A woman from Spencer is accused of fleeing the scene of an accident and stealing over $700 of merchandise from a Walmart all while in possession of heroin. 33-year-old Alaina Mancini is accused of leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident at the intersection of Elmira and Lockhart Streets in Sayre on Saturday. Authorities spent the next several hours tracking her down, eventually finding her pushing a cart of over $700 worth of stolen merchandise from an area Walmart store. Mancini has since been arraigned and will appear back in court at a later date for a preliminary hearing.
The fourth murder trial of Cal Harris will begin today. The trial begins just three days after Harris waived his right to a trial by jury. The defense and prosecution will now argue the case in front of Judge Richard Mott who will then deliver a verdict. Harris has been charged with second degree murder of his wife Michele in September of 2001.
Cal Harris has waived his right to a jury trial and will let Judge Richard Mott decide his fate. That was the stunning revelation made by defense attorneys in Scholarie County Court today where jury selection was supposed to begin. The trial will now start at 9:45am Thursday with Judge Mott presiding. Harris is accused of second degree murder of his wife Michelle Harris in September 2001. This is the fourth trial and the second in Scholarie County, where it was moved after two guilty verdicts in Tioga County Court were overturned. A hung jury resulted in a mistrial last year in Scholarie County. Michelle Harris’ body has not been found, nor was a weapon ever discovered. Cal Harris has denied any involvement whatsoever in his estranged wife death.
Defense attorneys in the Cal Harris murder trial say that new evidence could prove Harris innocent. In court yesterday, it was revealed that the defense hired a forensic archaeologist to excavate a burn pit at the home of a man who is accused of having sexual relations with Michelle Harris before her disappearance. Archaeologists are said to have found remnants of several items of female clothing, a dime from 1997, and a knife blade in the burn pit. No DNA has been recovered on any of these items. The new evidence is currently being looked at by Judge Richard Mott to see if it will be considered in the trial.
Cal Harris of Spencer has plead not guilty to a charge of harassment. This charge comes after Harris was accused of verbally harassing an Owego business owner back in December. The identity of the business owner has not been released by authorities. This plea comes a month before Harris returns to court to stand trial for the disappearance of his wife Michelle Harris for the 4th time.
The 4th murder trial for Cal Harris has been moved from Schoharie County Court to the State Supreme Court in Schoharie County. With this change, Judge George Bartlett, the judge for Harris’ 3rd trial, will not be presiding over the 4th trial. Instead, Supreme Court Judge Richard Mott of Columbia County has been assigned the case. Consequently, the trial will not be affected by any former rulings by Judge Bartlett. Harris’ 4th murder trial has been scheduled to start in late March.
A Spencer teen has been charged with DWI following an early morning vehicle accident in the Town of Union on Sunday. 18-year-old Jenna Harris is said to have been driving on Main Street in Westover when she traveled across the oncoming lane and off the road into a utility pole. The accident cause power outages to nearby residents. When authorities arrived, Harris admitted to consuming alcoholic beverages prior to driving. She has since been arraigned and issued appearance tickets to the Town of Union Court at a later date.
A Spencer woman was sentenced yesterday in Tioga County Court for stealing money from the Spencer Fire Department. Jennifer Grier was accused of taking more than 3,000 dollars for personal use from 2008 to 2014 while acting in her capacity as treasurer of the department. On January 16th, Grier pled a guilty plea to Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree. She was sentenced to 90 days in the Tioga County Jail, and five years of probation. She was also ordered to pay over 51,000 dollars in restitution to the Spencer Fire Department.