forced into a platonic relationship with another woman, because he found the platonic relationship with his wife to be unsatisfying... :rofl: :o

Dean P
February 17, 2003, 18:08
OK, after reviewing every thing. My first decision was right, that old gal would have walked if I had been there.:sad:

Templator
February 18, 2003, 00:40
Day-um, Dean!,.... you attach a fairly high penalty to gettin a little strange.

Pokin the neighbor lady means it's justifiable to squarsh ya wid a Benz?!!

Dean P
February 18, 2003, 11:16
No, it just means. Sooner are later you will pay a high price for unzipping. He paid a high price for 2 things, for doing it & being dumb enough to stand in front of her car. This is why she should have walked.

Derby FALs
February 25, 2003, 23:43
Woman Who Ran Over Husband Named in Suit
Hotel, Investigation Firm Named in Civil Suit Against Woman Convicted of Running Over Husband

The Associated Press

HOUSTON Feb. 20
A private investigation firm and a hotel chain were added Thursday as defendants in a civil lawsuit brought against a woman convicted last week of mowing down her husband in her Mercedes-Benz.

The lawsuit blames Clara Harris for David Harris' death and seeks to bar her from access to his estate, valued at more than $6 million. It was filed by David Harris' ex-wife, Debra Shank, on behalf of their daughter, Lindsey Harris.

On Thursday, Shank named Beverly Hills, Calif.-based Hilton Hotels Corp. and Blue Moon Investigations in the suit, claiming they bear some responsibility in David Harris' death.

Clara Harris, a 45-year-old dentist, ran over her orthodontist husband last year in the parking lot of a Hilton in suburban Houston after finding him there with his receptionist-turned-lover. She was sentenced to 20 years in prison Feb. 14.

The lawsuit alleges Hilton had not properly trained employees to handle the confrontation, and that the private investigation firm violated industry policy by telling Clara Harris where her husband could be found.

Blue Moon vice president Bobbi Bacha said her employees simply upheld their contract with Clara Harris, who hired the agency to follow her husband. Bacha said she violated the contract by going to the hotel that night.

Kathy Shepard, a spokeswoman for Hilton Hotels, said she hadn't seen the suit and it was the company's policy not to comment on pending litigation.

The amended lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from Hilton. From Blue Moon, it seeks the proceeds of the story rights Bacha and her husband sold to CBS. That money would be placed in a trust for Lindsey Harris and her 4-year-old twin stepbrothers.

Dean P
February 26, 2003, 10:42
A classic case of "Dumb Axx" or mental problems!! $6 million in the bank, 3 kids, probably a good wife, compares his wife's features with his hired help, to her face, then gets caught with his hired help in an embarrassing situation, & then to get out & stand in front of her car. Yes! She would have walked!
Oh, last week there was another copy cat crime just like this one! Another husband got run over by his wife in Houston! Will this be the next way & means?

FIANNAFAL
February 26, 2003, 14:29
Good thing she didnt have a AW!

Muggzy
February 26, 2003, 15:46
Originally posted by FIANNAFAL
Good thing she didnt have a AW!


she had an automatic transmission:rofl: