Charles ‘Chase’ Merritt from California got a death penalty for killing his business partner and victim’s family.
The 62-year-old businessman was convicted of killing 40-year-old Joseph McStay, his wife 43-year-old Summer, and their children 3-year-old Joseph Jr. and 4-year-old Gianni.
Merritt was sentenced to death for killing the mother and two children and life without parole for taking the life of Joseph.
According to Associated Press, Joseph McStay’s mother, Susan Blake, said: “How could you beat two precious little babies? How scared were they, Chase? Crying for Mommy and Daddy? Chase, you are a low-life baby killer.”
Mike McStay, Joseph’s brother, said: “The world was robbed of four beautiful souls.”
It was in 2010 when the family went missing a few months after they moved into their new home in San Diego. Their two dogs, Digger and Bear, were left in the backyard and almost $100,000 in their bank accounts.
The family’s vehicle was found at a strip mall near the US-Mexico border. Investigators first thought the family moved to Mexico.
But in 2013, the bodies of the family were found in two shallow graves in the Mojave Desert. Detectives said that Joseph’s body was discovered with a white extension cord around his neck.
His wife’s skull was fractured and one of their children’s heads was beaten multiple times. A sledgehammer was also discovered at the side.
In 2014, murder charges were filed against Merritt. Investigators said that DNA matching Merritt’s was discovered on the family’s whit Isuzu Trooper, which was left near the US-Mexico border.
The 62-year-old’s cellphone was also traced to the shallow graves in the days after the family’s disappearance.
Before Merritt was sentenced, he proclaimed his innocence. “I loved Joseph. He was a big part of my life and my family’s life. I would never have hurt him in any way. I would have never raised my hand for a woman or child. I did not do this thing.”
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