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Votes

Judge: Evidence OK

Circuit Court Judge S. Michael Pincus denied motions made by the attorney of Dr. Zakaria Oweiss to suppress statements by police officers and fire and rescue personnel in the murder trial of Oweiss, a Potomac resident.

Oweiss was arrested for the Aug. 15, 2001 murder of his wife Marianne Oweiss, of Kentsdale Road.

Pincus ruled on Monday, Oct. 7 that evidence seized by police at police headquarters while they questioned Oweiss — including Oweiss' glasses, shirt, pants, ring, fingernail scrapings, and a swab of the ring — were obtained lawfully and constitutionally since they were in plain view of detectives and were determined to be significant evidence in the case.

Pincus also ruled that a tape made at police headquarters of detectives questioning Oweiss the day Marianne Oweiss was found murdered in the couple's home would also be allowed to be used during trial as evidence.

"Statements made on the tape are voluntary," said Pincus, because detectives had repeatedly informed Oweiss that he was not a suspect at that time and was free to leave at any point during the questioning.

All portions of the tape after 2:06 p.m., however, — the time Oweiss stated that he did not want to talk further without consulting his attorney — will not be permitted to be used during the trial.

Pincus scheduled an additional hearing for Tuesday, Oct. 15 to hear motions from both the defense and prosecuting attorneys on evidence of prior acts between Oweiss and his wife and the search warrant police obtained to gather evidence from the Oweiss home.

Oweiss' attorney, Peter Davis, said he also objects to the admissibility of the actual taping, and Pincus said he will rule on that issue near the time of the trial.

Jury selection for the trial is scheduled to take place Monday, Oct. 21. Opening statements and the trial are scheduled to begin Tuesday, Oct. 22, at the Circuit Court of Montgomery County in Rockville.

<1b>—Ken Moore