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Posted on Sat, Mar. 05, 2005

Plea expected in case of '01 disappearance


S.F. ATTORNEY SERRA WILL REPRESENT MAN ACCUSED IN DEATH OF LOS GATOS WOMAN



Mercury News

The man accused of killing Jeanine Harms of Los Gatos may finally enter a plea March 21 to murder charges in connection with the four-year-old case.

Maurice Nasmeh, a 40-year-old architect, appeared in court briefly on Friday. He has been held without bail in Santa Clara County Jail since his arrest Dec. 16.

Previous hearings to enter a plea had been continued while Nasmeh hired attorneys.

On Friday, the court was informed he will be represented by Tony Serra, the flamboyant San Francisco attorney, and Dan Jensen of San Jose.

The March 21 hearing also will include a request for bail for Nasmeh.

Nasmeh made no comment during his brief appearance in court and has not talked to the media since his arrest.

But outside the courtroom on Friday, Nasmeh's mother, Doris Bliven of Cupertino, said she has no doubts about her son.

``He's innocent, I'm positive of that,'' Bliven said. ``And I'm sure that justice will be served in this case.''

Harms disappeared July 27, 2001, after a late-night date with Nasmeh. She met him at a bar and invited him to her home. Her body has never been found.

Friends and relatives of Harms who attended the Friday hearing said they were frustrated by the delays.

``We just want some closure to this,'' said her aunt Lucy Crumpton. ``Her parents are in their late 70s and they'd like to find her body so we can bury her.''


Contact Linda Goldston at lgoldston@mercurynews.com or (408) 920-5862.

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