crimesider

Jury deadlocks for 2nd time in NY millionaire's murder trial

Cal Harris, left, is accused in the disappearance of his wife Michele, right.

Cindy Turner

SCHOHARIE, N.Y. - A judge instructed jurors in the third trial of a wealthy New York businessman accused of killing his estranged wife in 2001 to continue deliberating Tuesday after they said they said they were deadlocked for the second time.

The judge gave the jurors additional instructions Tuesday and urged the jury to continue deliberations until a verdict is reached in the case against 55-year-old Cal Harris.

The jurors had announced late Monday afternoon that they were still unable to reach a unanimous verdict. Last week, the jury announced for the first time that they were deadlocked. At that time, the judge also instructed them to keep deliberating.

Harris is charged with murder in the death of his estranged wife, Michele Harris, who vanished after leaving her boyfriend's apartment the night of Sept. 11, 2001.

Prosecutors say Cal Harris killed the 35-year-old when she came home to the secluded Tioga County home they shared with their four young children. Her body was never found and authorities have not found a murder weapon.

Defense lawyers argued that authorities overlooked other potential suspects Michele Harris associated with as her marriage broke up.

Harris wasn't indicted in his wife's death until September 2005. He was convicted for the first time in the case in June 2007 and again in August 2009. Those convictions were reversed by appeals courts and in October 2012, the New York Court of Appeals ordered a new trial.

Testimony in his third trial spanned 11 weeks and the jury has been deliberating for eight days.