Cal Harris Found Guilty

By WBNG News

July 22, 2010 Updated Aug 5, 2009 at 6:10 PM EDT

For the second time, a jury finds Cal Harris guilty of murdering his wife.

The verdict came early this afternoon.

Action News Reporter Gabe Osterhout has followed the trial for the last 4 weeks, and has reaction from the Tioga County Courthouse.

Cal Harris didn't say anything as he was led from the Tioga County Courthouse in handcuffs.

And he dropped his head in court and looked at his hands as the verdict was read.

Guilty of 2nd degree murder.

After nearly 3 weeks of testimony, Harris was convicted a second time of murdering his wife Michele in September 2001.

Her body has never been found.

Friends and family of Michele were relieved by the verdict.

"Justice has been served," says Michele's father, Gary Taylor.

"We're very happy, very happy," says Michele's brother, Greg Taylor.

"It won't bring her back, but we got justice," says Michele's friend, Cindy Turner.

Jurors deliberated for nearly 10 hours before coming back with the verdict.

During his first trial in 2007, it took a jury 4 hours to reach the same conclusion.

But that first verdict was overturned when a new witness came forward.

Kevin Tubbs claimed to see Michele hours after prosecutors allege she went missing.

Cal's family says the jury got the verdict wrong.

"This is a travesty. There was no way Cal Harris was ever going to remotely get a fair trial here. I am heartbroken. 4 beautiful and wonderful children have essentially been orphaned by this process," says Merry Harris, Cal's cousin.

Harris was immediately put into handcuffs and taken into custody by the Tioga County Sheriff's office.

In this video you'll see only on Action News, he was led out of the courthouse.

He's now in the Tioga County jail without bail until he's sentenced in October.

In Owego, Gabe Osterhout, WBNG-TV Action News.

While the prosecutor says the verdict is a win for Michele's family...

The defense maintains Cal is innocent.

Tioga County District Attorney Gerald Keene says he is happy with the verdict.

He calls it a win for state police and investigators who spent the last 8 years working on this case.

Defense Attorneys say they were genuinely shocked by the verdict.

And insist Harris had nothing to do with Michele's disappearance in 2001.

"It's the hardest case I've ever prosecuted. I mean no body, no murder weapon, no confession, limited crime scene so yeah it was an extremely difficult case but I had some good help and so we were able to get the verdict," says Tioga County District Attorney Gerald Keene.

"It comes as a shock to be perfectly candid with you. We are to answer your next question, preparing some motions to file post verdict between now and the time of sentencing. Candidly, we're quite confident of success of appeal if it comes to that," says Terry Kindlon, defense attorney.

Defense attorneys have until September 2nd to file motions with the court.

The prosecution will have 2 more weeks to respond.

Harris is tentatively set to be sentenced October 5th.

He faces a minimum of 15 year to life in prison.

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