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Prosecution witnesses recall wife running over husband

Closing arguments set for Wednesday

Clara Harris reacts to testimony Tuesday from a witness recalling hearing David Harris gasp for breath the night he died.
Clara Harris reacts to testimony Tuesday from a witness recalling hearing David Harris gasp for breath the night he died.

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HOUSTON, Texas (CNN) -- Two men recounted Tuesday the horror of watching Clara Harris run down her husband with her Mercedes-Benz.

"I wasn't sure if what I was seeing was real," said Chris Junco, describing the scene at a suburban hotel parking lot last summer.

"I even thought the car was pissed off at him," Junco added, pausing and choking back tears.

The prosecution rested its case following testimony from Junco and Oscar Torres, both of whom saw David Harris be run over in a hotel parking lot across the street from where they were playing tennis.

Prosecutors say Clara Harris, 45, intentionally ran down her husband David last July 24 after confronting him at the hotel with his lover. A medical examiner has testified the orthodontist was run over at least twice.

The defense has claimed that David's death -- shortly after a confrontation in the hotel, where she found him with his mistress, Gail Bridges -- was an accident.

A private detective hired by Clara Harris to follow her husband to the Nassau Bay Hilton Hotel caught the July 1 event on videotape, but she testified last week that she had not been aiming at him and did not remember hitting him.

On Tuesday, Torres, whose tennis game had been interrupted by screams and screeching tires in the hotel's parking lot, said he saw a man's body "flying."

"How many times did you see the defendant run over the body?" Harris County prosecutor Mia Magness asked.

"Three times," Torres replied, adding that he saw the car make three complete circles in the parking lot before stopping.

The witness said he remembered a teenage girl who was a passenger in the car, jumping out and screaming, "My dad! My dad! You've killed my dad! He's dead!"

"It was like an animal that would scream in excruciating pain, out of control," Torres said, describing David Harris' daughter, Lindsey, who had been in the car with Clara Harris, her stepmother.

"(David Harris) was mauled, he was gasping for air," Torres said.

Junco told jurors that at first he thought the car was a "low-rider because of how high it bounced when it ran over the body."

Clara Harris fought back tears, sometimes holding her head in both hands during Junco's testimony.

When Magness asked if what Junco had seen could have been an accident, he said, "No, ma'am."

The defense rested its case after opting not to call any rebuttal witnesses.

State District Judge Carol Davies set closing arguments and juror instructions for 10 a.m. EST Wednesday. The jury, which will be sequestered, was allowed to go home until then.

Clara Harris told police she was only trying to separate her husband from Gail Bridges and she testified last week she had wanted "to hurt her husband emotionally, not physically."

"I never saw hitting him. I never saw running over him," she testified.

The victim's relatives had testified in the widow's defense Monday, saying the couple was "devoted to each other."

David Harris' brother, Gerald Harris Jr. called Clara "truthful and credible" and "one of the most law-abiding persons I know."

In rebuttal, prosecutors called a Houston police officer who testified that according to his analysis, Clara Harris ran over her husband at least twice.

Under questioning from her own attorney last week, Harris said, "everything seemed like a dream" as she drove the car during the fatal incident.

-- CNN Correspondent Art Harris contributed to this report.

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