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Cal Harris Closer to Third Murder Trial

Bob Joseph/WNBF News

A new trial date for the former Owego businessman accused of killing his wife in 2001 is expected to be set for October. This would be the third trial for Calvin Harris, who is accused of killing Michele Harris.

The woman disappeared September 11, 2001 but her body and a murder weapon have never been found.

Harris appeared before presiding trial Judge James Hayden May 13th for a procedural hearing.

Harris had been convicted of murder in 2007 but the verdict was thrown out when a neighbor came forward with new information. He told officials he thought he had seen Michele alive past the time the prosecution maintained she was murdered.

Harris was found guilty again in 2009.  That conviction was thrown out by the New York State Court of Appeals last October on procedural errors and a new trial was ordered.

Hayden is expected to be the judge for the new trial. He is visiting from Chemung County. Tioga County’s judge is Gerald Keene, who had been the District Attorney prosecuting the case in the two previous trials before he was elected judge last year.

It has yet to be decided if the third trial will also be held in Tioga County. Harris’ defense team has maintained they don’t believe an unbiased jury will be found.

The next court date is for a pretrial conference and is scheduled for September 12th.

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