Joseph Morrow murder trial to begin Tuesday

Attorneys in the nearly 16-year-old murder case of a Menlo Park man accused of killing his wife and burying her body on a hillside property, and then fleeing overseas, agreed today to begin selection of a jury Tuesday.

The trial of Joseph Eli Morrow, 59, accused of killing his wife Donna Morrow, 37, during an argument at their Menlo Park home Dec. 19, 1991, has been delayed since April of last year, amid several appeals by Morrow's defense attorneys.

According to Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe, Judge Craig Parsons agreed this morning to defense attorneys' requests to push back jury selection one more day, to Tuesday at 9 a.m.

After approximately two weeks of jury selection, the trial is estimated to last four to six weeks, Wagstaffe said.

Morrow has been charged with murder for financial gain and faces the possibility of life in prison without parole, according to prosecutors.

Donna Morrow's body was unearthed on Morrow's 36-acre property above Los Gatos in September 2003. Morrow was arrested in the Philippines and indicted by a criminal grand jury two months later. He has remained in custody without bail since that time.

Morrow has maintained his innocence since his wife was reported missing, according to defense attorneys.

Their requests to replace trial Judge Craig Parsons, and to have the case thrown out because of potentially exculpatory evidence allegedly not provided to the grand jury in 2003, have been denied.

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