FRANKLYWNOW - Cal Harris Update

Cal Harris Update

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It was a short, but full week for the Cal Harris trial.

Harris is the Owego businessman accused of second degree murder for the disappearance of his wife Michele in September of 2001.

On Monday the defense was supposed to present it's opening statements, but the jury was dismissed due to weather. But the day was not wasted, Harris' defense submitted a written motion for mistrial, based on what they say was an improper and prejudicial to the defense.

On Tuesday, Judge George Bartlett denied that motion, and defense attorney Donna Aldea delivered her opening statements. She argued that the prosecution does not have a body, murder weapon or witness to Michele's murder, because the police have always been looking in the wrong place.

That afternoon, the people then called their first witness, Barbara Thayer, who was the Harris' nanny and friend of Michele's. As prosecuting attorney Kirk Martin questioned her, she testified that at the time of her disappearance Michele was happy, saying that she felt she was finally getting her life back as the divorce with Cal was almost finalized.

Barket cross examined Thayer for an hour on Tuesday and took over four hours cross examining Thayer on Wednesday, spending an ample time picking apart her previous testimony. Wednesday morning Barket also motioned to strike a piece of testimony that Thayer had given the day before, When she testified to a small wound on Michele's knee before her disappearance. Thayer attributed it to a rug-burn like sore from horseback riding. Barket claimed it was hearsay because she had never seen the actual wound, only the bandaid. After debate from both sides, Judge Bartlett granted the motion to strike.
Court is on holiday for Lincoln's birthday and not resuming until upcoming Tuesday after President's Day Monday.
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