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Calif. man pleads not guilty in estranged wife's 1989 murder

SAN JOSE, Calif. - A man accused of murdering his estranged wife in 1989 pleaded not guilty Monday in Superior Court in San Jose, Calif., reports CBS SF Bay Area.

David Zimmer, 69, of Half Moon Bay, is charged with killing 38-year-old Cathy Zimmer, whose strangled body was found inside her car in San Jose on March 10, 1989. He is being held without bail.

"My client did not do this and I don't believe they have enough evidence to even bring it before a jury," Zimmer's lawyer, Michael Cardoza, said following Monday's arraignment.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office announced on Friday that David Zimmer had been arrested in his wife's murder and that his brother Robert Zimmer had been arraigned on the same charge on Feb. 27.

Deputy District Attorney Ted Kajani said David Zimmer was taken into custody based on the fact he collected about $400,000 from the sale of the home he and Cathy shared, as well as from Cathy's life insurance. Kajani said Robert Zimmer was arrested on the basis of DNA evidence and statements made by him and his daughter to investigators, according to the station.

Cathy Zimmer's murder case went cold for 25 years until the district attorney's office reopened the case in January.

Cardoza also said the fact that his client sold his house after his wife's death is not enough reason to charge him with her murder.

"A lot for people do that, it was his house and he did have a lot of money invested in this house," Cardoza said, according to the station.

He went on to say that it is also not out of the ordinary that David Zimmer could collect money from an insurance policy on his wife.

"It's hardly a motive to kill," Cardoza said. "I am most anxious to get discovery from the D.A.'s office and find out what if any evidence besides that they have in this case."

"So far I haven't seen anything that shows that my client committed this crime or was in any way was involved in this crime," he said.

The prosecution has additional proof of the defendants' guilt it has not released to the public, D.A. Kajani said, according to the station: "Certainly, all of the evidence has not been revealed."