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Hartland man bound over for trial in 1997 murder

A Livingston County man has been bound over for trial in a 25-year-old cold case murder.

John A. Germain of Hartland Township was charged August 2 with the murder and sexual assault of 79-year-old Virginia Cecelia Farrel, who was beaten and stabbed to death inside her Clay Township home in May of 1997.

John Germain – St. Clair County Jail photo

Court records indicate that Germain, 54, was bound over last Tuesday to stand trial in St. Clair County Circuit Court on charges of open murder, first-degree criminal sexual conduct and breaking and entering.

Farrel’s murder case was originally reopened in 2007, when an MSP cold case team made requests for additional lab exams of evidence taken from the crime scene. A DNA profile was developed through the lab tests, although no suspects were identified.

Then in 2019, a second MSP cold case investigation with further scientific evaluations of the DNA evidence which was then submitted to the Combined DNA Index System. That turned up Germain, who remains jailed on a $1 million bond.

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