Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Jerome Nadler on Friday
set Aug. 29 as the date for a preliminary hearing in the case of
Maurice Nasmeh, who is accused of killing 42-year-old Jeanine Harms
of Los Gatos in what became the highest-profile missing-persons case
in the South Bay in recent years.
The hearing is scheduled for 8:30 a.m.
Nasmeh, 41, a San Jose architect, has pleaded not guilty to the
slaying. He was arrested Dec. 16 and remains in custody without
bail. He is charged with killing Harms, who disappeared on July 27,
2001, after a late-night date with him. Police say he was the last
person to see her alive. Her remains have not been found.
Authorities connected Nasmeh to the alleged crime through yarn
fibers from a crafts project of Harms' that were found inside the
cargo area of Nasmeh's sport-utility vehicle.
At a brief court appearance on Friday, Nasmeh's lead attorney,
flamboyant San Francisco defense lawyer Tony Serra, showed up in
court for the first time. Serra's co-counsel, William Welch, and San
Jose attorney Dan Jensen usually appear on Nasmeh's behalf when
there are hearings. The two men also were in court on Friday.
Two of Harms' closest friends also were in court, noting that
Friday would have been Harms' 46th birthday.
``That's why we're here today, to honor her memory,'' said Janice
Burnham outside the courtroom. She had known Harms since they were
youngsters. She and another friend, Loretta Meyer, said they planned
to commemorate Harms' birthday by either having a meal at their
friend's favorite Chinese restaurant in Campbell or visiting the
memorial bench at Los Gatos Civic Center that is named for her.