HOUSTON – The prosecution's final witness used toy cars Tuesday to show jurors what he remembered seeing: Clara Harris repeatedly ramming her Mercedes-Benz into her adulterous husband in a hotel parking lot.
Punctuating his testimony with sounds of squealing tires and crashing metal, Oscar Torres gave an eyewitness account in Harris' murder trial, the last witness to appear before closing arguments Wednesday.
"He was mauled and he was gasping for air," Torres said of David Harris.
Chris Junco, who had been playing tennis with Torres across the street from the parking lot, testified the two stared in disbelief as they saw Clara Harris drive over her husband's body three times.
"I wasn't sure if what I was seeing was real," Junco said as he described the parking lot mayhem on July 24. "It was weird. I don't know how to describe it. The whole scene was very mad."
The defense says the death was an accident and that Harris, 44, was struck once.
Clara Harris, 45, maintains she intended only to hit a sport-utility vehicle owned by her husband's lover after catching the two of them at the hotel that night. Prosecutors say she intentionally killed him.
During cross-examination, defense attorney George Parnham tried to mimic the sounds Torres made, seeking to establish that the main sound was Harris' Mercedes-Benz striking the lover's Lincoln Navigator.
"When you made that crash sound, it was very emphasized?" Parnham asked.
"That was exactly what I heard," Torres responded, referring to noises he made that included an engine racing and "BAM!"
"It sounded like a crash, a car hitting a car," he said.
State District Judge Carol Davies had told jurors to bring necessities for an overnight stay Tuesday in preparation for possibly being sequestered although closing arguments weren't expected until Wednesday.
Tuesday's prosecution testimony corroborated police accident investigator Rolando Saenz, who testified earlier that Clara Harris struck her husband at least twice.
Defense collision reconstructionist Steve Irwin had testified the turning radius of Clara Harris' car would have made it impossible for her to circle back and hit her 44-year-old orthodontist husband repeatedly.
Saenz, who has investigated more than 10,000 collisions over nearly two decades, disagreed.
"As you make a left hand turn, sometimes you will swing out right and it will change the turning radius," Saenz said, explaining how it would have been possible for the car to hit David Harris repeatedly.
Saenz also pointed to separate, distinct blood stains on the underside of the Mercedes as evidence David Harris was struck at least twice.
During cross-examination, Parnham said Saenz wasn't involved in the investigation, hadn't interviewed witnesses and implied his only role was to rebut Irwin's testimony.
Saenz acknowledged he viewed the car's undercarriage only in photographs.