CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A man convicted of killing his wife hours after she filed for divorce has lost his appeal to the New Hampshire Supreme Court.
James Robarge was convicted of second-degree murder in the death of Kelly Robarge, who disappeared from her Charlestown, New Hampshire, home on June 27, 2013. Her badly decomposed body, with her hands and head detached, was found 10 days later in Unity, about 10 miles from her home.
In his appeal, Robarge argued that cellphone records shouldn't have been admitted as evidence of the couple's location the day of the murder. He also objected to jurors being shown a photo of a "LOVE Kills Slowly" tattoo on his torso and being told he had threatened to kill his wife because her hair was too short.
The Supreme Court said Tuesday that even if the trial court made those mistakes, they were harmless, given the overwhelming evidence against Robarge. As the court noted, Kelly Robarge's blood was found on his clothing and in his car, and metal fragments from his car's oil pan were found along the trail leading to the body. Robarge had fresh scratches on his torso, his knuckles were red, and he tried to flee from police during questioning.
According to court records, the couple started dating when they were 12 and married in the early 1990s when they were about 22 years old. In 2012, Kelly Robarge told a health care provider the marriage was abusive. They separated in 2013, and he moved to Vermont."
On June 26, 2013, she left him a note saying she planned to file for divorce. She did so the next day, and texted a friend that Robarge was waiting for her when she got home. A neighbor heard them arguing, but by the time one of the couple's adult daughters arrived that afternoon, Kelly Robarge was gone.
Robarge was sentenced to 30 years to life in prison.