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Monday, Sep 26, 2005
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Posted on Mon, Sep. 26, 2005

Not guilty plea in killing of Los Gatos woman


Mercury News

Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge James Emerson on Monday entered a plea of not guilty on behalf of Maurice Nasmeh, the San Jose architect who is accused of killing Jeanine Harms, a 42-year-old Los Gatos woman who disappeared more than four years ago.

Nasmeh had previously pleaded not guilty to murder charges after being arrested on Dec. 16. However, he was required to enter a second plea in the wake of a preliminary hearing earlier this month.

Harms disappeared the night of July 27, 2001 after a night out with Nasmeh and another man who has not been charged in the case. Harms' body has not been found.

Until Monday, Nasmeh was represented by three different attorneys: Daniel Jensen, William Welch and Tony Serra. However, it is not clear who will represent him going forward. The next hearing will be held on Oct. 5 to identify counsel. A trial is scheduled for Nov. 14.

Deputy District Attorney Dale Sanderson said it was not unusual for a judge to enter a plea in such a circumstance and that it preserved Nasmeh's constitutional right to a speedy trial.

Nasmeh has been held in the Santa Clara County Jail in San Jose since his arrest.

``As long as he's behind bars,'' said Jesus Harms, Harms' father. ```I'd like to be able to find where her remains are . . . The fact that we don't know where her remains are and exactly what happened that night is something that bothers us.''

Contact Elise Ackerman at or (408) 271-3774.

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