Jury Deliberations Resume in San Bernardino County Trial of Man Accused of Killing McStay Family

A family photo shows Joseph McStay, his wife Summer and sons Gianni and Joseph.

A family photo shows Joseph McStay, his wife Summer and sons Gianni and Joseph.

Jury deliberations have resumed in the trial of a Southern California man charged with killing a family of four and burying their bodies in the desert.

Jurors last Thursday got the case brought by San Bernardino County prosecutors against 62-year-old Charles “Chase” Merritt. The jury was off Friday and deliberations started again Monday.

Merritt’s business associate Joseph McStay, McStay’s wife Summer and the couple’s 3- and 4-year-old sons vanished from their San Diego County home in 2010. Three years later, their bodies were found in shallow desert graves more than 100 miles (161 kilometers) away.

Merritt was arrested in 2014. Authorities said they traced his cellphone to the gravesite area and to a call seeking to close McStay’s online bookkeeping account.

If Merritt is convicted, prosecutors will seek the death penalty.

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