Murder of David Lynn Harris

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David Lynn Harris was an orthodontist who owned a chain of orthodontist offices along with his wife, Clara Harris. The chain was particularly successful, and the couple were able to afford an upscale home in Friendswood, Texas and luxury cars, including Clara's Mercedes-Benz. The couple had married on February 14, 1993, and were raising three children, twin sons born in 1996 and David's daughter Lindsey from a previous marriage.[1]


During the course of his marriage to Clara however, David began having an affair with his former receptionist, Gail Bridges, who later admitted to the affair. Clara, who was suspicious, had hired a private detective agency to spy on her husband, and on July 24, 2002, the agency notified Clara that her husband was at the Nassau Bay Hilton Hotel with his mistress.

Murder and Trial

When Clara Harris went to the Hilton Hotel to confront her husband, she reportedly attacked her husband's mistress Gail Bridges. When hotel security guards escorted Clara to her Mercedes-Benz, she was apparently still mad, and she took her anger out on her husband. When David and Gail came out of the hotel, Clara struck down her husband in the parking lot as her teenaged stepdaughter sat in the passenger seat. According to the medical examiner's office, Clara ran over her husband three times. David was dead at the scene, and Clara was charged with first-degree murder.[2] Her trial began the following February. At the trial Lindsey Harris testified against her stepmother, claiming to have attempted suicide four times after her father's death. Also introduced at Clara's trial was an actual videotape of the crime, recorded by the detective agency she had hired.[1] Clara Harris was found guilty of murdering her husband, and on February 14, 2003, what would have been her and her husband's tenth wedding anniversary but due to having an unknown mental illness, she was only sentenced to 20 years in prison, and is incarcerated at the Mountain View Unit in Gatesville, Texas. Clara was also fined $10,000. She will be eligible for parole in 2013. Clara's sons are in the custody of friends, and they see their mother often.[3]


A book titled Out of Control was written by Steven Long about the murder case. Published in 2004 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (as part of their St. Martin's True Crime Library series), the book follows the story of the murder and the reasons behind it.

This story was the inspiration for the completion of a chapter in the series Mexican Mujeres Asesinas "Killer Women". The chapter name is Luz, overwhelming (Luz, arrolladora).

The case was profiled on the Oxygen Network series Snapped in 2004 and Deadly Women in 2010.

It was also the topic of a Lifetime Original movie, Suburban Madness, starring Elizabeth Peña and Brett Cullen.[4]