Calvin Harris: New York Businessman Goes On Trial 4th Time Over Death Of Estranged Wife

In the fourth trial of millionaire businessman Calvin Harris, prosecutors are again trying to pin the death of his estranged wife, Michele Harris, on him.

As NBC News reports, Harris waived the rights to be tried by a jury, leaving it solely up to Judge Richard Mott of the New York Supreme Court to declare judgment in a trial that starts Thursday.

Harris has always maintained that his hands are clean and that he had nothing to do with the killing of his wife over 15 years ago. But he has been twice convicted of her murder, but the verdicts have been turned over two times as well. His last trial ended in May 2015 with a jury split and a mistrial announced.

Calvin and Michele Harris were in the middle of sour divorce proceedings and were sleeping in separate beds. Mysteriously, the 35-year-old mother of four disappeared in the wake of the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Her mini-van was located in the driveway with the car keys in the ignition, but she was nowhere to be found.

Calvin Harris murder
Calvin Harris’ wife disappeared after the September 11 terrorist attacks. [Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images]

Prosecutors relying on circumstantial evidence found blood spatter at the family home and convinced members of the jury in 2007 that the wealthy businessman was guilty of second-degree murder. The conviction was overturned when an astonishing witness came forward to say that he saw Michele Harris arguing with a man a few minutes before she vanished without a trace. In 2009, prosecutors again got a guilty verdict, which was overturned because of trial-court miscalculations, one pertaining to inadequate instructions to the jury about hearsay testimony being permitted at the trial and questions about the neutrality of a probable juror. In 2015, jurors failed to reach a verdict after deliberating for 11 days.

In the fourth trial of Calvin Harris, his defense attorneys are expected to try and reel in two Texas men, Christopher Thompson and Stacey Stewart, in the disappearance of Michele Harris. They plan to put forward corroborative evidence of pieces of fabric and a bra strap found in a burn pit on the property of one of the accused, Stacey Stewart.

The defense says that the burnt fabric fragments after being sent for closer scrutiny and matched what Michele Harris was wearing on the day that she disappeared, which was “a pair of khaki shorts and a blue polo shirt.” The lawyers plan to argue further that Stewart’s property was seven miles from the Harris’ residence in Spencer, New York, and that he was a regular customer at a restaurant in Waverly, New York, Lefty’s, where the victim worked as a waitress.

“We are hoping that this will lead to a just result, which is an acquittal. There’s no evidence that Harris ever threatened her in a way that really caused fear, people say things during an argument or divorce that they don’t really mean,” defense attorney Bruce Barket said.

Barket has asked judge Richard Mott to permit the newfound evidence from the burn pit, saying that it points to new suspects in the trial. Judge Mott is yet to rule on if the newly discovered evidence would be admitted.

“I didn’t have anything to do with Michele’s disappearance, one day I hope one day to be able to prove that to everyone’s satisfaction. You have been pursuing the wrong person,” Harris said after expressing gratitude to his four kids for standing by him.

Taylor Harris said their dad had been with them through thick and thin and given them all the opportunities they ever wanted, and it was now their time to do the same for him and not turn their backs. Michele Harris’ body has not been found and no murder weapon or DNA evidence has been discovered.

[Image via Shutterstock/Michal Kalasek]

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