Man acquitted in 4th trial for wife's murder now charged with DWI

56-year-old Cal Harris of Owego (Photo courtesy of New York State Police Troop C)

The man who was tried for his wife’s murder four times and ultimately acquitted has been arrested on DWI charges in Cortland County, according to New York State Police.

Posted: Dec. 18, 2017 9:38 AM
Updated: Dec. 18, 2017 10:27 AM

The man who was tried for his wife’s murder four times and ultimately acquitted has been arrested on DWI charges in Cortland County, according to New York State Police.

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Calvin Harris, 56, of Owego, is charged with misdemeanor DWI with a blood alcohol content level of .13 percent, the violation of leaving the scene of a property damage accident, and other traffic violations.

Police say just before 8 p.m. Friday, troopers responded to a hit and run accident on Interstate 81 in the town of Preble, Cortland County. The person who reported it to 911 said a GMC Sierra pickup truck had sideswiped their vehicle while both vehicles were headed southbound on I-81, and they said the pickup truck continued southbound and then took Exit 12 off of the interstate.

Police say troopers were able to locate the vehicle and they stopped the truck driven by Harris in the town of Cortlandville. They say an investigation determined he was driving while intoxicated, and he was issued tickets returnable to Town of Preble Court on Jan. 9, 2018.

Harris was initially convicted of killing his estranged wife Michelle Harris after she disappeared in Sept. 2001. Her body was never found.

Harris’ conviction was later overturned, and his conviction in the second murder trial was overturned as well. His third trial ended with a deadlocked jury and then Harris waived his right to a jury for the fourth trial, which ended in a not guilty verdict.

Harris has since filed a federal lawsuit against police officers and other Tioga County officials, claiming that malicious prosecution and civil rights violations were made by county law enforcement officials. The lawsuit claims that police fabricated evidence and also kept a number of witnesses from testifying.

Harris was also previously arrested in Oneonta for allegedly videotaping the home of a state police investigator.

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