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MCSTAY MURDERS: The State of California v. Charles Merritt *GUILTY*

Discussion in 'Courtroom' started by MartinBeck, May 19, 2015.

  1. Cousin Dupree

    Cousin Dupree Platinum Member

    How did Merritt get the Trooper to the border and then home all by himself?

    Who do the three DNA samples belong to?

    Was Dan Kavanaugh lying about a bunch of crap the PD didn't look into?

    Where was the family killed? It wasn't the house.

    Are the pings the prosecution used reliable? I say no.

    Where were the bodies stored for transport? It wasn't Merrit's truck.

    Killing Joey cut off Merritts ability to earn a living. Why would he want him dead? The reasons seem awfully flimsy.

    The amount of money he stole from a bank account with a hundred thousand dollars in it is chicken feed. That's not enough money to take if you killed a family. He wrote checks to vendors and gave them to them.

    Why didn't the prosecution want the truck better identified?

    What did all the QB things mean? We're lucky to have Guess Who here to explain it to us, but the jury was probably confused by it. (Did I really just say we're lucky to have Guess Who here? :facepalm: )

    Anyway, to me, that is far more than reasonable doubt. I would have hung the jury if not convinced them that too many things are questionable to go beyond a reasonable doubt.
  2. Shannon

    Shannon Bronze Member

    I agree. Also, with the DA stating in closing that the prosecution had no idea of the where, when and how of the murders, then what ties Chase to the murders? If he doesn't know when the murders happened, how is anyone supposed to defend against that? Are they supposed to come up with an alibi for every possible moment in which this family might have been killed?

    Lots of people had motive to kill Joseph-even Metro might have. You can't go by motive alone, there has to be something tying the defendant to the act.

    And Immes saying: "Well we can't tell you how Chase did this because he was so good at covering up his crime." is basically denying that the burden to prove guilt is the prosecution's. And by that assertion, anyone could be guilty of anything. The DA doesn't have to prove anything, because if the evidence isn't there-well then-the person must have just been good at covering up their deeds!

    There was so much reasonable doubt on this case, that if doubt were water, a tsunami would have consumed that courthouse.
  3. Freebird

    Freebird Bronze Member

    Everything you stated in your post raises questions that go beyond a reasonable doubt. There is so much doubt. Was this jury gunning for Merritt? Something just seems off.
  4. Shannon

    Shannon Bronze Member

    I know. I'm not prone to conspiracy theories, but something does feel off. Or, these people really tuned out, big time. It really could be that the science was so beyond their understanding that they really didn't get any of it.

    But again, it's not just the science. The DAs put forward contradictory theories. That alone should have given rise to reasonable doubt.
  5. guess who

    guess who Bronze Member


    (You love me and know it!)
  6. Cousin Dupree

    Cousin Dupree Platinum Member

    WinnieChurchill and Paradise like this.
  7. Cousin Dupree

    Cousin Dupree Platinum Member

    I think this could be a case of media bias. The cops said in a press conference that Merritt was the guy who did it. They were very sure of it. Someone said they got an award for investigating this case before the trial even started. I also think that when a juror enters the jury box for the first time they have more faith in the prosecution than the defense. In this case moreso because of the aforementioned. I wouldn't doubt that some people arrived in the jury box with their minds already made up. Then you have the heinous nature of the crime. It makes you want to hold someone accountable. Even if the evidence is very iffy.
  8. Freebird

    Freebird Bronze Member


    “We’re not surprised on the recommendations, given the verdict,” defense attorney Rajan Maline said by phone later. “Life without parole for Joseph and death for the others didn’t make a lot of sense for me, but a lot of things in this case don’t make sense to me.”

    Maline repeated his insistence that Merritt “is innocent, he didn’t do this, and the battle doesn’t end here.” Merritt’s appeal is automatic, and the defense team is working already to line up appeals counsel for their client, he said.

  9. Shannon

    Shannon Bronze Member

    Yeah. It didn't make a lot of sense to me either. The only thing I can think of is that they bought into that cuckoo theory Immes suddenly came up with in closing about Joseph driving the Dodge to that non-meeting, meeting. Very bizarre.
  10. Shannon

    Shannon Bronze Member

    I just actually read this all the way through! Yes! Rajan Maline and James McGee are excellent attorneys. They are my heroes. They are already lining up appellate attorneys. God bless them.
  11. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    I really thought they would come back with the death penalty for all the family. I guess they thought that at some point Chase and Joey had a battle that evening and Chase became enraged and killed Joey and then had to kill the rest of the family to keep them quiet. I still can't see how it could have happened at the house under those kind of circumstances, due to the lack of blood evidence though.
  12. Freida

    Freida Well-Known Member

    Morning Kim. I found and (apparently the jury did too) that the evidence was at the burial site. The painters tape and paint, the shop towels and the little baby whisker bath towel in particular. No shoes, etc youve heard it all. I found that evidence to be quite compelling in addition to much more evidence.
  13. Shannon

    Shannon Bronze Member

    Here's the hiccup with this. Giving LWOP on one count doesn't do anything. At best it is symbolic. Because the verdict on all charges was the same.

    If the jury had come back with 2nd degree murder for Joseph Sr, and 1st degree on for all the other victims, then a difference in sentencing would make sense. But with a uniform verdict, the punishment should be uniform as well.

    So what was the jury thinking?
  14. Shannon

    Shannon Bronze Member

    Yes. But what links painters tape, shop towels and whisker bath towel to Chase?
  15. Freebird

    Freebird Bronze Member

    It was the evidence at the graves that led LE to believe more than one person was involved and the murders were well orchestrated. They were probably correct from the start. There are still 4 dna profiles the prosecutors chose not to run through CODIS after the defense found it and brought it to their attention.
  16. Shannon

    Shannon Bronze Member

    Good point.
  17. Freebird

    Freebird Bronze Member

    Maybe at least one of the jurors will talk.
  18. Shannon

    Shannon Bronze Member

    I've been reading other forums, and I get the feeling most people don't understand how odd the sentencing recommendation really is.

    If you have a verdict that is exactly the same across all four counts, and the jury recommends death on three counts, LWOP on one, the death sentence is what takes precedence. There is no reason to offer any other sentencing recommendation than death, if death applies to any of the counts.

    Giving LWOP on one count does not change the death sentence status. Appeals, possible execution will all proceed as if Chase had been given nothing but a death sentence.

    All that the LWOP verdict can be is a statement of some kind. But why? Why would a jury do that?
  19. Shannon

    Shannon Bronze Member

    Hope so.
  20. Shannon

    Shannon Bronze Member

    The only time a split sentence recommendation would make any practical difference is if there was doubt that the defendant had killed all the victims. So for example, if there was more than one killer, and it was uncertain who killed each victim and who was an accomplice, then a jury might feel that both the verdict and the sentence should differ for each victim. If felony murder might be applicable.

    Then, a difference in sentencing might make sense, because in appeal one murder count might hold up, and another might be dropped. But in this case it is an all or nothing deal. Either Merritt killed everyone, or he killed no one.

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