12 thoughts on “Jury Instructions

  1. “If you can draw two or more reasonable conclusions from the circumstantial evidence, and one of those reasonable conclusions points to innocence and another to guilt, you must accept the one that points to innocence.”

    CALCRIM 224

      1. Does it prove that? I swear the lights on that vehicle entering the cul de sac 10 secs before the vehicle is captured leaving are similar in intensity. I really think it’s the same vehicle. And I’m not convinced it’s not an SUV. By the way do you see an exhaust pipe in any of the videos? I can’t find it.

      2. If the theory is that the vehicle captured on the Mitchley video at 7:47 is Chase’s truck, then signs of life in the McStay residence after the truck leaves are in direct contradiction to that theory.

        There are signs of life inside that home, less than nine minutes after the vehicle leaves. And there is zero evidence that the vehicle ever returns.

        If these murders are the act of a lone killer, regardless of who you theorize is performing the activity in the home after 7:47, how does the truck leaving prior to all this, work? If the family is dead and the killer gone, who is completing all these random actions?

        For the state’s narrative to make sense, the truck has to depart AFTER the QuickBooks check is written and the printer is aligned. And following the 8:28 phone call, or near to the time of that call (because the ping from Joseph’s phone, hits the tower Joseph pinged when home). The chronology is completely off.

        It’s like the state is presenting evidence the way the doneness of spaghetti is tested: Throw it against the wall. See what sticks! The defense has no choice but to do a little spaghetti throwing. That’s their job. They have to create reasonable doubt.

        But the state? Really?


          1. That’s a reasonable theory on paper, but I believe the Mitchley surveillance system was still working that night (it seems it began to fail the morning of the 5th). And that was one of the big issues when the family went missing, that the vehicle captured (thought then to be the McStay Trooper) left at 7:47 and never returned. There is no evidence of that vehicle returning within 7 to 9 minutes of exiting.

            The other hiccup is that given Chase’s later “pings” (9:31 PM near Mira Loma) he can’t have stayed at the McStay residence for long. That Mira Loma area is about 45 minutes away. Joseph’s phone pings its usual tower at 8:28. And for what purpose would anyone do this? And how did he get back to the home, if not in his truck? Why would he walk? Everything following the vehicle leaving is pure speculation.

            And if you look at the jury instructions, if there are two reasonable explanations, and one points to innocence, the jury is to go with the explanation that points to innocence.

          2. One other thing about all this, is if the most reasonable explanation to what occurred on the night of the 4th is that Chase is not the person in the home when the QB/printer alignment occurs and the 8:28 phone call (whether it is because he drove away, or he was never there) then this supports the theory that Joseph McStay performed all these actions and that Joseph was still alive at 8:28 PM. And it would also support the assertion made by the defense that Joseph was on board with this new QB arrangement.

            It’s like one of those domino chain reactions. Once one domino falls, the rest do as well. If the truck is not involved in the murders, if Chase either left or was never there, then the most reasonable conclusion to be reached is that Joseph is actually working with the Custom account for check writing as well. None of the QB activity by Chase is really suspicious at all, in this event. This leans to the theory that the two men were just working out a new system payment.

            Chase was doing what they’d arranged for him to do when he wrote the other checks. He wasn’t about to be fired so there is no motive, whatsoever, for murder. No means. No opportunity.

              1. He probably did have help. Just because no one can find the person who helped Chase doesn’t mean no one did. Absence of evidence isn’t proof of absence.

                1. Do you both, think, that DK, & CM, may have killed the family, together, & buried them, in those 2 holes?

                  1. I have no idea who committed these murders. Dan’s behavior around the time of the murders is odd, but I’m still having difficulty seeing him as a killer. But if he did do this, I doubt he worked with Chase.

                    What I hope for is that Chase will be acquitted (because I do believe that he is innocent) And in a perfect world this case would be handed over to the FBI. (Not Kevin Boles, though). But the division of the FBI trained in profiling . It would be great to see top notch experts examine every item found in those graves, and start from scratch, basically. And the defense, actually, has laid out some great ground work for this. The defense team investigated this case the way it should have been investigated in the first place. If someone with real expertise in criminology, profiling, victimology etc, takes the information presented at this trial and starts from there, and is objective-maybe this crime will actually get solved.

                    But most important, right now Chase Merritt needs his life back. The McStay tragedy has been compounded. We need to be more careful with cases like this. The McStays aren’t seeing any justice by another victim being added to this tragedy.

                    Not sure about much more than that.

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