27 thoughts on “SB 14 1294 8/27/2014

  1. This is from the Elluma website. This is what they say they do:

    “How we can help you

    Elluma Discovery takes a unique approach to eDiscovery and computer forensics. As computer technology continues to evolve, our services continue to evolve in tandem. We approach each case as an expert witness would. We work as your eDiscovery partner and actively locate, analyze and produce data relevant to your case. We understand that we may be called to testify about our work and the facts of the case. At the outset of each matter we evaluate the facts and the technical merits of the matter and make recommendations based on our 20 years + combined experience.

    As an e discovery service provider we believe our job is to help our clients litigate as effectively as possible. That’s why we don’t just process and host your data and step back. Instead, we work as your trusted eDiscovery consultant and partner to provide you with the information you need to help make the most informed decisions possible.

    eDiscovery is the right tool for evaluating, reviewing and producing large data sets such as emails and documents. Forensics on the other hand is the right tool for taking a deeper look at an individual’s activities and can offer a window into their thought process.

    Because we provide integrated eDiscovery and computer forensics, we frequently are able to provide far deeper insight into a litigant’s actions and state of mind than the typical e discovery service provider.”


    1. Doesn’t look like they do much in the way of phone ping evidence. Maybe their entire focus was the computer data. Like Grav. said, if the defense can shoot that evidence down, game, set, match.

      1. The defense may be taking a closer look at all of the data on the McStay computers, not just the Quickbooks entries. Maybe they’ve locked onto an alternate theory of the crime.

  2. Gem or Junk?

    The evidence that Merritt’s sister lives a few miles from the gravesites-and that this links him to the murders. Gem or Junk?

    I call junk. First, who cares? In that part of the desert a few miles could be an eternity. It’s not like in a city, say New York, where if you live in the West Village, you roam the West Village and that coincidence would be meaningful. That particular spot in the desert leads to all sorts of places, including the dump, and a car parts place, an irrigation supply store, an apartment complex, not to mention two seedy motels and two gas stations. It is also a midway stopping point for a lot of people traveling from SoCal to Vegas. And even if you lived close to the graves, unless you had a reason to be there, you might never so much as look at that patch of desert. You’d typically drive past without the area registering much at all in your mind.

    AND the DA basically contradicts this as being meaningful, because he proves that Merritt didn’t visit with his sister much. And certainly didn’t visit with his sister around the time of the murders.

      1. I see what you are doing. I’ll call this evidence a gem because at some point Chase did visit his sister. He wouldn’t have been heading to Vegas necessarily, but maybe did gas up there and became familiar with the area because he was there from time to time to see her.

        And maybe where she lives is easiest to get to if you take the back roads.

        1. Lot of maybes there, cowboy. OK. Tie on that.

          The other “evidence” mentioned in the PCA for this warrant is something that is mentioned often, that Merritt was the only person involved in this case with a specific knowledge of the high desert:

          I call this JUNK. Someone with an intimate knowledge of the high desert could certainly have found a better spot to bury four bodies. That reasoning makes no sense to me at all.

          1. I’m calling it a “gem” because where the bodies were buried was an area that the Sheriff’s department admits they didn’t patrol. Someone with a criminal background and a knowledge of the high desert would be more apt to know this.

            1. Good point. Touché. However, I still don’t get why anyone who really knew the desert would choose that spot. But it might have been intended as a temporary burial location, so I call a tie.

              JUNK: the McStay family was killed in their home.

              1. There was no evidence of blood, ever in that home. And there were droves of anxious people traipsing through there right after the murders.

                1. Gem: All items in the graves more than likely come from the home. The family is dressed in casual attire consistent with what they were known to wear in the evenings. Transporting four dead people is much easier than transporting four living or half-living persons. The lack of blood may have been due to tarps being used and to clean up after the fact.

                  1. Wow. You are good at this. I’ve got to run, but something that I want to get into again is why the DA at the prelim doesn’t just state where Merritt was when he wrote the checks he cashed from Joey’s account.

                    Merritt admitted to writing those checks. Did no one ask him from where he wrote those checks? Why the need for the warrant for the Air Card, which we will look at soon?

                    Later warrants and the prelim indicate that the live-in girlfriend knew nothing about this check writing. Yet most of it happened during the day, when it might be assumed she was home (she worked out of the home, I think).

                    The DA makes specific mention of all occurrences where he can positively identify Merritt as the doer of an action-for example–the DA positively identifies Merritt as the person who phoned QB to cancel, because the phone number from which the call was made was Merritt’s and Merritt’s phone log indicates he made this call.

                    So why not state specifically where Merritt was, and on what computer he wrote these checks? Why so vague? Why the wording “from a computer not in the McStay home”?

                    Are there aspects of the investigation into the QB activities that are JUNK? (LE did give themselves an award for this and some of the other aspects of this investigation.) Or is the entire inquiry a GEM?

                    1. I do have some thoughts on this. I’ll have to get back to you tonight. I personally feel that the investigation into Quickbooks was a total gem. When I return.

  3. This warrant is interesting in that it comes so late in the investigation. How would they not have known sooner that Merritt and the mother of his children had a landline?

      1. There’s some docket news by the way, as of today Elluma Discovery has billed for work: dates ranging from: 1/11/16-2/2/16; 2/4/16 – 3/22/16; 3/29/16-4/18/16

        Elluma worked for the defense in some capacity for 3 months. What was Farrell doing during all this time?

        And transcripts for 3/23/16 were sent to S21. Was that a closed hearing?

        1. Elluma specializes in computer forensics and phone ping evidence (I think). [Perhaps O’Kelly was only appointed to help Merritt confess.]

          Actually Elluma may only investigate computer forensics, not Ping data.


          1. Interesting on the billing. What exactly were they doing for three months? Were they figuring out who wrote the 7:59pm check on 2/4/10?????

            Don’t say it Lurk….

                    1. It’s a game I’ve invented around the evidence. Is this particular piece of evidence a gem? Or is it junk?

Comments are closed.