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    Charles Merritt - Articles/Videos *No Discussion*

    Charles Merritt granted six-week delay in McStay murder trial
    04/03/15, 11:46 AM PDT

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    snip...
    Charles “Chase” Merritt, accused of killing a San Diego County family and burying their bodies in the Mojave Desert outside of Victorville was granted a six-week continuance in San Bernardino Superior Court on Friday, after telling a judge he needed more time to prepare his case.

    After being asked by Judge Michael A. Smith if he was ready to proceed with Friday’s status conference, Merritt quickly answered “No Sir.”

    “I would like to postpone it approximately six weeks, if possible,” Merritt said.


    Merritt said he needed the extra time to continue preparing for his defense.
    Merritt, 57, of Homeland, was arrested and charged November 2014 in the 2010 slaying of the missing McStay family. He’s acting as his own attorney in the case.

    If found guilty, he could face the death penalty.

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    UPDATE:

    This Friday 29 April 2016: Next court date FOR Chase Merritt in McStay Murder Trial

  3. #3
    Administrator Aubrey's Avatar
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    Private eye under scrutiny in McStay family murder case

    Posted: 04/29/16, 3:10 PM PDT

    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.

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    Administrator Aubrey's Avatar
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    June 3, 2016

    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies... By Andy Dufresne/Shawshank Redemption

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    MCSTAY SLAYINGS: Hearing delayed for murder suspect

    By DOUG SAUNDERS / STAFF WRITER - Published: June 3, 2016 Updated: 4:53 p.m.

    A pre-trial hearing scheduled for the man accused of accused of killing a family of four and burying their bodies in the Mojave Desert near Victorville has been continued.

    “The defense requested and was granted a continuance,” said San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Christopher Lee.

    Lee was unclear as to the reason behind the continuance request.

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    Defense: AT&T not providing subpoenaed records in McStay family murder case

    By [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], The Sun - Posted: 07/08/16, 5:43 PM PDT

    SAN BERNARDINO >> Defense attorneys for McStay family murder suspect Charles “Chase” Merritt filed a motion Friday in San Bernardino Superior Court requesting that AT&T be compelled to produce records in connection with the case.

    The motion, filed under seal, was discussed during a pretrial hearing for Merritt, 59, of Homeland, who faces the death penalty in connection with the February 2010 beating deaths of Joseph McStay, 40, his wife, Summer, 43, and their two sons, Gianni, 4, and Joseph Jr., 3, in their Fallbrook home in San Diego County.

    Merritt’s attorney, Rajan Maline, said he and defense attorney James E. McGee II have issued three subpoenaes to AT&T since April requesting the records, but the communications company has not complied with the requests.

    “They’re essentially not complying. They cited reasons, but we don’t think those reasons are adequate,” said Maline.

    Judge Michael A. Smith set the next hearing for July 19, in which representatives or attorneys from At&T are expected to be present to explain their position.

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  7. #7
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    San Bernardino judge orders AT&T to produce records in McStay family murder case

    By [Only registered and activated users can see links. ], The Sun - Posted: 07/19/16, 7:21 PM PDT | Updated: 6 hrs ago

    SAN BERNARDINO >> A Superior Court judge on Tuesday ordered AT&T to produce records requested by defense attorneys in the capital murder case of Charles Ray Merritt, accused of killing a San Diego County family of four and burying their bodies in the Mojave Desert near Victorville.

    Since April, Merritt’s attorneys have attempted to subpoena the records, but AT&T has not provided the records, so, defense attorneys [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] with the court during Merritt’s July 8 hearing to compel AT&T to produce the records in question.

    On Tuesday, Judge Michael A. Smith, following a meeting in his chambers with defense attorney James E. McGee II and AT&T lawyer David J. Benner, ordered AT&T to produce the records.

    Prosecutor Britt Imes objected to being left out of the loop. He declined to comment following Tuesday’s hearing.

    McGee would not disclose the information he and colleague Rajan Maline have requested from AT&T.

    “All I can say is there is some information we need for our investigation, and based on what we discover and go over with our experts, we can decide what the next step is in preparation for trial,” McGee said.


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    McStay family murder trial conflicts with Colonies corruption trial

    Posted: 09/23/16, 4:08 PM PDT | Updated: 24 secs ago

    The attorney for McStay family murder suspect Charles "Chase" Merritt told a San Bernardino Superior Court judge Friday he cannot begin trial until he finishes defending another client in a public corruption case, [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] and last seven months.

    Merritt’s attorney, Rajan Maline, is defending former San Bernardino County Assistant Assessor Jim Erwin in the far-reaching [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]. In that case, prosecutors allege Erwin and two former top county officials conspired with a Rancho Cucamonga developer to fix a $102 million settlement between the county and Rancho Cucamonga investor group Colonies Partners LP in November 2006 in exchange for bribes.

    Also charged in the Colonies case are former county Supervisor Paul Biane, Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeff Burum, and Mark Kirk, former chief of staff for erstwhile county Supervisor Gary Ovitt.

    Judge Michael A. Smith, who is also presiding over the Colonies case, scheduled Merritt’s next hearing for Oct. 21 for a case management conference.

    Maline said Merritt’s trial is expected to last three months.

    "It’s a circumstantial evidence case, so obviously it’s going to take time," Maline said.

    He said he feels the capital murder case, despite thousands of pages in case files and other discovery and Merritt having [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] or relieved his two former lead attorneys, has progressed rather quickly toward trial.


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    10/21/2016 Twitter Reports from Joe Nelson of the San Bernardino Sun

    Joe Nelson @SBcountyNow Oct 21

    Update on [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] family murder suspect Charles [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] : Defense attorney trying to obtain tow records of McStay's abandoned Isuzu.

    #McStay family's Isuzu Trooper was found abandoned at Mexican border in San Ysidro.

    #ChaseMerritt DNA was found on steering wheel and gear shift handle of Trooper. #McStay

    Merritt's attorney subpoenaed Western Towing for records. The company has not responded. #McStay

    Merritt's attorney, Rajan Maline, has filed a motion to compel Western Towing to produce the information. Hearing will be Nov. 4. #McStay


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    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies... By Andy Dufresne/Shawshank Redemption

  10. #10
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    Three years since McStays found, two years since arrest, but no trial set

    November 3, 2016

    Saturday marks two years since a welder was arrested in the 2010 beating deaths of the McStay family of Fallbrook, but the high-profile trial is still several months away from starting because the judge and defense attorney are tied up on another big case.

    The delay is notable in part because accused killer, Charles "Chase" Merritt, initially wanted his case fast-tracked, saying he had heart failure and feared he was dying. He represented himself for a short stretch but later gave up on that, and has since agreed to waive his right to a speedy trial.

    Merritt, 59, is accused of killing Joseph McStay, 40, his 43-year-old wife, Summer, and their children Gianni, 4, and Joey Jr., 3, in a crime that made national headlines. Joseph McStay ran a business providing interior water fountains primarily for corporate clients, and often hired Merritt to craft custom-made fountains.

    The McStays had been missing about three years and nine months before their remains were found buried in the Mojave desert on Nov. 11, 2013. Authorities believe they had been beaten to death with a sledgehammer in their Fallbrook home and then dumped in shallow graves near Victorville.

    Nearly an entire year passed before Merritt was arrested, on Nov. 5, 2014. He has pleaded not guilty in San Bernardino Superior Court to four counts of murder, and faces the death penalty if convicted.

    Merritt had gone through a handful of attorneys and legal teams until earlier this year, when Riverside-based attorneys Rajan Maline and James McGee signed on to defend him.

    Maline, however, already had a full plate in another lengthy and headline-grabbing trial, the so-called Colonies corruption case in San Bernardino County. He represents one of four men — three ex-county officials and a developer — accused in an alleged bribery scheme. Jury selection started last month and the trial is slated to run into next summer, according to the San Bernardino Sun.

    The judge presiding over the Colonies case is Judge Michael Smith, who is also presiding over Merritt’s case.

    That means starting Merritt’s murder trial before the Colonies case is done is "not even a remote possibility," McGee said via email Thursday.

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    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies... By Andy Dufresne/Shawshank Redemption

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    Charles Ray Merritt - Minute Order from November 4, 2016

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    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies... By Andy Dufresne/Shawshank Redemption

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    Defense attorney in McStay family murder case still facing evidence hurdles

    Published: Dec. 17, 2016 6:39 a.m.

    The attorney for a Riverside County man facing the death penalty for the sledgehammer beating deaths of a San Diego County family is fighting, again, to get a private company to produce potential evidence in the case.

    Attorney Rajan Maline, representing defendant Charles "Chase" Merritt, said Friday following a brief pretrial hearing in San Bernardino Superior Court that a tech company, which he would not name, has not produced records Maline requested under subpoena.

    Judge Michael A. Smith set a hearing date on the matter for Jan. 3, in which a representative for the company in question will have to explain why they have not complied with Maline’s subpoena.

    Maline said the company was given a date in November to comply with the subpoena but was unresponsive.

    "It’s been months," Maline said. "They have to show cause as to why they’re not complying with the subpoena."

    Maline faced a similar problem with the telecommunications company AT&T, which failed to comply with a subpoena for records and was [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] by Judge Smith in July to produce them.

    SNIP

    A trial date has yet to be set for Merritt, but the trial is not expected to get underway until the latter half of 2017 at the soonest. That is because Maline is defending one of four defendants in a county [Only registered and activated users can see links. ] that begins Jan. 4 in Smith’s courtroom. That trial is expected to last six months.

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    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies... By Andy Dufresne/Shawshank Redemption

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    Dispo/Reset for June 2, 2017
    Hope is a good thing, maybe the best of things, and no good thing ever dies... By Andy Dufresne/Shawshank Redemption

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