The article you’re about to read is from our reporters doing their important work — investigating, researching, and writing their stories. We want to provide informative and inspirational stories that connect you to the people, issues and opportunities within our community. Journalism requires lots of resources. Today, our business model has been interrupted by the pandemic; the vast majority of our advertisers’ businesses have been impacted. That’s why the DP Times is now turning to you for financial support. Learn more about our new Insider’s program here. Thank you.

By Jim Shilander

The man San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department and the County’s District Attorney believe killed the four members of the McStay family will apparently represent himself in court.

Charles Merritt, a former business associate of Joseph McStay, was arrested and charged with the murder of all four members of the McStay family in November. During a court appearance last week, Merritt requested and was granted a motion to represent himself at his upcoming trial in an effort to have the case heard more quickly. He has pleaded not guilty. Merritt’s attorney said his client suffers from a medical condition and wants to expedite the trial.

The McStays were residents of San Clemente before moving to Fallbrook, but maintained ties with many in the city before going missing in February 2010. The bodies of all four McStay family members, Joseph McStay, his wife, Summer McStay and their two sons, Gianni and Joseph McStay Jr., were found in November 2013 in rural San Bernardino County by a hiker.

If convicted, Merritt could face the death penalty. The judge in the case, Michael A. Smith, set a pre-trial status hearing for Feb. 20 and a preliminary hearing for April 7.

Trustworthy, accurate and reliable local news stories are more important now than ever. Support our newsroom by making a contribution and becoming a subscribing member today.

About The Author Dana Point Times

comments (0)

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>