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By Jeff Pack
Staff Writer 

Merritt's sentencing delayed, lead attorney withdraws from case


Last updated 10/4/2019 at 3pm

Joseph and Summer McStay and the couple's young sons – 4-year-old Gianni and 3-year-old Joseph Jr. – disappeared in 2010 and their bodies were discovered in shallow graves three and a half years later in a San Bernardino desert. Charles "Chase" Merritt was convicted of killing the family in June.

James McGee, the lead attorney for Charles "Chase" Merritt, filed a motion to withdraw as counsel, citing a conflict of interest, for the man convicted of first-degree murder in the killing of all four members of the McStay family of Fallbrook in 2010.

Superior Court Judge Michael A. Smith ruled Friday, Sept. 27, that Merritt's final sentencing will be delayed until Dec. 13 and that defense attorney Rajan Maline will continue to represent Merritt.

According to reports, Judge Smith ruled that the defense needs more time to file motions to reduce Merritt's sentence and for a new trial. The...

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