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He is a killer who wanted his wife to "disappear." He is a devoted dad and there is no proof he "committed any crime."
Those were the conflicting portraits presented to a judge Thursday as the fourth trial of millionaire businessman Calvin Harris got underway in Schoharie, New York.
Harris, who is accused of murdering his wife, Michele Harris, some 15-years-ago while the rest of nation was reeling from the 9/11 attacks, had requested and been granted a bench trial.
And as Judge Richard Mott listened intently and Harris' four children looked on, the Tioga County prosecutor painted the accused as a desperate man in the midst of a bitter divorce who had lots to gain from his estranged wife Michele Harris vanishing.
"At the end of this trial ... you will have no trouble determining Harris did what he said he would: Make Michelle disappear," District Attorney Kirk Martin said.
Defense attorney Bruce Barket said prosecutors are trying to convict an innocent man.
"We are confident at the end of this case there will be no proof beyond a reasonable doubt that Cal Harris committed any crime," he said.
Harris, who has maintained his innocence from the start, was convicted twice of killing Michele Harris despite the fact that neither her body nor a murder weapon has been found.
Both times the verdicts were overturned. And his third trial ended last May when the jury deadlocked and a mistrial was declared.
Once again, Harris' defense team is expected to try and implicate two Texas men — Stacey Stewart and Christopher Thomason — in Michele Harris' disappearance. They have described a bra strap and pieces of fabric found in a burn pit on property Stewart owned as "corroborative" evidence.
Stewart's property is about seven miles from the Harris' mansion in Spencer, New York. He was also a regular at Lefty's, a restaurant in Waverly, New York, where the 35-year-old mom was working as a waitress when she disappeared.