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Jury weighs case of man charged with killing family of 4

Posted at 12:06 PM, May 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-30 15:06:21-04

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) — A jury is deliberating in the trial of a Southern California man charged with killing a family of four and burying their bodies in the desert.

Jurors on Thursday got the case brought by San Bernardino County prosecutors against 62-year-old Charles "Chase" Merritt.

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 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.

The trial began in January. If Merritt is convicted of the murders, prosecutors will seek the death penalty.