DuFour read from Collard's signed confession in which he allegedly claimed that, at one point during the argument, June picked up a knife. It was then, according to his written statement, he finally "let her have it."
"I punched her with my right hand," he wrote, claiming she then fell through a door and against a hot water tank, breaking it. "I think she was dead when I hit her."
In his statement, Collard said he checked for signs of life, but found no pulse or breathing.
"I was mad at myself for letting it happen," he wrote, noting how he had become agitated by June "sleeping around." "A person can only take so much."
Collard explained how he then dumped June's body out a window into a hole that had been dug for a septic system. He covered the hole until spring when, his statement said, he burned brush in the hole, dumped some lime over the remains, bulldozed the hole, and built an addition to his house over it to conceal it.
"At no point had I ever planned to cause harm to my wife," Collard added to the statement in his own handwriting.
Collard remained silent during the hearing, though appeared visibly frustrated at times. At one point, he mouthed the words, "I didn't do it," to family members in the gallery.
Justice William Garrison ordered the case to trial and for Collard to continue to be held without bail.
According to Essex County District Attorney Kristy Sprague, initial hearings for the trial will take place within the next 45 days.
Sprague acknowledged some difficulty in prosecuting such an old case, as some witnesses and evidence are no longer available, but she commended state police for keeping track of important leads.
Police are planning efforts to recover June's remains sometime soon, said Sprague, and that Collard's children especially are hoping those efforts can be successful.
"They want to give their mother a proper burial," Sprague said, "and I think that's the least they deserve at this point."