Harris's client already had two strikes on his record when he was charged with vehicular manslaughter. If convicted, he was looking at a sentence of 25 years to life. The victim's mother intervened and Harris's client will never be the same.
Harris convinced the court to dismiss the charged strikes and to sentence his client to probation. At the sentencing hearing, Harris had already convinced the court to give his client probation, but the court wanted to hear from the victim's family. The mother of the young driver who died was devastated and let the judge know that her family would never get over this, that her life would be empty without her son, and that she had no idea how her family would survive this loss. Harris spoke directly to the mother in open court and explained how devastated his client was to have been the cause of her grief, that no matter how happy he ever is in a moment of his life, it will always be weighed down by the fact that he killed her son. Harris added that his client was viewed as a Holy Man in his Native American community and that people had come to him with their troubles so he could provide spiritual guidance. When Harris finished speaking, the victim's mother asked if she could approach and hug the client because she said she wanted to connect with the last person who had seen her son alive They both started crying uncontrollably while holding on to each other. Bringing these two people together was an unprecedented ending to a case and one of the most touching moments of Harris's 35-year career. Even sweeter, the judge gave his client probation instead of a sentence of 25 years to life.