HOUSTON - The woman who was convicted of running over and killing her cheating husband in a Clear Lake hotel parking lot hired a new attorney and wants a new trial based on ineffective counsel from her high-profile trial attorney, George Parnham, KPRC Local 2 reported.
Harris' appellate attorney filed court papers Tuesday requesting the new trial.
"He had inapplicable and nonexistent defenses that he relied on," attorney Randy Schaffer said. "So, basically, he left his client without any defense when, in fact, there was a reasonable chance that if the case had been properly defended, she would have been convicted of a lesser offense like negligent homicide or manslaughter or something like that."
Harris was convicted in 2003 of murdering her husband, David Harris, and sentenced to 20 years in prison.
Schaffer claimed Parnham used two defenses that did not exist under Texas law -- that David Harris' death was an accident and that there was no intent to kill.
"If you got the wrong defense, it doesn't matter how good your performance is, you've got nothing to give to the jury. You leave the jury with no alternative but to convict her of murder," he said.
Schaffer also said Parnham's poor health affected his performance. Parnham was taken away from the courthouse by ambulance at one point during the trial. Schaffer said he believes Parnham was in a rush to get the trial over with.
An attorney speaking on Parnham's behalf described Parnham as a respected and effective defense attorney across the country. He said Parnham feels certain that when the trial records are reviewed, it will become clear that Parnham provided a superb defense.
Schaffer said the appeals case would be heard in the spring of next year, at the earliest.
- February 21, 2005: Clara Harris Wins Round Against Former Attorney
- December 16, 2004: 3-Judge Panel Upholds Harris' Conviction
- November 4, 2004: Harris Files Lawsuit, Claims Lawyer Overcharged Her
- October 6, 2004: Clara Harris Wants Conviction Overturned
- October 2, 2004: Attorneys Ask Judge Not To Preside Over Harris Appeal
- July 22, 2004: In-Laws Sue Clara Harris Over Son's Death
- November 25, 2003: Harris' Attorneys File Murder Conviction Appeal
- September 26, 2003: David Harris' Mistress Breaks Her Silence
- September 15, 2003: Custody Decided For Clara Harris' Children
- May 28, 2003: Custody Compromise Reached For Clara Harris' Twins
- May 20, 2003: Clara Harris Speaks Out From Jail
- May 9, 2003: Exclusive: In-Laws Support, Love Clara Harris
- May 7, 2003: Custody Battle Begins Over Harris Children
- February 20, 2003: Harris' Stepdaughter Sues Hotel, Detective Agency
- February 18, 2003: Hotel Official Fired After Testifying In Clara Harris Trial
- February 17, 2003: Clara Harris Says She Still Loves Her Dead Husband
- February 14, 2003: Jurors Send Clara Harris To Prison
- February 14, 2003: Jury Considers Punishment For Clara Harris
- February 13, 2003: Clara Harris Guilty, Sentencing Begins
- February 12, 2003: Jurors Deliberate Clara Harris Case
- February 12, 2003: Jurors Set To Begin Deliberations In Clara Harris Case
- February 11, 2003: Closing Arguments Wednesday In Harris Trial
- February 11, 2003: Jurors Told To Bring Toothbrushes In Clara Harris Trial
- February 10, 2003: Defense Rests In Clara Harris Trial
- February 10, 2003: Clara Harris Retakes Stand
- February 7, 2003: Harris: Didn't Mean To Run Over Husband
- February 5, 2003: Clara Harris' Attorney Collapses Outside Courtroom
- February 4, 2003: Defense Goes After Victim In Clara Harris Case
- January 31, 2003: Collision Expert Testifies About Harris' Death
- January 30, 2003: Accusations Fly After Harris Daughter Testifies
- January 30, 2003: State Rests In Clara Harris Case
- January 29, 2003: Harris' Daughter Testifies: 'She Meant To Kill Him'
- January 29, 2003: Stepdaughter To Testify In Clara Harris' Trial
- January 27, 2003: Private Investigator Testifies In Clara Harris Trial
- January 27, 2003: Clara Harris Trial Enters Second Week
- January 23, 2003: Witnesses Describe Harris Running Over Husband
- January 22, 2003: Jury Seated In Clara Harris Trial
- January 22, 2003: Jury Selection Continues In Harris' Murder Trial
- January 21, 2003: Jurors To Be Picked For Clara Harris' Trial
- January 16, 2003: Harris' Stepdaughter's Remarks Spark Debate
- November 19, 2002: Audiotapes Allege Clara Harris Also Having Affair
- October 23, 2002: Harris Asks P.I. For Refund After Husband's Death
- October 18, 2002: Clara Harris Pleads Not Guilty
- October 10, 2002: Grand Jury Indicts Clara Harris
- September 18, 2002: Custody Battle Stems From High-Profile Murder
- August 23, 2002: Clara Harris' Murder Trial Set
- August 2, 2002: Slain Orthodontist's Daughter Files Suit
- July 26, 2002: Wife Free After Allegedly Running Over Husband
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