San Jose: Imprisoned man charged again in 1983 killing of Tara Marowski

Christopher Holland

SAN JOSE — A man serving a lifetime prison sentence has been charged in the 1983 rape and killing of Tara Marowski, marking the second time he faces prosecution for her death, after authorities said newer DNA analysis methods tie him closer to the crime than when they initially charged him a decade ago and later dropped the case.

Christopher Melvin Holland has been charged for a second time in the 1983 killing of 21-year-old Tara Marowski in San Jose. Holland had been serving a lifetime prison sentence after being convicted of killing a 17-year-old girl in Campbell that same year. 

Christopher Melvin Holland, 67, was arraigned on a new murder charge last week, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. The charge carries an allegation that Holland raped the 21-year-old Marowski, who was found dead on April 2, 1983 in the back seat of her car on a residential street in West San Jose near the Campbell border.

Holland is already serving a term of life in prison without the possibility of parole after being convicted in 2015 of raping, stabbing and strangling 17-year-old Cynthia Munoz in a Campbell park four months after Marowski was killed.

When Holland was charged with Marowski’s death for the second time, on Aug. 9, he was being held in the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility in Corcoran, according to state prison records. He was transferred to and booked at the Santa Clara County Main Jail on Aug. 25.

Marowski was last seen alive on March 28, 1983, leaving a bar with two men right around closing time. She was found dead five days later in her car, which was parked on Corola Avenue off San Tomas Aquino Road north of West Hamilton Avenue. Santa Clara County Sheriff’s deputies found Marowski partially clothed and positioned in a way “that could be consistent with recent sexual intercourse or sexual assault,” according to a DA investigative summary accompanying the new murder charge. A pair of blue jeans was wrapped around her neck.

Assistant Medical Examiner-Coroner Joseph O’Hara — who recently reviewed Marowski’s autopsy, crime-scene photographs and police reports — concluded they indicated that she had been “assaulted and strangled to death with her clothing,” according to his account in the DA summary. But O’Hara also stated that specific evidence of “injuries, if any, were obscured by body decomposition.”

A bartender who spoke to investigators in 1984 offered a partial identification of a suspect, saying one of the men who left the bar with Marowski resembled Holland, according to the summary.

In 2007 — the year Holland was charged with killing Munoz — the DA’s office spoke to Holland’s brother, who reportedly told investigators that Holland woke him up one night after Marowski disappeared and told him he had left the bar with Marowski and left her in a car. During that exchange, investigators said, “Holland also asked his brother how long semen could remain in a dead person.”

Four years later, while Holland was in jail awaiting trial …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


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