HOUSTON – Jury selection got under way Tuesday for the trial of a dentist accused of killing her husband by running him down in a hotel parking lot with her Mercedes-Benz following a confrontation with him and his alleged mistress.
Clara Harris, 44, could face life in prison if convicted of killing her orthodontist husband, David Harris, 44, in July.
The defense maintains the death was an accident.
Jurors are expected to be shown a videotape taken in the hotel's parking lot by a private investigator Clara Harris had hired to follow her husband.
Testimony also is expected from Lindsey Harris, Clara Harris' 17-year-old stepdaughter, who was a passenger in the car.
Defense attorney George Parnham said Clara Harris learned her husband was having an affair a week before finding him at the hotel with Gail Bridges, a divorced mother of three who once worked in David Harris' office.
Parnham says Clara Harris didn't set out to kill her husband, but instead wanted to "bring David home." He said she wanted to save her marriage and family.
"The simple issue is whether she intentionally killed her husband or whether it was an accident," Parnham said.
Lindsey Harris could be the pivotal witness in the trial, which is expected to last two weeks.
Prosecutors said last week that she was prepared to testify that, an hour before her father was struck, Clara Harris told her: "I could kill him and get away with it for all he's put me through."
Witnesses for both sides also are expected to include accident reconstructionists, psychiatrists, police officers, witnesses, neighbors, employees of the couple, and Bridges herself.