July 13, 2007

South Bay Murder Suspect Freed From Jail After Prosecutors Delay Trial

In a recent and dramatic turn to one of Northern California’s most intriguing murder mysteries, a Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge ordered the release of a jailed murder suspect because prosecutors were taking too long to bring him to trial, according to a news article in the San Jose Mercury News.

In this high-profile, no-body case, Maurice Nasmeh, a 43-year-old architect had been held for 2 1/2 years in Santa Clara County jail having been charged in connection with the disappearance of Jeanine Harms. Prosecutors accused Nasmeh, who was on a date with the 42-year-old Harms on the day of her disappearance, of killing the woman and getting rid of her dead body. The body is believed to have been wrapped in – what has become a piece of key evidence - the rug from Harms’ living room. Prosecutors also say Nasmeh was the last person to see Harms alive on the night of July 27, 2001. Her body has not been found.

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July 12, 2007

Police Arrest Man Carrying Marijuana Plants

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s officials arrested a man early Sunday morning after a security guard near the San Antonio Dam reported seeing him carrying marijuana plants, according to an article in the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin newspaper. The guard saw the man with the plants at about 1 a.m. Sunday, the newspaper reported.

When police responded to the guard’s call, they found Mark Stephens, who matched the guard’s description. At first Stephens denied that he was the one seen carrying the marijuana plants, but later changed his story and said he was in fact the man the guard had seen with the plants.

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July 11, 2007

Orange County Hit And Run Case Reaching Conclusion

The police investigation in a horrific accident that killed a man in La Mirada recently has culminated in the arrest of 19-year-old Erik Aguirre of La Mirada. According to a news report posted in the Orange County Register’s Web site. Aguirre was held on vehicular manslaughter charges in connection with the death of Liberty Jaswal, 28.

Jaswal was killed in a hit-and-run accident in the parking lot of a La Mirada Del Taco on June 23rd. Sgt. Liza Gonzalez of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department is quoted in a previous Orange County Register report as stating that a white Chevrolet Astro van, doing approximately 20 mph hit Jaswal, dragged him for a distance of 70 feet and then rolled over him even as Jaswal’s friends who witnessed the accident had run up to the moving van yelling for the driver to stop. However the driver of the van sped up faster as he was urged “Go, go go,” by the passenger, Gonzalez said.

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July 10, 2007

Teen Charged As Adult in Petaluma Murder

A Santa Rosa boy was charged as an adult in a fatal stabbing incident that occurred Dec. 17 in downtown Petaluma, according to a news article in the Santa Rosa Press Democrat. http://www1.pressdemocrat.com/article/20070703/NEWS/70703002/1033/NEWS01

16-year-old Gibb Olivarez attended the hearing for the first time in adult court Monday but did not enter a plea. A juvenile court judge had ruled last week that given the seriousness of the crimes, Olivarez be treated as an adult in the stabbing and killing of 31-year-old Nathaniel Reifers and causing injuries to 23-year-old Salvatore Cucci Jr., both of Petaluma, the article stated.

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July 9, 2007

Former Dance Instructor in Orange County Faces Pornography and Sexual Assault Charges

A former Orange County dance instructor faces charges of child pornography and sexual assault after one of the girls who attended the school found a hidden camera in the instructor’s home bathroom where he encouraged the girls to change their clothes.

According to a news article in The Orange County Register, 28-year-old Jason Alan Marian of Aliso Viejo was a former part-time dance teacher at the Mission Viejo Dance and Performing Arts Center in Laguna Niguel. Both Marian and his wife, who was also an instructor at that school, were fired in April after one of eight girls invited to the couple’s home for a party found a hidden camera in the restroom and turned it over to her father who in turn gave it to Orange County Sheriff’s Department officials. The article says the girl who found the camera was between 10 and 14 years old at the time.

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