Trial for 1991 Menlo Park murder to begin Monday

Jury selection 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, is to begin next week, a San Mateo County Superior Court judge said today.

Joseph Eli Morrow, 59, is accused of killing his wife Donna Morrow, 37, during an argument at their Menlo Park home on Dec. 19, 1991, according to prosecutors. He has been charged with murder for financial gain and faces the possibility of life in prison without parole.

Donna Morrow's body was unearthed on Morrow's 36-acre property above Los Gatos inSeptember 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, who have filed several appeals on his behalf, halting the trial that began in April 2006. 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 so far been denied.

A hearing on the status of the most recent petition for review with the state Supreme Court, and possible further defense motions, is scheduled for Thursday at 9 a.m.

Currently, jury selection for the trial — estimated to last eight to 10 weeks in total — is scheduled to begin Monday at 1:30 p.m., Parsons said.

— Bay City News

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