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Jury Convicts Harris on Kidnapping Charge

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RALEIGH — March 22, 1996 - 11:53 a.m. ESTFrom WRAL-TV5 News Reports

Related AudioRobert McCrimmin, who has already pleaded guilty to his part in the kidnapping of Laura Novak, testified Thursday against Dexter Harris. Listen toaufile.

A Wake County jury on Friday convicted Dexter Harris (pictured above) of the 1995 kidnapping of Laura Novak.

Jurors began deliberations this morning and returned a verdict shortly before noon. The conviction comes a day after key prosecution testimony from Robert McCrimmin, a co-defendant. According to McCrimmin there was little planning before the daylong crime spree began.

Novak (pictured, left) was abducted from her apartment complex parking lot while on her way to work 13 months ago, and kept locked in the trunk of her car for eight hours. The incident ended when Novak's boyfriend chased the kidnappers, who abandoned the car opened the trunk lid as they fled.

Dexter Harris (pictured, right) is on trial for his part in the crime. McCrimmin has pleaded guilty, but testified against Harris Thursday.

McCrimmin related a story under oath that placed most of the blame on Harris, saying he talked Harris out of killing Novak when they finally released her.

Novak testified earlier this week that the two men threatened to kill her several times during the day. She saw little of what the men did, since they only opened the trunk to get her ATM code number.

Police have video tape of McCrimmin taken at several ATM's where he withdrew money using Novak's card and code. They have no such tape of Harris, nor any other physical evidence linking him to the crime.

Harris will not be jailed for very long before he finds himself back in a courtroom.

Nash County prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty when Harris is tried for another murder there

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