Houston Chronicle

Jan. 24, 2003, 2:43PM

Woman describes scene after man struck by car driven by wife

Associated Press Writer
Houston Chronicle

A woman who rushed to aid an orthodontist after he was run over repeatedly outside a Houston hotel last year testified Friday she heard the man's wife blame him for the attack.

"'David, look what you made me do,'" Julie Creger said Clara Harris told her husband, David, after running him down with her Mercedes-Benz.

Julie Creger was one of several witnesses to describe the scene July 24 where David Harris, 44, died. His wife, also 44, is on trial for murder for killing him after finding him with another woman.

Prosecutors say Harris ran over her husband with her Mercedes-Benz after he spurned his wife when she discovered him with the woman. The confrontation came at the same hotel where the Harris' were married on Valentine's Day a decade earlier.

Defense attorneys say Harris "lost it" and didn't intend to kill her husband but only wanted to keep her marriage and family together.

Creger said when she reached David Harris, she used a towel to soak up some of the blood that was coming from his head and put her finger in his mouth to try to clear his airway and ease his breathing.

When she pulled out her finger, one of his teeth fell out.

"I removed it and set it on the concrete next to his head," she said. "I realized there was no more help I could give him... I told him that he needed to keep breathing. That I knew it hurt. That it was going to be OK."

Creger said she then tried to calm a teenage girl, later identified as David Harris' daughter Lindsey, who was crying hysterically.

The witness said the girl told her she was in the car with her stepmother, who struck her father.

"'Sweetie, did she mean to do this?'" Creger recalled asking Lindsey.

"What did Lindsey say to you?" prosecutor Mia Magness asked.

"She said, 'Yes,'" Creger replied.

Clara Harris was teary-eyed throughout most of Friday's testimony.

Another witness, Norma Ramos, testified David Harris told his wife after a physical confrontation at the hotel between Clara Harris and the other woman, Gail Bridges: "'This is over! No more! It's over! It has ended!'"

When defense attorneys cross-examined Ramos, she said David Harris didn't seem shocked or embarrassed his wife had found him at the hotel with Bridges.

Ramos said as Lindsey Harris sat on the ground crying, her father and stepmother continued to yell at one another.

If convicted, Clara Harris faces up to life in prison. If jurors determine she acted under the legal definition of sudden passion, they could consider a lighter sentence of two to 20 years in prison.

The trial is expected to last up to three weeks.

© 2003 The Associated Press

Copyright 2003 Houston Chronicle