Woman Who Ran Over Husband Tells Of Marriage

ByABC News via logo
February 16, 2003, 7:40 PM

Feb. 17 -- The Texas dentist who was convicted of running over her cheating husband with her Mercedes said her dream marriage fell apart, and that she realizes now that her life will never be the same.

On Friday, the Houston jury that had convicted Clara Harris of murder also sentenced her to 20 years in prison. Harris, whose 11th anniversary would have been the same day as her sentencing collapsed into her attorneys' arms as she heard the sentence. She could have faced a sentence of anywhere from two years to life in prison.

"I pretty much consider my life is over," Harris told ABCNEWS' Diane Sawyer in an interview that took place before her conviction. "But my kids have a lot to go through and I haven't found anybody that could replace me or my husband."

She acknowledged that most people would say that she should have thought of that before what happened.

"That's right," Harris said. "It's a very difficult question to answer."

The 45-year-old dentist was convicted of murdering her orthodontist husband, David, after finding him at a hotel with his mistress and former receptionist in July 2002. Clara Harris ran over her husband with her vehicle.

An Idyllic Marriage

In an odd twist, David Harris and his mistress were at the same suburban Houston hotel where the Harrises wed on Valentine's Day in 1992. The couple's twin sons, Brian and Bradley, were born six years later. Clara Harris says they had an idyllic marriage, a partnership with shared ideals about how to make their relationship last.

"I knew, and I used to brag with my friends about knowing that my husband was never going to fail me!" Harris said. "That was one of the main things that made our marriage so strong. I never had any doubts about him."

But then, last summer, there were some signs that she should. Her husband was growing distant.

"He was retracting from the family," Harris recalled. "He wanted to have time for himself. He was angry so I think yes, there were signs and symptoms there."