Dentist Says Target Was
SUV, Not Her Husband
HOUSTON -- A dentist who killed her cheating husband with a Mercedes-Benz testified that "everything seemed like a dream" when she ran him over in a hotel parking lot.
A weeping Clara Harris told jurors that she was aiming at his lover's luxury sport-utility vehicle and did not mean to kill him. While trying to smash the SUV, she said, "I think I closed my eyes."
"After that, I didn't know who was driving," Harris testified Friday at her murder trial. "Everything seemed like a dream."
After the collision, she got out and looked at David Harris's battered body lying in a hotel parking lot.
"I couldn't understand what he was doing there," she said. "I had just seen him running, and I didn't know how he got there. "I said, 'David, David, please talk to me.' "
Prosecutors say Harris, 45, intentionally ran down her husband in July after confronting him at the hotel with his lover. A medical examiner has testified that the orthodontist was run over at least twice.
Clara Harris said the incident was an accident. She also said she had been working tirelessly to save the 10-year marriage since learning of his affair the week before. She said she quit her job so she could have sex with him three times a night, cook his favorite meals and schedule breast-enhancement surgery.
* PHOENIX -- A state appeals court ordered the Catholic Diocese of Phoenix to turn over nearly 2,300 records and documents to a grand jury that is investigating sexual abuse allegations against clergy. A three-judge panel upheld an earlier decision by Judge Eddward Ballinger, who examined about 3,500 documents in the case.
* NEWARK -- Police searched for a gunman who walked into the Cave Lounge nightclub and opened fire, killing three people and wounding three others. A teenager was killed at a club in nearby New York a few hours later, but Newark police said there was no known connection between the incidents.
* NEW YORK -- Ulysses Cheda and Jose Palmer were arrested for allegedly trying to sell part of a $2 million stamp collection that vanished from the trunk of a Florida rental car four years ago. The two face federal charges of transporting stolen property.
* LOS ANGELES -- A federal judge denied bail for a snack shop owner whom the government has accused of trying to recruit spies for North Korea. John Joungwoong Yai, 59, of Santa Monica was arrested Tuesday after years of government surveillance. He is charged with failing to register as an agent for North Korea. Federal prosecutor Daniel Goodman said there is evidence that Yai received payments from North Korea, that his mission was to recruit agents who could be used as moles in government agencies and that "he was tasked specifically to get top-secret information."
* RENO, Nev. -- A California rancher agreed to give sanctuary to hundreds of horses targeted for seizure from two Western Shoshone sisters involved in a decades-old land dispute with the federal government. The Bureau of Land Management maintains that the elderly sisters, Mary and Carrie Dann, have been illegally letting hundreds of cattle and horses graze to the detriment of the range and other ranchers. On Friday, the sisters reached a last-minute deal to entrust the horses to Slick Gardner, who owns a 60,000-acre ranch in Buellton, Calif.
* SACRAMENTO -- A California jury ruled Friday that two tobacco companies are not responsible for a longtime smoker's illness. Laurence Lucier, 52, a former accountant who said his 30-year pack-a-day habit left him with terminal cancer, sued Philip Morris USA and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. under a products liability law alleging that the tobacco companies engineered and sold a product they knew was addictive and harmful. In Florida, a Miami jury rejected a damage claim from a flight attendant who blamed secondhand smoke in airliners for aggravating his lung disease. The lawsuit brought by United Airlines attendant James Seal was the sixth to go to a jury under a 1997 settlement with the nation's nonsmoking attendants. Tobacco companies have won all but one cases.
* CORPUS CHRISTI, Tex. -- Prosecutors have filed criminal charges against a man who took out a full-page newspaper advertisement to confess his guilt in a deadly automobile accident. In the ad in the Jan. 26 edition of the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, Regino Salinas confessed he was talking on his cell phone and drove through a red light, causing the Jan. 11 collision that killed two people. His lawyer said the ad was part of an out-of-court settlement with the victims' family.
-- From news services