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Placerville Woman Appears In Court; Friends Say She Killed In Self-Defense

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PLACERVILLE (CBS13) – The 70-year-old woman accused of shooting and killing her husband in their Placerville home on Sunday made her first court appearance Wednesday, with friends and family there in support.

Friends of Colleen Harris told CBS13 as they left the courtroom that she killed her husband in self-defense.

Harris was back inside a Placer County courtroom, accused again of killing her husband, 72-year-old Robert Harris.

Colleen Harris, then Colleen Batten, faced a judge and jury back in 1986 when she was 43 and was ultimately acquitted of killing then-husband James Batten.

“She definitely wants to present a defense but at the proper time and in the proper manner,” said attorney Dain Weiner.

Colleen Harris’ children left the courtroom without answering our questions, but her friends offered some insight into what may have driven her to kill. They told us that Harris was physically and emotionally abused by her husband and that she killed him in self-defense.

“Obviously, she’s innocent until proven guilty,” Weiner said.

She was found innocent 27 years ago under similar circumstances. CBS13 obtained the transcript from the preliminary interview with Harris after the 1985 killing. The transcript said that Harris had killed her second husband James Batten with two shotgun blasts, that she was the one who called police and she had trouble remembering what she did during questioning.

A psychiatrist testified at her trial that she suffered from partial amnesia.

Harris called her attorney’s office on Sunday to report the shooting of Robert Harris and El Dorado County sheriff’s deputies found his body lying on a bed, suffering from a fatal shotgun blast. Both killings occurred in her home on Wilderness Way.

Wednesday’s arraignment was continued.

Colleen Harris will be back in court next week for her arraignment. She’s being held without bail.

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