- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 20, 2015

NEWPORT, N.H. (AP) - A man charged with killing his wife the day she filed for divorce had warned that if he couldn’t have her, nobody could, their daughter testified Tuesday.

Gabriel Robarge Pellerin said her mother, Kelly Robarge, often threatened to divorce James Robarge during arguments, but Pellerin never thought she’d do it.

Pellerin, 25, also testified Tuesday about a 2012 incident in which her father shoved her mother into a wall and Pellerin ordered him to leave. On cross-examination, she acknowledged that her mother would initiate some of the physical altercations.

When Kelly Robarge would threaten divorce during their arguments, Pellerin said, her father “said if he can’t have her, nobody can have her.”

Pellerin said her mother told her June 27, 2013, that she was headed to court to file for divorce. Kelly Robarge disappeared that day; her badly decomposed body was found nine days later in Unity, not far from her home in Charlestown, New Hampshire.

Pellerin said she was close to her mother but not to her father.

Jurors on Friday watched a surveillance video showing 42-year-old Kelly Robarge filing for divorce at family court in Claremont the morning she vanished. Gabriel’s 18-month-old son can be seen walking around in the background and perched on Kelly Robarge’s hip.

James Robarge is on trial in Sullivan County Superior Court on a first-degree murder charge and an alternate charge of second-degree murder. He has been in custody since his arrest the week his wife’s body was found.

The 45-year-old Robarge maintains his innocence and his lawyers say he’ll testify.

At the time of the divorce filing, the Robarges had been separated for several months and he had been living with his stepfather in Saxtons River, Vermont.

A close friend of Kelly Robarge testified last week that Kelly texted her upon returning to her Charlestown house from court after filing for divorce, adding, “He’s here.” Lori Laird texted back to ask if James Robarge knew about the divorce filing.

“Not yet. I’m gonna tell him,” Kelly Robarge replied. Laird said that was the last message she received from Kelly Robarge.

The couple’s daughters, Ciera and Gabriel, have testified that they noticed damage on a stair baluster and a switch plate at their mother’s home after her disappearance.

Claremont police Officer Eric Fosterling testified Tuesday about receiving a “be on the lookout” alert for James Robarge and his black Jetta the night Kelly Robarge vanished. Soon afterward, he noticed a shirtless Robarge walking along the road less than half a mile from where his disabled vehicle was found in a turnout in Unity. Prosecutors said the car had a shattered oil pan, and there was no oil in the engine. Kelly Robarge’s body was found not too far from there, off a remote logging road.

Fosterling said James Robarge had scratches on his body and the backs of his hands and his breath smelled of beer.

“He said he was looking for his wife, checking various locations for his wife,” Fosterling testified.

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