Before destroying her life by committing murder, Clara Harris was a successful dentist, raising three kids with her husband, David, also a dentist.
The Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles made the decision, citing the nature of the offense as the reason:
“The record indicates that the inmate committed violent criminal acts, indicating a conscious disregard for the lives, safety and property of others. The pattern of criminal activity had elements of brutality, violence and conscious selection of victim’s vulnerability, such that the inmate poses a continuing threat to public safety.”
Harris has now served 10 years of her 20-year sentence for the July 24, 2002, death of Doctor David Harris, who was 44 at the time.
The records show that in 2002, Clara Harris and her husband, an orthodontist, operated a number of successful dental offices, when David Harris admitted to his wife that he was having an affair. He assured Clara that he would end it.
Instead, she learned from a private investigator that her husband and his mistress were continuing to meet secretly, and had checked into the Nassau Bay Hilton. Clara Harris entered the hotel and assaulted the woman as the pair exited the elevator in the lobby. When hotel security ordered all of them out of the hotel, they returned to their cars.
David Harris’ then-17-year-old daughter from another marriage was in the car when he was struck repeatedly by Clara. She testified against her stepmother in her trial.
In a bizarre twist, a private investigator, hired by Clara to follow her husband, was in the hotel parking lot and videotaped the crime. She had forgotten her husband’s every move was being filmed. That film was a key piece of evidence against her.
This doctor-kills-a-doctor soap opera later spawned a number of books as well as a television movie. Adding to the courtroom drama was the lady doctor’s defense attorney George Parnham, age 62, who fainted during the trial due to the stress of her testimony.
So for now, Doctor Clara Harris resides in Central Texas Prison near Gatesville. Her children are being raised by family members.
Here’s how the story unfolded 10 years ago: http://topics.nytimes.com/topics/reference/timestopics/people/h/clara_harris/index.html
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Every now and again we receive a letter from someone who suggests these stories simply cannot be true. “Doctors just don’t do these things.”
Oh, trust us. With 50 physicians a week being convicted of felony-level shenanigans, we don’t have to make anything up.
We suggest you do a little research on your own, and there is no better place to start than this book. Believe it: daffy docs are ubiquitous.