Judge Weighs Evidence in Jarrett Murder Case

Case of Robert Jarrett unfolds in Howard County Circuit Court before trial.

At the first of three pre-trial hearings this week regarding an Elkridge man accused of killing his wife and , the judge said: “I want to resolve things.” 

Howard County Circuit Court Judge Richard Bernhardt must determine what may be presented when the case goes before a jury next month.

"I am here as a gatekeeper," said Bernhardt, on Wednesday.

The case is circumstantial, meaning there is not direct evidence linking the defendant, , to the crime.

Jarrett reported his former wife, , missing in January 1991, according to police.

In April 2012, the it found her remains after receiving a tip, underneath a shed behind the Jarrett residence on Claire Drive. Robert Jarrett has been incarcerated at the Howard County Detention Center since the spring.

"This is an unusual case," said Bernhardt on Sept. 5 in the Howard County Circuit Courthouse.

The remainder of this week's hearings will focus on these issues:

  • legality of police search at the Jarrett residence
  • applicability of to her sister and nephew about domestic abuse
  • capacity in which the remains may be used

The pre-trial hearings will resume on Sept. 6 and 7. The trial is scheduled for Oct. 1, although there is a possibility of postponement.


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Polly September 06, 2012 at 08:47 AM
This case sounds so similiar to the Drew Peterson case in Illinois that is currently in jury deliberations. Personally, I think that circumstantial evidence is often much more compelling than just physical evidence. Unfortunately however, many jurors can't grasp the concept of circumstantial evidence and must have direct physical evidence, e.g., DNA, fingerprints, video etc. Just like the idiot jurors from Pinellas County Florida that found Casey Anthony not guilty.
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