The fourth trial for a 54-year-old New York man accused of killing his estranged wife in 2001 will be heard by a judge, not a jury.

A state judge on Monday granted Calvin Harris's request for a non-jury trial as proceedings were set to start in a Schoharie County court. The murder charge will be considered by Judge Richard Mott, who will begin the trial Thursday.

Prosecutors say Harris killed his 35-year-old wife in September 2001 when she came home late at night to the home they shared with their four young children. Defense lawyers claim authorities overlooked likely murder suspects.

Two previous convictions against Harris have been overturned. His third trial last year ended in a hung jury.

Michele Harris's body has never been found.