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Jury Selection in Cal Harris Murder Trial Ends, Opening Arguments Scheduled for Tomorrow

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By Beth Rousseau.
After 8 days of jury selection the court has finalized the jury panel and is preparing for opening arguments in what's expected to be a 6-8 week trial for Cal Harris.

Harris is charged with the murder of his estranged wife Michele who disappeared in September 2001.

Wednesday morning the court called in 4 jurors who had already been selected for re-questioning.

An additional 48 people reported to the courthouse on Wednesday morning for jury duth and were released when none of the original jurors were dismissed.

The finalized jury panel consists of 12 jurors and 6 alternates.

This is the third trial for Cal Harris who has been convicted of the murder of Michele Harris twice before.

Both of those convictions have been overturned.

The 2007 guilty verdict was thrown out after a local resident claimed to he saw Michele Harris at the time the prosecution said Cal Harris killed her.

The second guilty verdict was overturned due to legal errors in 2012 and the court ordered a change in venue from Tioga County to Scoharie County.

During the past 8 days of jury selection potential jurors were questioned by Judge George Bartlett, the prosecution and the defense.

District Attorney Kirk Martin asked potential jurors if they would be able to return a guilty verdict even though prosecutors will not be able to provide the jury with a body as Michele's body has never been recovered.

Defense attorney Bruce Barket emphasized the importance of jurors using common sense to analyze all aspects of this case.

Opening arguments will begin Thursday morning at 9:30 and we'll have complete coverage on fox 40 news at 6.