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Settlement conference scheduled in Garlinghouse murder case

A court hearing for Jason Allen Garlinghouse, 33, of Lebanon, which was scheduled for four hours, only took about 15 minutes.

Garlinghouse, who faces a murder charge in connection with the Feb. 14 death of his estranged wife, Sparki Garlinghouse, appeared before Linn County Circuit Court Judge David Delsman.

The state has moved to admit statements made by Sparki Garlinghouse to a friend shortly before she was murdered. That motion, to admit victim statements, was filed on Aug. 11.
Sparki Garlinghouse drove to Jason Garlinghouse’s residence on the morning of Feb. 14 to pick up their children for school, according to court documents.

“Because she was nervous about entering into (the) defendant’s house, she activated an audio-recorder on her smartphone,” a court document states. “Unbeknownst to (the) defendant at the time, the victim’s phone audio-recorded the entire incident.”

At the Aug. 18 hearing, prosecuting attorney Keith Stein said he did not expect Delsman to rule, he just wanted the court to be prepared.

Delsman said he appreciated the opportunity to review the motion before trial.

John Rich, Garlinghouse’s court-appointed attorney, said there were two copies of the audio recording. One is unedited and the other has descriptions of what may be happening in the recording.

The unedited version will be played in the state’s opening statements if the case goes to trial.

Stien said his witness list will look a little different from what he previously submitted.

“We have pared things down,” he said.

Rich said he has gotten additional names from Garlinghouse. The defense will have nine witnesses.

Neither attorney plans to attend jury selection for the trial, which is scheduled for Sept. 25, but they do plan to confer about questions on the jury questionnaire.

Stein said he expects the state’s case to take four days. Rich said the defense should take two days.

A settlement conference is scheduled for Aug. 29.