Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

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Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by CuriousPortlander on Tue Jun 16, 2015 7:40 pm

Starting a new thread for the Chase Merritt murder trial, since the previous topic involves two other missing families.  

Chase Merritt is accused of killing the McStay family: Joseph & Summer McStay, then 4-yr-old Gianni & then 3-yr-old Joseph, Jr.  These murders apparently were committed on February 4, 2010, in San Diego, CA.

Trial begins on June 24th, 2015.  

Here is the link to the previous thread, for those who would like to catch up:

http://www.realitychatter.com/t2049-missing-families-jamison-10-09-szczepanik-12-09-presumed-deceased-son-found-deceased-mcstay-2-10

Please post all trial-related information here.
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Tue Jun 16, 2015 9:26 pm

Charles Merritt to go to trial in McStay family disappearance, slayings




By Joe Nelson, The Sun

Posted: 06/15/15, 10:29 AM PDT | Updated: 3 mins ago

SAN BERNARDINO >> A San Bernardino Superior Court judge on Monday ordered Charles “Chase” Merritt to stand trial for allegedly beating a San Diego County family to death with a sledgehammer, apparently for financial gain, then burying their bodies in the Mojave Desert near Victorville.

Merritt, 58, of Homeland, will return to San Bernardino Superior Court on June 24 for an arraignment, at which time prosecutors may announce if they plan to seek the death penalty against Merritt.

Judge Michael A. Smith rendered his decision following nearly six hours of testimony during Merritt’s preliminary hearing. Investigators presented evidence of suspected check fraud perpetrated by Merritt against his former business associate and alleged victim, Joseph McStay. They also testified that DNA matching Merritt’s was taken from the steering wheel and gearshift handle of McStay’s Isuzu Trooper found abandoned at the Mexican border shortly after the family was last seen alive.

Merritt, 58, of Homeland, stands charged with four counts of murder for the bludgeoning deaths of McStay, 40, his wife, Summer, 43, and their two sons, Gianni, 4, and Joseph Jr., 3, in their Fallbrook home, in San Diego County, on or around Feb. 4, 2010. The family’s remains were discovered in two shallow graves, west of the 15 Freeway and north of Stoddard Wells Roads, on the outskirts of Victorville, in November 2013.

Read more:

http://www.sbsun.com/general-news/20150615/charles-merritt-to-go-to-trial-in-mcstay-family-disappearance-slayings
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:50 pm

Trial date set for accused McStay family murderer

Posted 2:12 PM, June 24, 2015, by Sharon Chen, Updated at 07:28pm, June 24, 2015

SAN DIEGO – The trial for the man accused of killing the McStay family five years ago is expected to begin in August.

Charles “Chase” Merritt, 57, pleaded not guilty to charges in the murders of his 40-year-old business associate Joseph McStay, wife and their two children. At the end of a preliminary hearing last week, prosecutors had provided enough evidence to order Merritt to trial.

The San Bernardino County District Attorney has yet to decide if Merritt would face the death penalty if convicted of the crimes. A prosecutor said it will be announced on July 10.

Read more:

http://fox5sandiego.com/2015/06/24/trial-date-set-for-accused-mcstay-family-murderer/
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Fri Jun 26, 2015 8:59 pm

Judge orders unsealing of search warrants in McStay family murder case


The district attorney will decide by July 10 whether or not it will seek the death penalty against Charles “Chase” Merritt, seen at right, with attorney Jimmy Mettias in court on Wednesday at San Bernardino Superior Court. Merritt is charged in the murders of the McStay family. (Photo by Micah Escamilla/The Sun)

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 06/24/15, 1:03 PM PDT | Updated: 1 day ago

SAN BERNARDINO >> More than 30 search warrants served during the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s investigation into the beating deaths of a San Diego County family whose skeletal remains were discovered in two shallow graves near Victorville were ordered unsealed Wednesday by a Superior Court judge.

During an arraignment for defendant Charles “Chase” Merritt, San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Michael A. Smith entered a not guilty plea on Merritt’s behalf and ordered 33 of the 35 search warrants in the case be redacted and made available to the public on July 1.

The information contained in the search warrants may reveal more of the evidence gathered in the case that was not introduced during Merritt’s preliminary hearing on June 15.


~Snipped~

Attorney Kelly Aviles, who is representing several news organizations that have been fighting to unseal the warrants since Merritt’s arrest in November, said all the warrants should be released in their entirety, without redactions. She will continue to push for that, plus the unsealing of two other warrants prosecutors are fighting to keep sealed, during the next hearing before Judge Smith on July 10.

Aviles disputed Mettias’ argument that some information in the search warrants hurts Merritt’s chances of a fair trial.

“I can’t imagine that this information can be any more prejudicial than the allegation this man has murdered four people with a sledgehammer and then buried them in the desert. That’s fairly prejudicial,” Aviles said.

She said prosecutors want to keep two of the warrants sealed because of information in them relating to child protective services issues pertaining to third parties not germane to the case.

Smith on Wednesday also set a trial date of Aug. 10 and a pretrial date of Aug. 7.

Read more:

http://www.sbsun.com/general-news/20150624/judge-orders-unsealing-of-search-warrants-in-mcstay-family-murder-case
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Mon Jun 29, 2015 9:38 pm

By Crimesider Staff / CBS/AP / June 29, 2015, 5:16 PM

Death penalty being sought in slaying of McStay family

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. - The district attorney will seek the death penalty for a California man who is accused of killing a family of four and burying their bodies in shallow desert graves.

District Attorney Mike Ramos filed notice Monday in San Bernardino County Superior Court in the case against 58-year-old Charles Ray Merritt, who is being held without bail.

~Snipped~

Search warrants served in the case will be unsealed Wednesday.

Read more:

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/death-penalty-being-sought-in-slaying-of-mcstay-family/
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:10 pm

San Bernardino County DA to Seek Death Penalty in McStay Family Murders

Posted 5:39 PM, June 29, 2015, by Kennedy Ryan, Updated at 05:53pm, June 29, 2015


A family photo shows Joseph McStay, his wife Summer and sons Gianni and Joseph.

The San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office announced Monday that it would seek the death penalty against the man charged in the murders of four members of the McStay family.

District Attorney Mike Ramos filed notice in San Bernardino County Superior Court that his office would pursue the death penalty against Charles Ray Merritt.

The McStay family was last heard from Feb. 4, 2010 just months after moving from south Orange County to Fallbrook, in San Diego County.

The bodies of Joseph McStay, his wife Summer and their two young sons, Gianni and Joseph Jr. were discovered Nov. 11, 2014, by an off-road motorcyclist between Quarry Road and the 15 Freeway, north of Stoddard Wells Road, authorities said.

Read more:

http://ktla.com/2015/06/29/san-bernardino-da-to-seek-death-penalty-in-mcstay-family-murders/
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:28 pm



The McStay Family



Joseph and Summer



Gianni



Joseph Jr.

http://mcstayfamilyjustice.blogspot.com/
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Mon Jun 29, 2015 10:55 pm



http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2015/06/29/da-to-seek-death-penalty-in-mcstay-murders/
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Weeziethm on Tue Jun 30, 2015 2:05 pm

....and so it should be.

Thank you, AD, for posting this DP news and the wonderful photos of the McStay family.

Hope justice will prevail.

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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Mylife101 on Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:34 pm

McStay killings: Documents show suspect owed victim money
By Dana Ford, CNN

~snipped~

(CNN)—Joseph McStay had loaned his accused killer $30,000 and planned to fire him, according to documents released Wednesday.

Charles "Chase" Merritt is accused in the 2010 deaths of Joseph and Summer McStay and their two young boys.

Merritt has pleaded not guilty. He was a former business partner of Joseph McStay, who sold outdoor water displays over the Internet.

The newly released documents show that investigators spoke with Dan Kavanaugh, another partner in the business. He told them Joseph McStay had loaned Merritt $30,000 to pay a gambling debt, and that McStay had planned to fire Merritt.

Investigators with the San Diego County Sheriff's Office also spoke to Merritt on several occasions, the documents show.

He told them he did not like Summer McStay, nor Kavanaugh, and said: "If I were ever going to commit murder, it would be him," meaning Kavanaugh.

Read more:
http://www.cnn.com/2015/07/01/us/mcstay-family-killing/index.html
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Mylife101 on Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:41 pm

Docs: Merritt murdered McStays in their home
By: 10News Digital Team  
Posted: 11:55 AM, Jul 1, 2015

~snipped~
SAN DIEGO - Investigators believe Charles “Chase” Merritt murdered a Fallbrook family of four in their home and used a futon cover to wrap Joseph McStay’s body, according to newly-unsealed warrants.  

A San Bernardino judge unsealed 305-pages of warrants Wednesday in the murder case against the 58-year-old Merritt.

Investigators said McStay, his 43-year-old wife Summer and their two sons, 4-year-old Gianni and 3-year-old Joseph Jr., were beaten to death inside their Fallbrook home in early February 2010. On Nov. 11, 2013, their bodies were discovered in desert graves in San Bernardino County.

In the newly-released documents, investigators state that the McStay family was murdered in their home and that Merritt buried them in the desert only “a few miles” from where his sister resides. Merritt also tried to paint over the crime scene, the documents allege.  

“Merritt is the only person in the investigation with known direct knowledge of the high desert,” the documents read.

In the investigation immediately following the family’s disappearance, San Diego County Sheriff’s investigators had struggled to locate a crime scene.

Read more:
http://www.10news.com/news/docs-merritt-murdered-mcstays-in-their-home
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Mylife101 on Wed Jul 01, 2015 7:47 pm

Search warrants: Joseph McStay was planning to fire 'Chase' Merritt, the man accused of killing his family and him

July 1, 2015
|Updated 2:04 p.m.

~snipped~
Before his death, Joseph McStay had loaned business associate Charles "Chase" Merritt $30,000 to pay a gambling debt and was planning to fire him, another associate told investigators, according to search warrants released Wednesday, July 1.

More than 300 pages of search warrant documents were unsealed related to the investigation into Merritt, who is accused of killing McStay, his wife and their two young sons in 2010, then burying their bodies in the desert near Victorville.

The search warrants cover a period from Feb. 21, 2014, almost three months after the remains were found, to Dec. 29, 2014, more than a month after San Bernardino County Sheriff’s investigators announced the arrest of Merritt, 58, of Homeland.

The $30,000 debt was noted in the first search warrant affidavit that San Bernardino County sheriff's investigators filed, seeking access to Merritt's cellphone records.

Investigators testified at a June 15 preliminary hearing that checks from a McStay business account were written around the time the family went missing, in a style that didn't match Joseph McStay's habits and cashed by Merritt at casinos across Southern California.

Read more:
http://www.ocregister.com/articles/hold-669560-mcstay-weds.html
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:33 pm

Unsealed warrants: Chase Merritt owed Joseph McStay $30k

Posted: Jul 01, 2015 12:39 PM CDT
Updated: Jul 01, 2015 6:55 PM CDT


By David Gotfredson, Investigative Producer

McStay Search Warrants (PDF):

http://www.cbs8.com/story/29453814/33-redacted-search-warrants-released-in-mcstay-murder-case
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Wed Jul 01, 2015 8:54 pm

^^^@Mylife101:

Thank you so much for posting the updates.
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by CuriousPortlander on Wed Jul 01, 2015 11:15 pm

Oh, wow!  Seems like they've got some pretty good solid evidence against Merritt.

Thanks to AD and Mylife for the updates!
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Weeziethm on Thu Jul 02, 2015 8:39 am

CuriousPortlander wrote:Oh, wow!  Seems like they've got some pretty good solid evidence against Merritt.

Thanks to AD and Mylife for the updates!

Thank you! Follow the money trail directly to the scum bag. I hope he gets what he deserves and glad the DP is on the table.
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Fri Jul 10, 2015 10:34 pm

Attorney seeks specific date of McStay family slayings; trial date delayed

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 07/10/15, 1:05 PM PDT | Updated: 4 hrs ago

SAN BERNARDINO >> The lack of a specific date in the prosecution’s case against a man accused of slaying a Fallbrook couple and their two young children and disposing of their bodies in shallow graves near Victorville has become a source of contention.

A trial date for Charles “Chase” Merritt, charged with the sledgehammer beating deaths of the McStay family nearly two years ago, was postponed Friday after his attorney said he would file a motion challenging the prosecution to provide the date of the victims’ deaths.

Attorney Jimmy Mettias, who represents Merritt, said prosecutors did not provide a specific date for the killings in the criminal complaint, only saying they occurred “on or about Feb. 4, 2010.”

Without a clear date, Merritt will have a harder time establishing an alibi, Mettias said.

“We will be filing a demurrer, not necessarily challenging the jurisdiction of San Bernardino County, but challenging the information,” Mettias told Judge Michael A. Smith during Friday’s proceedings in San Bernardino Superior Court.

Mettias requested the Aug. 10 trial date be changed to a disposition reset hearing, during which the prosecution and defense would let the judge know whether they are ready to go to trial.

Read more:

http://www.sbsun.com/general-news/20150710/attorney-seeks-specific-date-of-mcstay-family-slayings-trial-date-delayed
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Sat Jul 18, 2015 9:26 pm

Chase Merritt’s attorney requests dismissal of charges in McStay family murders

By Joe Nelson, The Sun

Posted: 07/18/15, 10:13 AM PDT | Updated: 2 hrs ago

The attorney for McStay family murder suspect Charles “Chase” Merritt filed a motion in San Bernardino Superior Court on Friday seeking dismissal of the case on grounds that the prosecutors charged Merritt on shaky and contradictory evidence.

“The people have failed to plead the elements of the charged offenses with sufficient certainty to require the defendant to be held to answer for the charged offenses,” Merritt’s attorney, Jimmy Mettias, wrote in his motion.

~Snipped~

Mettias’ specific challenge is to the information included in Merritt’s four-page criminal complaint, which alleges that the crimes of which he stands accused were committed in San Bernardino County.

“This is an obvious and blatant contradiction to the evidence presented at the preliminary hearing, statements made by the District Attorney’s case summary and theory of the case,” Mettias said in his motion. “In every probable cause statement, case summary, media interviews and other documents prepared by the District Attorney in this case, they have alleged with certainty that the murders occurred in San Diego County in the city of Fallbrook. This is a glaring inconsistency and further restricts Mr. Merritt’s ability to defend himself against the charges,”

The contradictory information hinders Merritt’s chances of being able to adequately prepare and present his defense, and for that reason the charges against Merritt should be dismissed, Mettias said.

“Merritt is entitled to a logical and coherent information that is consistent in nature,” Mettias said in the motion.

Read more:

http://www.sbsun.com/general-news/20150718/chase-merritts-attorney-requests-dismissal-of-charges-in-mcstay-family-murders
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by CuriousPortlander on Fri Jul 31, 2015 8:23 pm


Merritt attorney takes to Twitter

Mettias tweets 'facts' about case that will 'shed light on (client's) innocence'
Posted Jul. 31, 2015 at 12:28 PM  Updated at 4:20 PM

VICTORVILLE — One month after San Bernardino County prosecutors announced they would seek the death penalty against Charles "Chase" Merritt, the alleged killer of the McStay family, Merritt's attorney announced that he would begin posting "facts" on Twitter to "shed light" on Merritt's innocence.

"Over the next few days and weeks I will be posting facts about the Charles Merritt Defense that will shed light on his innocence #McStay," Mettias tweeted on Thursday morning.

...Mettias said on Friday that the money motive is "misleading," and that the checks the prosecution are calling suspicious were nothing out of the ordinary for Merritt, who was a contractor.

"They're trying to make money the motive, but, the thing is that he got paid for the jobs he did," Mettias told the Daily Press. "If you put it in the context of his business and how (he and McStay) conducted business, this was not out of the ordinary. There's so much more to this case."

..."This case is not to be tried in public,” Mettias said in a June 12 Daily Press article.

(BBM)

Read more:  http://www.vvdailypress.com/article/20150731/NEWS/150739954

------------

"This case is not to be tried in public"?  Isn't that exactly what he's doing by taking to Twitter?
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Sun Aug 02, 2015 2:07 pm

Attorney will tweet defense in McStay case

“...if you follow the money, it definitely does NOT lead to Chase Merritt.”

By Teri Figueroa | 7:07 p.m. July 31, 2015

The attorney representing the man accused of killing the McStay family of Fallbrook is taking his defense case to Twitter, laying out arguments in the court of public opinion before the case goes to trial.

~Snipped~

Thus far, the public has only heard the prosecution’s side of the case, primarily through search warrant affidavits and testimony from sheriff’s investigators at Merritt’s preliminary hearing in June.

Merritt’s attorneys have not publicly countered the evidence — which includes financial anomalies that suggest Merritt dipped into McStay’s business accounts.

That silence may change. One of Merritt’s defense attorneys, Jimmy Mettias (@jmettias), took to Twitter on Thursday and again on Friday, using the hashtag #McStay, as have reporters covering the case.

Tweets from Chase Merritt's attorney

Read more:

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2015/jul/31/mcstay-chase-merritt-defense-attorney-twitter/
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Freckles on Sun Aug 02, 2015 6:46 pm

CuriousPortlander wrote:
Merritt attorney takes to Twitter

Mettias tweets 'facts' about case that will 'shed light on (client's) innocence'
Posted Jul. 31, 2015 at 12:28 PM  Updated at 4:20 PM

VICTORVILLE — One month after San Bernardino County prosecutors announced they would seek the death penalty against Charles "Chase" Merritt, the alleged killer of the McStay family, Merritt's attorney announced that he would begin posting "facts" on Twitter to "shed light" on Merritt's innocence.

"Over the next few days and weeks I will be posting facts about the Charles Merritt Defense that will shed light on his innocence #McStay," Mettias tweeted on Thursday morning.

...Mettias said on Friday that the money motive is "misleading," and that the checks the prosecution are calling suspicious were nothing out of the ordinary for Merritt, who was a contractor.

"They're trying to make money the motive, but, the thing is that he got paid for the jobs he did," Mettias told the Daily Press. "If you put it in the context of his business and how (he and McStay) conducted business, this was not out of the ordinary. There's so much more to this case."

..."This case is not to be tried in public,” Mettias said in a June 12 Daily Press article.

(BBM)

Read more:  http://www.vvdailypress.com/article/20150731/NEWS/150739954

------------

"This case is not to be tried in public"?  Isn't that exactly what he's doing by taking to Twitter?

^^^
Read my lips and don't look at my actions.... winks
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by CuriousPortlander on Thu Aug 06, 2015 6:51 pm


Prosecutors respond to defense dismissal motion in McStay family slayings

By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 08/05/15, 10:40 PM PDT | Updated: 2 hrs ago


San Bernardino County prosecutors have responded to a motion requesting dismissal of the criminal charges against McStay family murder suspect Charles “Chase” Merritt, saying the grounds for the request are erroneous.

Merritt’s attorney, Jimmy Mettias, filed a demurrer in San Bernardino Superior Court on July 17 requesting the charges against Merritt be dismissed because prosecutors are alleging the crimes occurred both in San Diego and San Bernardino counties.

...“In this case the uncontroverted evidence derived at the preliminary hearing was that the remains of the four victims were located in San Bernardino County,” Supervising Deputy District Attorney Britt Imes said in his motion, filed in San Bernardino Superior Court on July 31. “Therefore, the San Bernardino Superior Court is a proper jurisdiction for the crime charged.”

Judge Michael A. Smith will hear arguments from both the prosecution and the defense during a hearing on the motions on Friday.

Read more:  http://www.sbsun.com/general-news/20150805/prosecutors-respond-to-defense-dismissal-motion-in-mcstay-family-slayings
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Sun Aug 09, 2015 9:30 pm

Lawyer’s request to dismiss McStay slaying case rejected  
 
By Joe Nelson, The Sun
Posted: 08/07/15, 4:10 PM PDT | Updated: 1 day ago

A motion to dismiss the capital murder case against Charles “Chase” Merritt in the beating deaths of a Fallbrook family of four was denied Friday by a San Bernardino Superior Court judge, paving the way for trial to commence by the end of the year.

~Snipped~

Merritt maintains his innocence, and his attorney, Jimmy Mettias, sought dismissal of the case on jurisdictional grounds, arguing in a motion filed with the court that prosecutors, in their criminal complaint, allege the crimes occurred in San Bernardino County. That contradicts the prosecution’s belief that the McStay family was beaten to death with a 3-pound sledgehammer in their home in San Diego County on or about Feb. 4, 2010, Mettias said.

“It does indeed hamper our ability to defend Mr. Merritt because it ties to the theory of the case; what’s the theory of the case here?” Mettias said at Friday’s hearing before Judge Michael A. Smith.

~Snipped~

Smith concurred with prosecutors Britt Imes and Sean Daugherty, saying that jurisdiction in a murder case can be either where the bodies of the victim or victims were found or where the victim/victims were killed.

“The disposing of the bodies is part of the crime, so, once the bodies are disposed of in a particular county, at least part of the crime is committed, carried out or completed in that county,” Smith said. “So that does give the county — San Bernardino County — jurisdiction.”


Read more:

http://www.sbsun.com/general-news/20150807/lawyers-request-to-dismiss-mcstay-slaying-case-rejected
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Sun Aug 09, 2015 10:16 pm

Fox 5 Sharon Chen ‏@sharonchenfox5 · Aug 7
#mcstay Just learned: Hearing to determine trial date postponed another month, both sides asking for more time. @jmettias @fox5sandiego

https://twitter.com/sharonchenfox5

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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by CuriousPortlander on Sun Sep 06, 2015 6:09 pm


Charles Merritt murder trial in San Bernardino delayed again

Posted: 09/04/15, 10:47 AM PDT | Updated: 1 day ago

SAN BERNARDINO >> The trial for McStay family murder suspect Charles “Chase” Merritt was delayed again Friday after one of Merritt’s attorneys told the judge that the defense team was requesting funding for expert witnesses.

...He requested the next hearing be scheduled for Oct. 2, which Smith granted. Merritt agreed to waive his trial 60 days beyond Oct. 2.

(BBM)

Read more:  http://www.sbsun.com/general-news/20150904/charles-merritt-murder-trial-in-san-bernardino-delayed-again
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Mon Oct 05, 2015 1:00 am

Woman provides info on potential suspects in McStay family slayings

By Joe Nelson, The Sun

Posted: 10/02/15, 10:25 AM PDT | Updated: 1 day ago

SAN BERNARDINO >> Defense attorneys for McStay family murder suspect Charles “Chase” Merritt said Friday prosecutors gave them a recent interview with a woman claiming to know about other potential suspects in the case.

“One of the things we got today centers on other responsible parties,” said Rajan Maline, Merritt’s co-counsel, after a pretrial hearing for Merritt on Friday in San Bernardino Superior court. “Today, what we’re receiving is additional information, not necessarily tied to any particular group, but with a connection to potentially drugs and drug dealers and things of that nature. There’s a lot of third-party culpability in this case.”

Maline and Merritt’s lead attorney, Jimmy Mettias, said they do not know who the woman is who was recently interviewed by investigators for the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office and have yet to review the interview transcript and talk to the woman themselves.

“These are statements being made by people we don’t even know. We don’t know how credible it is,” Maline said, adding that the woman interviewed by district attorney’s investigators appeared to know things about the case that have not been released.

Prosecutors Sean Daugherty and Britt Imes declined to comment.

Read more:

http://www.sbsun.com/general-news/20151002/woman-provides-info-on-potential-suspects-in-mcstay-family-slayings
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Wed Oct 28, 2015 9:10 pm



San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Homicide Detail Receives Award of Excellence

Christie Martin  October 27, 2015

SAN BERNARDINO-(VVNG.com): On Tuesday, October 27th, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department Specialized Investigations Unit, Homicide Detail received an award for their innovative work in the investigation of the McStay Family.

“It is truly an honor to receive this award in recognition of the exemplary work done by the Specialized Investigations Division, Homicide Detail,” stated Sheriff John McMahon. “The award recognizes the hard work and endless hours of dedication to bring the investigation to a conclusion for the family,” he added.

Read more:

http://www.vvng.com/san-bernardino-county-sheriffs-department-homicide-detail-receives-award-of-excellence/
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Mylife101 on Sun Nov 01, 2015 10:12 am

AD, do you recall when Chase Merritt's trial is supposed to begin? I definitely want to follow this one.
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Sun Nov 01, 2015 12:49 pm

@Mylife:

From CP's post:

"...He requested the next hearing be scheduled for Oct. 2, which Smith granted. Merritt agreed to waive his trial 60 days beyond Oct. 2."

I imagine Merritt's trial will take place some time early next year if there are no further delays.
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Sun Nov 01, 2015 5:00 pm

RELATED ARTICLES:

My meeting with Charles 'Chase' Merritt


Charles 'Chase' Merritt in his office in Hesperia in 2012. Merritt ran a company called In Solid Steel Inc. with business partner Yomi Adepoju after his "business partner disappeared a few years back" leaving Merritt in "major debt." That business partner turned out to be Joseph McStay. (Rene Ray De La Cruz, Daily Press)

By RENE RAY DE LA CRUZ
STAFF WRITER


Posted Nov. 7, 2014 at 11:45 AM
Updated Nov 7, 2014 at 4:55 PM


After my interview with business partners Charles “Chase” Merritt and Abayomi Adepoju in August 2012, Merritt told me he had a secret.

“If you Google my name, you’ll see that I was under investigation by the police and some other agencies,” Merritt said at his office in the Clock Tower Professional Center in Hesperia. “I can’t tell you anything now, but when the story comes out I will tell you everything.”

During the interview, Merritt told me that he formed a company called In Solid Steel Inc. with Adepoju after his “business partner disappeared a few years back” leaving Merritt in “major debt.”

“He just up and left one day and nobody has been able to find him,” said Merritt, wearing a large cowboy hat and boots. “We used to manufacture and install decorative fountains all over California. Our business was booming right up to the time he disappeared.”

That mysterious business partner turned out to be Joseph McStay.

On Friday, authorities announced that they had arrested Merritt on suspicion of murdering Joseph McStay along with his wife and their two young sons.

Last November, after the bodies of the McStay family were found buried in Victorville, I contacted the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department and told them about my interview with Merritt. I also tried to contact Merritt himself, with no success.

Read more:

http://www.vvdailypress.com/article/20141107/News/141109841
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Mon Nov 09, 2015 3:27 pm

Jimmy Mettias ‏@jmettias · Nov 6
Preparation continues. Discovery still coming in. Another hearing has been set on 12/8 to gauge where we are and set future dates. #Merritt

https://twitter.com/jmettias

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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Thu Nov 26, 2015 3:56 pm

McStay slaying suspect asks for call record

By Ryan Hagen, The Sun

Posted: 11/24/15, 12:00 PM PST | Updated: 1 day ago

SAN BERNARDINO >> An attorney for Charles “Chase” Merritt, the man accused of killing the McStay family, appeared in court Tuesday morning to ask for an order to get phone records from Verizon.

Attorney David Askander said he was looking for information such as the time and length of a phone call from a number listed on another document. He said Verizon Wireless, which was not in court Tuesday, was unwilling to comply with an order sent in July.

Askander asked Judge Michael A. Smith to sign a court order Tuesday, but there was no order attached to the request. Askander may bring in a separate court order with a declaration detailing why the records are necessary, according to court records.

Read more:

http://www.sbsun.com/general-news/20151124/mcstay-slaying-suspect-asks-for-call-record
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Wed Jan 13, 2016 1:29 pm

People v. Merritt: Court Schedule

The next court date is on January 15, 2016; at 8:30 am in S21A

This is scheduled as a TRC (trial readiness conference). If things go accordingly, a trial date will be set. At this time, defendant has waived his right to speedy due process until 3/15/2016. The court calendar continues to list 1/29/2016 as possible DP case.

http://mcstayfamilymurdersthetrial.com/people-v-merritt-court-schedule/
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Mon Jan 18, 2016 1:25 pm

News report: Accused McStay killer may lose attorneys

Charles “Chase” Merritt reportedly told judge he would no longer waive time, wants trial in April

By Teri Figueroa | 5:51 p.m. Jan. 15, 2016

The man accused of killing the McStay family of Fallbrook told a Superior Court judge on Friday that he wants to go to trial in April — an apparent surprise to his attorneys, who then asked to be dropped from the case, according to news reports.

The San Bernardino Sun reported Friday that during a pretrial hearing Friday the defendant, Charles “Chase” Merritt told, San Bernardino Superior Court Judge Michael Smith that he would no longer waive his Constitutional right to a speedy trial.

The paper reported that Merritt’s attorneys then asked to be relieved from the quadruple-homicide case. One of the attorneys, Rajan Maline, told the paper that Merritt’s move was “totally unanticipated.”

Read more:

http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/2016/jan/15/news-report-says-chase-merritt-may-lose-defense/
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Mylife101 on Tue Jan 19, 2016 1:11 am

Thanks for the update, AD.
The delay in getting to trial will be even longer if his attorneys quit. Maybe that is his intention. Geez!
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Weeziethm on Tue Feb 02, 2016 5:22 pm

SAN BERNARDINO: McStay quadruple homicide defendant to represent himself

The issue of who represents Charles "Chase" Merritt, charged in the quadruple homicide case of the McStay family, has come full circle, with Merritt again deciding on Tuesday, Feb. 2, that he wants to represent himself in trial instead of having a judge appoint new legal counsel.

http://www.pe.com/articles/few-793368-understand-minutes.html

...delay, delay, delay.  A tactic he seems quite fond of.
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Freckles on Wed Feb 03, 2016 12:17 am

^^^
Only a fool has himself as an attorney...

Do we know who is prosecutor???
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Freckles on Wed Feb 24, 2016 7:38 am

Wow. This is rather interesting.
Is there a connection between the accused (Charles Merritt) and another murder (er)?

Is there a connection between Michael Richardson and Charles Merritt

"..... Finally in 2015 the DNA samples proved the remains found on Stoddard Wells Rd. did belong to Collazo.  Finally Jovita had been found.

Although I have done a lot of research I have not found the exact location of where Collazo’s remains were found.  I did find that from one end of Stoddard Wells Rd. to the other is 30 miles.  There is homesteads dotted along the route from one end to the other, but most of the area is very remote with unpaved roads forking off everywhere.

Charles Merritt

Charles Merritt who is currently in custody waiting trial for the murder of the McStay family has been accused of killing and burying four members of the McStay family in two shallow graves on Stoddard Wells Rd.


In 1978, Merritt was convicted of burglarizing a house at 15854 Kewanee Rd. in Apple Valley that he robbed in Feb 1977.  He served 6 days in jail. In July 1977, petty theft, 60 days in jail; Oct. 1978, criminal trespass, 30 days in jail; Nov. 1978, burglary, two years in prison; April 1985, receiving stolen property, a year in jail; Feb. 1987, receiving stolen property, 16 months in prison; May 1988, receiving stolen property, 14 days in jail; June 1988, parole violation, April 2001, grand theft burglary, 180 days in jail; this is when he admitted to stealing $32,000 worth of welding and drilling equipment from San Gabriel Valley Ornamental Iron Works.  He completed probation in Sept. 2010.

We know that Richardson appeared in San Diego in 1982.  Was captured and sent to jail in 2000 and  was back in San Diego in 2001 and running his auto mechanics shop in Poway in 2010...."


"....Questions

Why would Richardson who spent his time in Chula Vista (known as South San Diego) and Poway (known as North San Diego) stage his wife and mother-in-laws accident in Lakeside (known as East County area of San Diego)?  Why would he end up driving to Stoddard Wells Rd. located in North of San Diego in San Bernardino County to bury his ex girlfriend in 1992, when all indications point to his living exclusively in Chula Vista and working in Poway?  What made him drive approximately 160 miles and then exit off of Stoddard Wells Rd?  Had he been there before?  Had he met friends there and gone off-roading?  Had he met someone that was familiar with the area and they had told him about it?  Did Richardson and Merritt once cross paths? Did both men of similar ages become friends? Could Merritt have gone to Richardson’s auto shop to get his truck repaired?   Or is the only thing they have in common is they both dug shallow graves on Stoddard Wells Rd. to cover up their crime....."

http://missingpersonsofamerica.com/2015/07/10/is-there-a-connection-between-michael-richardson-and-charles-merritt/


Remains of Jovita Collazo found after 23 years

"...Jovita Collazo was 38-years-old when she went missing in April of 1992 from National City, Calif. located in San Diego County.

Michael Richardson was Collazo’s former boyfriend and authorities named him a person of interest in her disappearance.  In 1974, Richardson had been convicted of robbery after shooting a cabdriver in North Carolina, reports the San Diego Union Tribune.  He escaped from prison six years later, and had been evading the police every since, until he was convicted of murdering his wife and her mother in a staged car accident in 2010, when they were found in a car that had went down an embankment on Route 67 north in Lakeside.  An autopsy showed Than Lyi’s throat had been cut and her daughter was suffocated.  In 2012, he admitted to killing Collazo, but he never divulged where her body was.  Richardson was sentenced to six life sentences in 2013, but where was Collazo’s body?...."

"....Back to  Oct 31, 1994, a rock hunter from Victorville found a skeleton in a shallow grave in Apple Valley near Stoddard Wells Road.  There was no DNA back there and the remains were buried in a county cemetery as a Jane Doe...."

Much more:
http://missingpersonsofamerica.com/2015/07/09/remains-of-jovita-collazo-found-after-23-years/
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Nan11 on Wed Feb 24, 2016 4:23 pm

Freckles wrote:Wow. This is rather interesting.
Is there a connection between the accused (Charles Merritt) and another murder (er)?

Is there a connection between Michael Richardson and Charles Merritt

"..... Finally in 2015 the DNA samples proved the remains found on Stoddard Wells Rd. did belong to Collazo.  Finally Jovita had been found.

Although I have done a lot of research I have not found the exact location of where Collazo’s remains were found.  I did find that from one end of Stoddard Wells Rd. to the other is 30 miles.  There is homesteads dotted along the route from one end to the other, but most of the area is very remote with unpaved roads forking off everywhere.

Charles Merritt

Charles Merritt who is currently in custody waiting trial for the murder of the McStay family has been accused of killing and burying four members of the McStay family in two shallow graves on Stoddard Wells Rd.


In 1978, Merritt was convicted of burglarizing a house at 15854 Kewanee Rd. in Apple Valley that he robbed in Feb 1977.  He served 6 days in jail. In July 1977, petty theft, 60 days in jail; Oct. 1978, criminal trespass, 30 days in jail; Nov. 1978, burglary, two years in prison; April 1985, receiving stolen property, a year in jail; Feb. 1987, receiving stolen property, 16 months in prison; May 1988, receiving stolen property, 14 days in jail; June 1988, parole violation, April 2001, grand theft burglary, 180 days in jail; this is when he admitted to stealing $32,000 worth of welding and drilling equipment from San Gabriel Valley Ornamental Iron Works.  He completed probation in Sept. 2010.

We know that Richardson appeared in San Diego in 1982.  Was captured and sent to jail in 2000 and  was back in San Diego in 2001 and running his auto mechanics shop in Poway in 2010...."


"....Questions

Why would Richardson who spent his time in Chula Vista (known as South San Diego) and Poway (known as North San Diego) stage his wife and mother-in-laws accident in Lakeside (known as East County area of San Diego)?  Why would he end up driving to Stoddard Wells Rd. located in North of San Diego in San Bernardino County to bury his ex girlfriend in 1992, when all indications point to his living exclusively in Chula Vista and working in Poway?  What made him drive approximately 160 miles and then exit off of Stoddard Wells Rd?  Had he been there before?  Had he met friends there and gone off-roading?  Had he met someone that was familiar with the area and they had told him about it?  Did Richardson and Merritt once cross paths? Did both men of similar ages become friends? Could Merritt have gone to Richardson’s auto shop to get his truck repaired?   Or is the only thing they have in common is they both dug shallow graves on Stoddard Wells Rd. to cover up their crime....."

http://missingpersonsofamerica.com/2015/07/10/is-there-a-connection-between-michael-richardson-and-charles-merritt/


Remains of Jovita Collazo found after 23 years

"...Jovita Collazo was 38-years-old when she went missing in April of 1992 from National City, Calif. located in San Diego County.

Michael Richardson was Collazo’s former boyfriend and authorities named him a person of interest in her disappearance.  In 1974, Richardson had been convicted of robbery after shooting a cabdriver in North Carolina, reports the San Diego Union Tribune.  He escaped from prison six years later, and had been evading the police every since, until he was convicted of murdering his wife and her mother in a staged car accident in 2010, when they were found in a car that had went down an embankment on Route 67 north in Lakeside.  An autopsy showed Than Lyi’s throat had been cut and her daughter was suffocated.  In 2012, he admitted to killing Collazo, but he never divulged where her body was.  Richardson was sentenced to six life sentences in 2013, but where was Collazo’s body?...."

"....Back to  Oct 31, 1994, a rock hunter from Victorville found a skeleton in a shallow grave in Apple Valley near Stoddard Wells Road.  There was no DNA back there and the remains were buried in a county cemetery as a Jane Doe...."

Much more:
http://missingpersonsofamerica.com/2015/07/09/remains-of-jovita-collazo-found-after-23-years/
So sad; such a beautiful woman.  I'm so glad they were finally able to identify her remains.


It's strange that this Richardson admitted to killing her but wouldn't tell what he had done with her.  I do see a small window of possibility to justify the question of involvement of another person, possibly Merritt.

Interesting, indeed.
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Mon Feb 29, 2016 11:17 pm

McSTAY CASE: Defendant given March 4 legal team deadline

BY GAIL WESSON   / STAFF WRITER
Published: Feb. 25, 2016 Updated: 1:16 p.m
.

With patience running short, a San Bernardino County Superior Court judge is giving the defendant in the McStay family quadruple murder case until March 4 to decide whether to represent himself in the potential death penalty case or go with a new defense team.

"Here is my concern. From day one, you were the one who said you didn't want to waste time. You wanted to go to trial quickly," Judge Michael Smith said Thursday, Feb. 25, during a hearing for defendant Charles "Chase" Merritt. "We're here 13 months later and we're exactly where we were."

Noting Merritt is representing himself, his status back in January 2015, the judge recounted a chronology of Merritt switching from private counsel, to representing himself, then agreeing to a court-appointed defense team, then terminating them about five weeks ago and talking about hiring a new team but not having that settled.

Read more:

http://www.pe.com/articles/defense-795385-gives-judge.html
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Nan11 on Sat Mar 05, 2016 7:13 am

Snipped quote:  After blowing through six attorneys since his arrest 16 months ago in connection with the beatings deaths of a San Diego County family of four, Charles “Chase” Merritt announced Friday in San Bernardino Superior Court he has retained two more attorneys.

Rajan Maline, who carried over from Merritt’s prior defense team, and James Mcgee, a former San Bernardino County prosecutor of 12 years turned defense attorney, are now on board.

Judge Michael A. Smith made it clear that Merritt’s indecisiveness will no longer be dealt with so leniently
.  End

http://www.sbsun.com/general-news/20160304/mcstay-family-murder-suspect-charles-chase-merritt-gets-new-attorneys
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Fri Apr 01, 2016 12:24 am

Merritt's new attorney granted continuance

Charles Merritt is accused of killing the McStay family in 2010

By Matthew Cabe
Staff Writer


Posted Mar. 23, 2016 at 11:33 AM
Updated Mar 23, 2016 at 2:20 PM


SAN BERNARDINO — A continuance was granted Wednesday to the new defense of the accused killer in the McStay family murders case, according to Superior Court of San Bernardino County Spokesman Dennis Smith.

Riverside-based attorney Rajan R. Maline told the Daily Press he requested the continuance because more time was needed to attain discovery from his defendant's previous attorneys.

"Basically it's discovery compliance," Maline said. "...there’s so much of it that it's taken some time to get together."

Read more:

http://www.vvdailypress.com/article/20160323/NEWS/160329905
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Freckles on Sun Apr 10, 2016 8:54 am

Sharing:

25 minutes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEdmMDFIhnE&nohtml5=False


17 minutes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1nRlp_ZwEc


Other:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsgyBdbTSDg

Arrest:

19 minutes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bpmssQ6hrSU



Unsealing of docs:
1 hr and 11 minutes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fi43UHAmRpY




Preliminary Hearing:
2 minutes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YZiMGHtjBxM&nohtml5=False


Merritt speaks out
2 minutes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GPYDuJxeuGc&nohtml5=False


Possible murder weapon
2 minutes
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zW6yaaBv7U


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9zW6yaaBv7U
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Freckles on Sun Apr 10, 2016 9:00 am

Tire tracks to grave  off the 215 freeway and Quail Rd.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aAoCmiZ4pM4&nohtml5=False


Edit:
From comments:
"...theedrstrangelove11 months ago
+jleftbreve Chase actually said this is only 7 minutes from his sister's home. ..."
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Freckles on Sun Apr 10, 2016 9:17 am

Nice!

Cell tower pings overlay with terrain as phone tracings move.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuGxobLkKnY&nohtml5=False
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Freckles on Sun Apr 10, 2016 9:42 am

Re the truck left at the border:
JMO, I suspect Merritt drove to the family home and asked for a ride to the border.
Merritt did not want to drive the truck into Mexico as It might have been stolen; he wanted US officials to find it. Left it there.

Merritt then told McStay: Opps! I left something at the house! Hate to do it, can you drive me back to grab it? We will use my vehicle just to save gas...

McStay agreed. Merritt then drove back to the house and the two men entered.

Merritt attacked Joe first by slamming him in the upper chest.
Then he kicked or hit him in the lower right leg.

Then he bludgeoned him repeatedly over the head.
He repeated this with Joe's wife.

The kids were witnesses so he killed them.
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Mylife101 on Sun Apr 10, 2016 1:58 pm

^^^ This is a thought provoking theory. It could have happened that way; but, I think that I remember the evidence showing Merritt's DNA on the driver's side, steering wheel, shifter, etc of McStay's vehicle. I think Merritt probably drove the vehicle to the border by himself and then took a cab, bus, or hitched a ride back to McStay's home to retrieve his own vehicle.

Hopefully we will learn more if this trial EVER gets started.
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Fri Apr 15, 2016 10:16 am

People v. Merritt: Court Schedule

The next court date is April 29 , 2016;  at 8:30 am in S21

The April 29 hearing is listed as a pre-trial. All that is known at this point regarding today’s (March 23, 2016) hearing is that Merritt waived time. The previous time waived placed the latest date for trial as May 25, 2016.  It has not been reported yet what the new date is.

Read more:

https://mcstayfamilymurdersthetrial.com/people-v-merritt-court-schedule/
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Mon May 02, 2016 11:22 pm

Private eye under scrutiny in McStay family murder case

By Joe Nelson, The Sun

Posted: 04/29/16, 3:10 PM PDT | Updated: 2 days ago

SAN BERNARDINO >> The actions of a private investigator came under scrutiny Friday in San Bernardino Superior Court in the case of Charles “Chase” Merritt, accused of killing a family of four and burying their bodies in the Mojave Desert near Victorville.

Prosecutors are questioning in a court motion whether David Farrell has physical evidence in his possession that needs to be turned over to the court as part of the pretrial discovery process. Defense attorneys filed a response to that motion.

Farrell was Merritt’s court-appointed investigator until he requested to be taken off the case last month. Retired San Bernardino police sergeant Gary Robertson is now Merritt’s court-appointed investigator.

Judge Michael A. Smith scheduled a hearing on the matter for Thursday. At the request of prosecutors, Smith on Friday ordered the motions sealed, meaning they cannot be accessed by the public or media.

~Snipped~

Also on Friday, Merritt’s attorneys requested a gag order be issued against Farrell to preclude him from divulging any attorney-client privileged information to third parties while the case is under adjudication, but Smith declined to do so, arguing that Farrell was already under that obligation having already worked on the case.

Read more:

http://www.sbsun.com/general-news/20160429/private-eye-under-scrutiny-in-mcstay-family-murder-case
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

Post by Alessandra_Deux on Mon May 02, 2016 11:24 pm

People v. Merritt: Court Schedule

The next court date is May 5 , 2016; at 8:30 am

https://mcstayfamilymurdersthetrial.com/people-v-merritt-court-schedule/
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Re: Chase Merritt on trial for McStay Family Murders

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