Thursday, October 05, 2000

Man to face murder charge in wife's death




The Associated Press

        WOOSTER, Ohio — A California man who was arrested in the slaying of his first wife nearly 26 years after her disappearance in Ohio will be returned to Wayne County to face a murder charge.

        Escondido, Calif., police and the FBI on Tuesday arrested John David Smith III, 49, of Oceanside, Calif.

        Mr. Smith could be returned here as early as next week to face the charge in the death of Janice Hartman, said Wayne County Prosecutor Martin Frantz.

        An extradition hearing was scheduled for Wednesday.

        Mr. Smith reported Ms. Hartman, 23, missing from her home in Doylestown a few days after their divorce in 1974. She was never seen again, and the cause of her death is unknown.

        Mr. Smith became a suspect in Ms. Hartman's death in 1991 after the disappearance of his second wife, Fran Gladden, 49, of West Windsor, N.J., said Jocelyn Stefancin, a Wayne County prosecutor.

        He is also the “prime suspect” in the disappearance of Ms. Gladden, Ms. Stefancin said. Ms. Gladden has not been found.

        Authorities only confirmed that Ms. Hartman was dead this year after examining unidentified skeletal remains found in 1980 along a rural road near Morocco, Ind., she said.

        A Wayne County grand jury indicted Mr. Smith in August. If found guilty, he could face life in prison, Mr. Frantz said.

       



Ballpark steps to the plate
RADEL: Suitable for suits only
Danville polished, primed for debate
County liable to arena
Justice blasts interest groups
PULFER: John Arcady
Ohio knew about flawed driver's licenses
Skip fall - it's straight to winter
12 black students named semifinalists
Fox: Keep welfare money in Ohio
In the schools
Sirens may be blaring by Dec.
Bush is the online favorite
Bush outlines education plan in Ohio appearance
CROWLEY: Politics
Dead girl's clothes found in man's house
Federal aid to help rebuild Xenia
Gore rallies Ohio union members with promises
Hoops star in drug bust
Jury still at work in boating deaths
Living wages in Ky. deplored
- Man to face murder charge in wife's death
Ohio court declines to review Justin case
Parochial high schools court prospects
Police: Woman alone in slaying, baby theft
Port Authority sanctioned
Principal submits resignation
Ruling allows nuns' homeless work to continue
Second Street inching toward completion - maybe
Twelve students selected
Visit aims to stir support
Kentucky News Briefs
Tristate A.M. Report