After three years spent in state prison, Cal Harris will be out from behind bars on Friday. Twice convicted of murdering his wife eleven years ago, he was granted bail Thursday while he awaits his third trial. YNN's Chris Whalen was in court and has the latest.
TIOGA COUNTY, N.Y. -- Wrists and ankles shackled, dressed in a white shirt and khaki pants, Cal Harris made his way from the Tioga County Court House Thursday. It was likely the last time he'd get back in a police car until the case against him is tried again.
"He's going to be released on bail with conditions, essentially the same way it was at the last two trials and he'll show up for court," said defense attorney Bill Easton.
A bail of $500,000 was set under the condition that the defense provides documented evidence to the court that Harris relinquishes his passport if it hasn't already expired.
Easton expected those documents to be produced immediately, thus having Harris out of custody by Friday.
"The way he's looking at, scheduling is creating a delay and he doesn't want the defendant to be in sitting in jail any longer than he needs to be without a trial," said District Attorney Gerald Keene.
It will be the third time Harris is tried for the murder of his estranged wife, Michelle, who disappeared on September 11th, 2001. In the past two trials, Harris was convicted and for the last three years, has been in state prison serving a 25 year to life sentence.
"We're heartened we have a new trial, Court of Appeals recognized that the first trial was not fair and has given him a new trial and we're hopeful that this next trial will be successful for Cal," Easton said.
"It'll pretty much be the same evidence that is submitted to a third jury. It's just a matter of scheduling the court appearance and scheduling the trial," Keene said.
When that trial will take place is still up in the air. There's a possibility of a change of venue considering the high profile nature of the case. Also, Keene is running for Tioga County judge in the November 6th election, meaning a new judge and district attorney might also be needed for the case. It is likely it will not happen until after the first of the year.