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

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

  1. TX SMR

    TX SMR Posting my personal opinions

    As I said it's up to the DT to get her on the stand and they have probably chosen not to because of her criminal and drug history or she admitted to making up the entire story.

    Why do you think the DT hasn't called her?
     
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  2. Bushwack Jack

    Bushwack Jack Well-Known Member

    This illustrates how this investigation used an inverted approach and manipulated the evidence to fit the preferred suspect, a typical investigation follows the evidence which will hopefully, lead to a suspect. Instead of conducting a FARO scan on every likely vehicle, ie, the Trooper, Dodge and MM's truck, LE decided to adjust the FARO scan to fit CM's vehicle which was necessary in order to validate their theory of the crime.
     
  3. Bushwack Jack

    Bushwack Jack Well-Known Member

    She's scared of DK and is in hiding, she doesn't want to suffer the same fate as the McStay family. If there was any chance of her story being fictitious the PT would track her down with their enhanced databases that the DT doesn't have access to.
     
  4. Cousin Dupree

    Cousin Dupree Platinum Member


    First of all :welcome:

    This is exactly my feeling on the matter too. It seems to me that they got it in their heads that Merritt did it and were afraid to go down any avenues that might exonerate him. I wouldn't be surprised in the slightest if the prosecution is hiding exculpatory evidence. If Merritt is acquitted I don't see the PD going after Dan Kavanaugh.
     
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  5. Cousin Dupree

    Cousin Dupree Platinum Member

    Not only what he may have done to the McStays, but his violent past with ex-girlfriends too.
     
  6. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    This article about Dan Kavanaugh is very disturbing. The woman involved is not Tracey.

    http://www.cbs8.com/story/24277118/mcst ... -kavanaugh

    On 8/1/2011 at 2:44 a.m. officers were called to **** Riveria Drive in San Diego. They heard a woman screaming from the second story of the apartment complex… The defendant (Kavanaugh) came downstairs and let officers in. Officers found the defendant's girlfriend, ****** ******* in the bedroom crying. She had abrasions on both knees.

    She said the defendant pulled her out of the car and onto the ground, causing the abrasions to her knees.

    Kavanaugh pleaded guilty to a single, misdemeanor count: battery of a current or former significant other, and received three years probation.

    In July 2013, Kavanaugh was charged with felony domestic violence (in case # SCD249328).

    Probation officers filed a sentencing report that described the incident, which occurred July 5, 2013 at 12:30 a.m.:

    The victim was distraught and her dress was disheveled. She was crying and her makeup was smeared. She came out of the apartment and stood behind one of the officers. She pointed to her balcony where officers found the defendant hanging on a 4th floor ledge. The defendant was attempting to get to another balcony. At gunpoint, they directed the defendant to return to the victim's balcony and he complied.

    The victim stated she was with the defendant, her boyfriend, outside her apartment building. He wanted to come to her apartment but she repeatedly told him she did not want him there. He insisted and walked with her to the elevator. She again told him she did not want him at her apartment.

    The defendant was upset and grabbed her by the wrists and dragged her from the elevator, through the hall, to her apartment. She yelled for help. She said the defendant used her keys to enter the apartment and threw her on the couch. She yelled for help but the defendant covered her mouth and told her to be quiet… She attempted to leave through the front door. He grabbed her and carried her to the bedroom. He threw her on the bed and she started yelling for help. He pinned her down and covered her mouth to keep her from yelling. She was afraid and punched and kicked the defendant. She ran to the kitchen and grabbed a knife and fork. She pointed the knife at the defendant but he grabbed it away from her.

    She had bruising and scratches on her wrists… She also had a scrape on her right elbow. She did not seek medical attention.

    The defendant had scratch marks on his neck and chest and a scrape to the right side of his face.

    The records said Kavanaugh told officers that he and his girlfriend had been drinking and that, "She was rowdy and out of hand."

    He also told arresting officers that the victim "had taken ecstasy" and that she was having "a bad trip," according to the probation report.

    Kavanaugh pleaded guilty in October 2013, in a plea bargain, to felony false imprisonment and was placed on formal probation.

    Defense attorney Isaac Blumberg of San Diego submitted a statement of mitigation to the judge in the case, which included several letters of support from Kavanaugh's business associates, friends, mother and brother.

    Kavanaugh remains on active probation and continues to attend court-ordered, domestic violence classes. He has not been named as a suspect by law enforcement in the McStay murders.
     
  7. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    I can certainly understand why Tracey is frightened and hiding from Dan Kavanaugh.


    http://www.cbs8.com/story/24277118/mcst ... -kavanaugh

    McStay murder mystery: Who is Dan Kavanaugh?

    Within a week of the family's disappearance in 2010, large sums of money started being transferred out of Joseph McStay's business bank account.


    Author: David Gotfredson, Investigative Producer
    Published: 3:09 PM PST December 9, 2014
    Updated: 3:09 PM PST December 9, 2014


    SAN DIEGO, Calif. (CBS 8) -- Joseph McStay, 40, his wife Summer McStay, 43, and their two sons, Gianni, 4, and Joey, Jr., 3, went missing from their Fallbrook home in February 2010.

    It would be almost four years before the skeletal remains of the family were discovered in shallow graves near Victorville on November 11.

    Within a week of the family's disappearance in 2010, large sums of money started being transferred out of Joseph McStay's business bank account.

    Where was the money going? Who was transferring it and why?

    CBS News 8 caught up with the employee who admitted to his involvement in some of those transactions.

    At first, Dan Kavanaugh, 32, was reluctant to talk about his former employer, Joseph McStay, when a CBS News 8 camera crew came knocking at his apartment door in Little Italy.

    "No news questions right now bud, sorry, can't do it," said Kavanaugh.

    A web designer by trade, Kavanaugh had been in charge of developing the online presence for Earth Inspired Products, Joseph McStay's custom fountain design and manufacturing business.

    Eventually, Kavanaugh opened up to CBS News 8, denying that he had anything to do with the family's disappearance or murder.

    Kavanaugh said he was in Oahu, Hawaii on a surfing trip at the time the family went missing.

    "I was in Hawaii. You guys know that, right?" said Kavanaugh as he stood in the threshold of his apartment.

    In a subsequent telephone interview, Kavanaugh looked up his online itinerary from the surfing vacation, and claimed he was in Oahu from Jan. 4, 2010 to Feb. 17, 2010, when he returned to San Diego.

    "I have a hundred witnesses that saw me there (in Oahu) and can attest that I was there the whole time," said Kavanaugh.

    Emails sent to Joseph McStay – and later retrieved by family members – confirmed Kavanaugh received thousands of dollars from the Earth Inspired Products business account after the McStays went missing.

    "So, there are some curious withdrawals for business expenses and things around the time of the disappearance; but when you look further, the guy was 2,500 miles away. He has an alibi. And I had no resources to get anything like that done or motive," explained Kavanaugh.

    Kavanaugh said the transferred money was used to keep the fountain business going during Joseph McStay's unexplained absence.

    He said he was working with Joseph's brother, Michael McStay, and Joseph's mother, Susan Blake, at the time the withdrawals were made.

    "I actually transferred it (the money) to myself with Mike's knowledge," he said. "None of that money went to me. That money went to vendors, welders and manufacturers."

    "Mike and I and his mom tried to salvage and run the business that we had built for a long time," Kavanaugh said.

    But without Joseph McStay at the helm, the business would eventually fold.

    In July 2011, Kavanaugh ended up selling McStay's business, Earth Inspired Products, to two individuals named Matthew Schneider and Joaquin Quintero, according to court records.

    The sale of Earth Inspired Products and the subsequent creation of a corporation called Water Feature Supply, Inc. resulted in a lawsuit being filed in February 2012 in San Diego Superior Court (case # 37.2012-00092477).

    The lawsuit detailed ownership disputes between the plaintiffs, Schneider and Quintero, and another party named Patrick Maloy.

    The lawsuit was dismissed in May of 2012 and Maloy retained ownership of the Water Feature Supply domain and business.

    Joseph McStay's original web site domain name associated with Earth Inspired Products currently directs users back to McStayFamily.org.

    Joseph McStay's father, Patrick McStay, told CBS News 8 that Kavanaugh had no right to sell the business to Schneider and Quintero.

    "So, are you going to tell me that Kavanaugh was running the company? He had no authority to run anything. He was a nobody. He was a web guy. He took care of the web and that's it," said Patrick McStay. "I think he wanted to gain access to the business and sell it."

    Kavanaugh saw his role in Earth Inspired Products differently.

    "I didn't just do the web site," he said. "I created all of the traffic to the site. Joe did very little. He just answered the phone. I built the entire business."

    Court records show Kavanaugh had trouble with the law in the years after the McStays disappeared.

    Kavanaugh pleaded guilty in San Diego Superior Court in two, separate domestic violence cases involving altercations with girlfriends, records show.

    In August 2011, Kavanaugh was charged with five misdemeanor counts (in case # M134711DV).

    According to a 2013 probation report obtained by CBS News 8:

    On 8/1/2011 at 2:44 a.m. officers were called to **** Riveria Drive in San Diego. They heard a woman screaming from the second story of the apartment complex… The defendant (Kavanaugh) came downstairs and let officers in. Officers found the defendant's girlfriend, ****** ******* in the bedroom crying. She had abrasions on both knees.

    She said the defendant pulled her out of the car and onto the ground, causing the abrasions to her knees.

    Kavanaugh pleaded guilty to a single, misdemeanor count: battery of a current or former significant other, and received three years probation.

    In July 2013, Kavanaugh was charged with felony domestic violence (in case # SCD249328).

    Probation officers filed a sentencing report that described the incident, which occurred July 5, 2013 at 12:30 a.m.:

    The victim was distraught and her dress was disheveled. She was crying and her makeup was smeared. She came out of the apartment and stood behind one of the officers. She pointed to her balcony where officers found the defendant hanging on a 4th floor ledge. The defendant was attempting to get to another balcony. At gunpoint, they directed the defendant to return to the victim's balcony and he complied.

    The victim stated she was with the defendant, her boyfriend, outside her apartment building. He wanted to come to her apartment but she repeatedly told him she did not want him there. He insisted and walked with her to the elevator. She again told him she did not want him at her apartment.

    The defendant was upset and grabbed her by the wrists and dragged her from the elevator, through the hall, to her apartment. She yelled for help. She said the defendant used her keys to enter the apartment and threw her on the couch. She yelled for help but the defendant covered her mouth and told her to be quiet… She attempted to leave through the front door. He grabbed her and carried her to the bedroom. He threw her on the bed and she started yelling for help. He pinned her down and covered her mouth to keep her from yelling. She was afraid and punched and kicked the defendant. She ran to the kitchen and grabbed a knife and fork. She pointed the knife at the defendant but he grabbed it away from her.

    She had bruising and scratches on her wrists… She also had a scrape on her right elbow. She did not seek medical attention.

    The defendant had scratch marks on his neck and chest and a scrape to the right side of his face.

    The records said Kavanaugh told officers that he and his girlfriend had been drinking and that, "She was rowdy and out of hand."

    He also told arresting officers that the victim "had taken ecstasy" and that she was having "a bad trip," according to the probation report.

    Kavanaugh pleaded guilty in October 2013, in a plea bargain, to felony false imprisonment and was placed on formal probation.

    Defense attorney Isaac Blumberg of San Diego submitted a statement of mitigation to the judge in the case, which included several letters of support from Kavanaugh's business associates, friends, mother and brother.

    "Daniel hasn't got a mean bone in his body," his mother, Tamara Lyn Terry, wrote in her statement to the judge.

    "I have four sons I raised myself… Daniel, the eldest son of mine is and always has been a kind and loving big brother. Kind to me, an overwhelmed single mother, he helped enormously, being supportive, and even helping financially. I need Daniel. Our FAMILY needs Daniel. I swear, on my honor, Daniel is worthy of your consideration and mercy," his mother wrote.

    "I have known Daniel Kavanaugh to be a hardworking, honest and highly intelligent individual," restaurant owner Peter Busalacci wrote the judge.

    "The quality of his work has been exceptional and his personality is always pleasant. These (restaurant) web sites have been improved considerably by his services," wrote Busalacci.

    Kavanaugh remains on active probation and continues to attend court-ordered, domestic violence classes. He has not been named as a suspect by law enforcement in the McStay murders.

    "As far as you asking me if I'm a violent person, the answer is a resounding no. Definitely not," Kavanaugh told CBS News 8.

    (This report has been updated since its original post
     
  8. Bushwack Jack

    Bushwack Jack Well-Known Member

    Thank you, Cousin for the warm welcome.:):):) What a difference here compared to the other competing forum of infamous notoriety.
     
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  9. Cousin Dupree

    Cousin Dupree Platinum Member

    Those of us who escaped or were banned. :grin: Commonly refer to that place as Jonestown here.
     
    Freebird, kdg411, Akoya and 2 others like this.
  10. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    https://webcache.googleusercontent..../tag/dan-kavanaugh/+&cd=3&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us


    This is Google's cache of https://cuttingthebs.wordpress.com/tag/dan-kavanaugh/.It is a snapshot of the page as it appeared on Apr 6, 2019 06:44:35 GMT


    Dan “The Hacker”

    We’ve already explored in great detail some of the financial things Dan Kavanaugh did. On opening, Maline illustrates how Dan had opportunity, motive and means to carry out the murders. Per Susan, Dan and Chase did interact to a degree, even a tense shouting match.

    The defense’s theory is that Joseph was hiding the financial for EIP in the Quickbooks and he brought Chase in. “Hacker Dan” sees this and becomes enraged. He then somehow manages to whisk Joseph, Summer and the children (one boy at knifepoint) out of the house to another location. The source of this comes from an informant to the defense, Tracey Riccobene, an ex-girlfriend “or bestfriend” to Dan.

    This is a synopsis of her account:

    October 28th 2018 she goes to investigators and defense and provides a written statement that Dan gave a full confession to her that he murdered the family because he was being cut out. He raped Summer at the grave. He told her he buried the hammer in the grave. She tried to convince Dan to come forward and turn himself in but he refused. He has since threatened her and she is now asking for witness protection. Once the murders were done “Dan went back to the Fallbrook home, pretended to be Joseph, pretended to be married to Summer for hours. He is that deranged.” She called him is “an manipulative genius”. Mind you, certain aspects of this case has been known to the public for years.

    This is a load of crap. If this woman even makes it to the witness stand, her story is going crumble on cross. According to DDA Melissa Rodriguez, she has “severe credibility issues”. This is similar to the man that claimed (whom I believe is not testifying) that 10 days after the remains were discovered, Dan threatened him with “knowing how to make someone disappear” and “will find their bones in the desert” over an aquarium.

    Does anyone really believe Dan would be stupid enough to say any of these things if he were in fact guilty of such?

    The other defense bombshell was that Dan didn’t leave for Hawaii until February 6th, despite what he told San Diego detectives in 2010. According to the landlord that was to rent to him there, he never even saw him. Dan just showed the detectives his reservation, so says the defense.
     
  11. Bushwack Jack

    Bushwack Jack Well-Known Member

    Jonestown, I like it, their members do consume a vast quantity of Kool-Aid.
     
  12. TX SMR

    TX SMR Posting my personal opinions

    That makes no sense whatsoever. Why would the PT put her on the stand to refute something that she hasn't testified to? If the DT thinks her testimony would be helpful it's on them to put her on the stand and the PT can cross examine her after that.

    Also, nobody knows if she's in hiding or if the DT has chosen not to have her testify. With her record I wouldn't put her on the stand either.
     
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  13. TX SMR

    TX SMR Posting my personal opinions


    Snipped and BBM


    Imagine that!
     
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  14. Bushwack Jack

    Bushwack Jack Well-Known Member

    If, this were a normal trial then there probably wouldn't be much reason to do so. But, with this trial, the way it has dragged on there's a good chance the jurors are following it online, they know what we know and her story has been well publicized, if the PT has an opportunity to discredit her, why wouldn't they take it? Perhaps, she would even be able to substantiate DK's alibi, but then again, perhaps not.
     
  15. WinnieChurchill

    WinnieChurchill Well-Known Member

    She would undoubtedly be an interesting witness. I'm just not certain the Defense wants to take a chance and shake the status quo. The Prosecution has had to argue a case that was improperly investigated. The Defense has successfully challenged most of the facts presented during the Prosecution's Opening Statement. If they put Tracey on the stand the Prosecution will go after her hard. They will use any method available to discredit and/or disprove her testimony. Dan Kavanaugh is not on trial and, so far, not charged with anything. I think the information presented is sufficient to create reasonable doubt.
    We don't know whether Dan is involved in the disappearance of the family. He may just be an opportunist and an arrogant jerk. If there is evidence he was involved it seems to me the State would prefer to have any testimony regarding his illegal involvement brought out during a new trial where he is the accused. I hope the FBI goes after him and he'll join his buddies (Schneider, Quintero, etc.) in prison. I'm just not convinced the Defense needs to take any chances at this point. They have handled this case very well.
     
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  16. Akoya

    Akoya Bronze Member

    https://www.sbsun.com/2019/03/11/ke...n-mcstay-family-murder-case-defense-contends/

    [​IMG]

    Defense says suspect overlooked

    Maline repeated the defense contention that it has developed evidence another business associate of Joseph McStay, Daniel Kavanaugh, was overlooked by investigators as a suspect in the case.

    Kavanaugh has denied the allegations.

    One of the McStay’s businesses was an online outlet for decorative fountains, Earth Inspired Products, and it was Kavanaugh’s work that boosted the company’s web appearances when people searched online for that product.

    But Kavanaugh was not included in McStay’s new venture with Merritt, the creation and sale of large, custom-built water features. Defense attorneys have said Kavanaugh was angry that McStay was keeping him out that growing, bigger-money operation.

    Kavanaugh also took over Earth Inspired Products after McStay disappeared and made $250,000 before it ended, Maline said. He said it was Kavanaugh, not Merritt, who was responsible for the company’s eventual decline.

    The prosecution has one more expert due to testify when trial resumes. That witness is expected to offer more analysis that it was Merritt’s truck briefly captured the night of Feb. 4 by a home video security camera on the McStay’s street in Fallbrook.


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
  17. Bushwack Jack

    Bushwack Jack Well-Known Member

    LE or the PT doesn't want to hear anything about DK, they already have their patsy and don't want to complicate matters.
     
  18. TX SMR

    TX SMR Posting my personal opinions

    So the PT should ASSUME the jurors are following the trial on line even though they have strict instructions not to? That also makes no sense whatsoever. I am 100% certain if the judge learned about a juror ignoring his admonishments they would immediately be removed from the jury. I am also 100% positive both the prosecution and defense would agree with his decision. Nobody wants a tainted jury.
     
  19. TX SMR

    TX SMR Posting my personal opinions

    Maline has made numerous unsubstantiated claims.
     
  20. Cousin Dupree

    Cousin Dupree Platinum Member

    If Merritt is acquitted, I doubt they look into Kavanaugh because they'd look like idiots for glossing over such blatant things. Kavanaugh showed them a receipt for a reservation and nobody called to verify he was there? Really? They didn't subpoena phone records to see if in fact his phone was pinging in Hawaii? Of course not. Merritt was their guy and that was that.
     
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