June 16, 2019
Merritt death penalty murder trial opens
SAN BERNARDINO – (INT) – A former Riverside County man has gone on trial for the grizzly murders of his former business partner, his wife and the couple’s two children.

Charles Merritt, 61, is alleged to have killed the four victims and buried their bodies in shallow desert graves near Victorville. The murder weapon, a sledgehammer, was found with the remains.

Joseph McStay, his wife, Summer, and their two children, Gianni, 4, and Joseph Jr., 3, vanished from their Fallbrook home. At first, authorities believed the family had disappeared in Baja California. Their buried remains turned up three years later in San Bernardino County. Merritt, originally from Homeland, relocated to Rancho Cucamonga, and was arrested in 2014.

Merritt has steadfastly claimed his innocence, but could face the death penalty if convicted in San Bernardino Superior Court.
Story Date: January 13, 2019
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