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DNA Analyst Takes The Stand in Cal Harris Trial

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A DNA Analyst takes the stand in the Cal Harris Murder Trial.

Testimony continued on Thursday in the third trial of the Owego businessman charged with second degree murder for the death of his wife Michele in September of 2001. Our Samantha Bleiweis was in the Schoharie County courtroom and has more.

Although we didn't hear a lot of testimony on Thursday, we did hear from retired DNA Analyst John Brenner who worked with the New York State Police crime lab in Albany.

Brenner explained to the jury how DNA molecules are composed, and drew a diagram for the jury to show them why a person's DNA is unique to him or her. Brenner testified to testing bristles from two toothbrushes from the Harris master bathroom found in Michele's drawer. He also tested bristles from a tooth brush from Brian Earley's apartment. Earley was Michele's boyfriend at the time. He also tested and a swab from Cal.

But, before the court could continue with testimony, Defense Attorney Bruce Barket motioned for mistrial for a 7th time, based on a note that a juror submitted, asking why Barket utilizes leading questions during his cross examination. Barket argued that based on what he calls frivolous objections by the prosecution and positive response of the court to those objections, Cal Harris cannot get a fair trial. Clyne argues that the jury is merely picking up on the stylistic, but not improper, way that Barket asks his questions. Judge George Bartlett quickly denied the verbal motion for a mistrial.

Court was dismissed early Thursday and testimony did not continue after lunch, after one juror fell ill and another issue with the jury came up that was resolved early this afternoon between counsel and the court in closed chambers. Brenner's testimony will continue Monday morning. also expected, a board showing the DNA profile results from the Harris household and Earley residence. back to you.