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Defense Rests in Cal Harris Trial

By Beth Rousseau.
The defense rests its case as testimony in the third trial of Cal Harris enters week 11. Harris is charged with second degree murder for the death of his wife Michele who disappeared in September 2001.

While the defense did rest it's case today, it refused to rest in front of the jury. Defense attorney Bruce Barket called it a matter of principle saying he didn't want jurors to believe they had no more witnesses when in fact they do, but the court will not allow them to take the stand.

Several of the defense team's witnesses have been precluded from testifying due to Judge George Bartlett's ruling against third party culpability.

The final witness to take the stand before the defense rested was John Wandell, a former co worker of Stacy Stewart.

Stewart is someone the defense argues was sleeping with Michele at the time of her disappearance and who they feel is responsible for her death.

Wandell offered a physical description of Stewart and the truck he was driving at the time. According Wandell, Stewart was 5 foot 9 with a thin, athletic build and dark hair and drove a black pick up truck.

This matches the description given by Kevin Tubbs, a Tioga County farmer who says he saw a woman he believes was Michele Harris with a man at the end of the Harris driveway on the morning of September 12th 2001 after the time prosecutors allege she had been killed.

Tubbs says he saw the pair at approximately 6AM while driving a haywagon down the road the Harris' live on.

However during the states rebuttal district attorney Kirk Martin questioned several of Cal's surrounding neighbors who said that they don't remember seeing a haywagon driving down the road on the morning of September 12th or any other morning for that matter.

Prosecutors will continue with their rebuttal tomorrow morning at 10 and judge has advised the jury that they should have the case by Thursday.