September 17, 2019
McStay family murder trial in recess until Tuesday
SAN BERNARDINO – (INT) – One of the region’s highest profile murder trials is about over.

A Superior Court jury announced its verdict Monday in the case of Charles Merritt.

After a 5-month-long trial, Merritt was found guilty of killing his former business partner, Joseph McStay, his wife and their two children. They vanished from their Fallbrook home in 2010. An off-road motorcyclist found their graves in the desert near Victorville, where Merritt once lived, more than 3-years later. He was arrested in 2014. Sheriff John McMahon said at the time that the family was killed in their home. The alleged murder weapon, a sledgehammer, was recovered. McMahon said there were no other suspects.

In a 2014 CNN interview, Merritt said he was ‘definitely the last person’ McStay saw alive. Merritt said he was McStay’s best friend.

Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty. The jury will resume hearing testimony in the punishment phase of Merritt’s trial on Tuesday.

Merritt, 61, suffers from congestive heart failure. He has not testified in his trial that began in January.
Story Date: June 19, 2019
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