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Monday, Aug 29, 2005
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Posted on Mon, Aug. 29, 2005

Delay in preliminary hearing for accused killer of Los Gatos woman


Mercury News

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Jerome Nadler on Monday denied a request that Maurice Nasmeh be allowed to appear at a preliminary hearing in regular street clothing.

A prominent local architect, Nasmeh, 41, is accused of killing Jeanine Harms, a 42-year-old Los Gatos woman who disappeared July 27 2001, after a late-night date with Nasmeh.

The preliminary hearing was scheduled to begin on Monday but was delayed until 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning due to problems lining up witnesses. The purpose of the hearing is to determine whether or not there is enough evidence to send Nasmeh to trial.

Harms' body has not been recovered. However, authorities allegedly connected Nasmeh to her disappearance through yarn fibers from a craft project that were found in the cargo area of his sport utility vehicle.

Nasmeh was arrested on Dec. 16 and has been held without bail.

William Welch, an attorney for Nasmeh argued that court-proceedings in the case -- one of the most high-profile missing persons cases in the South Bay in years -- would be sure to generate extensive media coverage and that Nasmeh's appearance in jail garb could taint the jury pool.

Nadler said he had never granted such a request in four years on the bench and ordered Nasmeh to appear in regular prison garb.

Contact Chuck Carroll at or (408) 920-5206.

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