Cal Harris Set to be Released from Jail

By Kelly McCarthy
By Dave Greber

October 25, 2012 Updated Oct 26, 2012 at 9:54 AM EDT

Owego, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The man twice convicted of killing his wife more than a decade ago will once again be free.

Harris was escorted into Tioga County Court shackled from his wrists to his ankles.

A member of his family yelled, "We love you, Cal," before the door closed behind him.

Cal Harris has posted $500,000 in bail as a lien on his house, following a bail hearing in Tioga County Court.

A Tioga County judge will sign his release once he hands over his passport. There are no other restrictions on his release.

During the bail hearing Harris sat with his heel tapping in anticipation.

Harris is set to be released Friday morning, despite protests from the state because attorneys felt he is a flight risk.

"Yea he's going to be released on bail with conditions potentially the same way as it was the last two trials, and he'll show up for court and that's the purpose of bail, we'll have him out tomorrow," said defense attorney William Easton.

Defense attorneys said their client will remain in Tioga County because he has family in the area.

Judge James Hayden questions when the trial can start, given the upcoming election decides if District Attorney Gerald Keene will be the County Judge.

"I think the Judge is concerned about keeping anybody in jail for longer than they need to be in jail. The way he's looking at it is that the scheduling is creating a delay and he doesn't want the defendant to be sitting in jail any longer than he needs to be without a trial," said District Attorney Gerald Keene.

Thursday afternoon's hearing follows a decision earlier this month by New York's highest court to grant him a third trial.

The Tioga County businessman has been convicted twice of killing his wife, most recently during a second trial in 2009.

Prosecutors say Harris killed his wife Michele, who disappeared in 2001.

Her body has never been found.

The Appeals court did not order a change of venue but said it should strongly be considered because of the case's high profile and potential difficulty with finding an impartial jury.

"For starters we're going to start with trying to pick a jury here in Tioga County, see how that goes, and if it's not a problem the trial will be right here in Tioga County," said Keene.

Harris is set to be in court next on Dec. 7 at 2 p.m.