In 2003 Harris was tried for the 2002 murder of her husband
David Harris. She hit and ran him over numerous times with her
Mercedes-Benz while his frantic teenaged daughter sat beside
Clara in the passenger seat of the vehicle and witnessed her father's
death. Harris is incarcerated in Gainsville, Texas.
Harris was sentenced to 20 years behind bars and fined $10,000
dollars. Because the jury decided that she had acted with "sudden passion"
she has to serve half of the 20 year term before she can become eligible to
apply for parole, which will be in 2013. She will be aged 55.
Harris had appealed to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals asking for her
conviction to be overturned and for a new trial. Both a lower court and the
high court denied her request. Even though Harris can apply to the Court
of Criminal Appeals to reconsider the ruling, to all intents and purposes,
their decision ends her appeals.
In 2002 Lindsey Harris, daughter of David Harris filed a Federal lawsuit
against Clara Harris.
In 2003 Harris was again involved in court action over the custody of her
and David Harris's two young twin sons.
In 2004 Harris also sued her attorney, George Parnham, who had
represented her at trial, claiming he overcharged her and misused her money.
Harris lost and was ordered to pay Parnham additional monies owed and for
the cost of his attorney.
In 2005 Harris claimed in an interview that she never saw David and doesn't
remember hitting or running him over. Yet Clara Harris also claims that her
car ran over him once, not not numerous times as witnesses testified.
In 2007, David Harris's parents, Mildred and Gerald Harris filed a $5 million
wrongful death lawsuit.
Again Clara Harris's attorney claimed that Clara did not mean to kill David.
Clara Harris "took the 5th" a total of 27 times to questions on the witness
stand. The elder Harris's attorney Joe Stephens proved to the jury's satisfaction
that Clara had murdered David Harris in cold blood. Harris was ordered to
pay 3.75 million. After verdict, the case settled for a confidential
If Harris continues to deny or acknowledge her role in the murder,
although she will be eligible to apply for parole, it's not likely she'll
find a sympathetic parole board.