James Robarge, 43, looks over to his defense attorney Mimi Brill during Robarge's extradition hearing at Windham District Court in Brattleboro, Vt. on July 8, 2013. Robarge is charged in New Hampshire with the second-degree murder of his wife, Kelly Robarge, but he is currently held on charges unrelated to his wife's death. Robarge maintained his right to extradition and the state of New Hampshire has 30 days to officially request his return to be tried for the murder. (Valley News/Libby March)
Husband to be charged with murder of Charlestown woman fights extradition from Vt.
BRATTLEBORO, Vt. - Facing second-degree murder charges in New Hampshire for the death of his wife, James R. Robarge, 43, fought his extradition from Vermont to the Granite State in Windham District Court Monday afternoon.
Judge David Suntag said due to the seriousness of the charges he would acquiesce to Windham County State's Attorney Tracey Shriver's request that Robarge be held without bail.
New Hampshire authorities now have 30 days to make a "governor's request," asking for his return to face the murder charges, Suntag said.
New Hampshire authorities could have taken custody of him as early as Monday if he had waived extradition, New Hampshire Senior Assistant Attorney General Susan Morrell said outside of the court room after his arraignment on a fugitive from justice charge.
He faces one charge of second-degree murder alleging he recklessly caused the death of Kelly Robarge by inflicting trauma to her body, under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to the value of human life, Morrell said.
The process of extraditing him to New Hampshire could take several months, she said.
Investigators believe Robarge killed his 42-year-old wife June 27, the same day she filed for divorce from him and the same day family members reported her missing, Morrell said.
Morrell would not comment on the evidence collected by investigators, but according to the supporting affidavit for the issued arrest warrant on file in the Vermont court, investigators found blood splatters and evidence of large amounts of blood being cleaned up at the couple's home at 124 Happy Acres Road, Charlestown. Investigators also found drag marks on the ground outside the home, that is consistent with a body being dragged.
Robarge had been estranged from his wife for several months, Morrell said, and living with his father in Saxton's River, Vermont.
The affidavit also says Robarge had been the one to report Kelly Robarge missing. One of her two daughters had been at work and when she returned home from work around 3:30 p.m. on June 27, she found her father sitting outside with her nephew.
Robarge allegedly told his daughter he found his 1-year-old grandson on the couch crying with "no sign of Kelly, who was supposed to be baby-sitting."
The daughter also told a state trooper that "her father told her that her mother is having an affair, and that her mother is planning to take the house and truck in the divorce."