preliminary hearing for Maurice Nasmeh, a 42-year-old
Campbell man who police say is the last person to have
seen Jeanine Harms alive, is under way.
On Sept. 1 and 2, friends, loved ones and neighbors
of Harms testified in Santa Clara County Superior Court
before Judge Edward Lee, the prosecution, Nasmeh's
defense attorneys and Nasmeh, who sat in an orange
Nasmeh, who was arrested on Dec. 16, pleaded not
guilty to the charge of killing Harms. She went missing
on July 27, 2001, after a night of drinking with friends
in Campbell. Her body has not been found.
On Sept. 2, Los Gatos-Monte Sereno police officers
Todd Fleming, Michael D'Antonio and Steve Wahl also
Fleming was the first officer to go to Harms' house
in Los Gatos after receiving a call of a possible
missing person. When he knocked on the door and no one
answered, he went inside where he noticed a few things
seemed out of place at the well kept and clean
apartment, he said on the stand. "Upon initial entry, I
walked in the living room. The seat cushions on the sofa
were missing," he said.
Fleming described what he saw when he walked through
the house, the responses neighbors gave him about that
night and what happened after other officers were called
over to the house for further investigation.
Wahl, who was the lead investigator in the case for
about one month before officer Stephen Walpole took
over, also took the stand.
Wahl said that officers interviewed Nasmeh three
separate times. The first time Nasmeh was contacted by
the police was by Wahl and detective Randy Bishop. They
went to the architectural firm where Nasmeh worked.
Deputy district attorney Dale Sanderson asked Wahl
what Nasmeh said when he saw the two officers. "Did he
say, 'Man, I'm sure glad you're here. I was just about
to call you?' " Sanderson asked Wahl.
"He said he wanted to know how we found out his
name," Wahl later said. Nasmeh's fingerprint was lifted
from Harms' car, which Nasmeh was said to have ridden in
while bar hopping with Harms and her date.
Wahl was scheduled to continue testifying Tuesday
At the hearing was Harms' father, Jesus Sanchez, and
family friend Loretta Meyer. Other witnesses, including
Harms' friends Chigiy Edson-Binell and Janice Burnham
and her mother, Georgette Sanchez, are not permitted to
sit in on the hearing.
Nasmeh remains in custody.
Judge Lee will decide at the end of the hearing
whether there is enough evidence to try Nasmeh for