A hearing is being held today in Howard County Circuit Court to determine whether the police search that produced the remains of a woman missing for 21 years was legal.
Robert Jarrett, of Elkridge, is accused of first-degree murder in the death of his former wife, Christine, whose remains were discovered by police in April mixed with concrete and buried beneath a shed on Jarrrett's Claire Lane property.
The hearing is one of several scheduled to determine what evidence can be used in the case.
Judge Richard Bernhardt has already ruled that evidence of “domestic discord” in the Jarrett household could be used as part of the prosecution's arguments and that since Christine Jarrett's remains have been cremated, there cannot be a reexamination of the remains.
Robert and Christine Jarrett lived together at the Claire Drive residence until 1991 when she disappeared.
Howard County police arrested Jarrett in April and on May 20 he was indicted on a first-degree murder charge.
In a case that will rely less on physical evidence and more on decades-old recollections, Bernhardt has said he’ll have to act as a “gatekeeper,” determining what evidence is reliable enough to be presented at the trial, which was scheduled to begin Oct. 1, but has been postponed.
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With reporting by Patch Editor Elizabeth Janney