California man who killed a family of 4 and found it in the desert, will get the death penalty

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Charles “Chase” Merritt was convicted and sentenced to death on Tuesday after being convicted of the murder of an entire family, and the dumping of their bodies in a shallow Southern California, is a desert tomb, in the year 2010.

Merritt, 62, was convicted in June of killing his business partner, Joseph McStay, and his family over a monetary dispute. Merritt was found guilty on four counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of McStay, McStay’s wife, Summer, and the couple’s 3 – and 4-year-old children.

Prosecutors say Merritt is using a sledgehammer to kill his victims, because he was due to Joseph McStay and money was being cut out of their business, which was in the making and selling of custom water fountains.


The McStays were reported missing in February of 2010, but their bodies were eventually discovered in 2013. A motorist stumbled across their skeletal remains in the Mojave Desert, and found the murder weapon along with him. Merritt was later arrested in the year 2014.

The prosecutor said the financial information Merritt, tried to loot the company, the bank, and just before and after the family is gone. He also has a retroactive effect, check the Color. 4, 2010, which was the last day anyone had contact with Joseph McStay.

FILE – In this Jan. 7, 2019 at the latest, file photo, murder suspect, Charles Ray Merritt, is located in the San Bernardino County Court for the opening statements in San Bernardino, California, usa. A jury verdict will be read in the case of a Southern California man who is accused of the murder of a family of four and burying their bodies in the desert. The verdict will be read Monday, 10 June, 2019 at the latest, in the court of law, in San Bernardino, in the four murder charges, the 62-year-old Charles “Chase” Merritt. (Will Lester/The Orange County Register, via AP Pool, File)

After the jury recommended the death sentence, a San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Michael Smith that affirmed their decision after a two-day sentencing hearing, The Associated Press reported.

Merritt’s lawyers, reportedly, have tried to broach the subject of prosecutorial misconduct and an attempt to remove the judge from the case. Smith was not convinced, and denied all of the motions.

Merritt was given the opportunity to make a statement, and told them that he was Joseph McStay, when a brother. He said that he would never do anything to hurt him or his family.

“I loved Joseph,’ he said. “He was a big part of my life and the lives of my family. I would never want to hurt him in any way. I would have never raised my hand to a woman or a child. I did not do this thing.”

Joseph McStay’s mother, Susan Blake, and the so-called Merritt “a vile, evil monster.”

Smith was ordered Merritt to be transferred to San Quentin State Prison until his execution date has been set, according to The Associated Press.


There have been no executions in the state of California since 2006, shows Merritt’s fate up in the air.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, D-Calif., signed an executive order in March for a moratorium on the execution of a 737 of the prisoners, and he decried the use of the death penalty.

“No, We can’t advance to the death penalty in an attempt to soften the blow of what is happening to these victims,” Newsom said at the time of the signing of the order. “If someone is dead, we don’t kill them. We are better than that.”

Fox News’ Frank, Miles, and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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