This is the SW for the AT&T air card Merritt was in posession of at the time of the murders.
SBSW-14-1663 Probable Cause Affidavit 10:15:2014
As of this warrant it appears that investigators did not know where Charles Merritt was when he accessed Joey’s QB account. Did they not ask him?
The dates as to when the McStay computer was accessed from within the home conflict with the dates given in the preliminary hearing.
This is Joey’s office where his desktop computer lived. How could someone freshly covered in blood enter this room and go to work on the computer?
25 thoughts on “SBSW 14 1663 10/15/2016”
If you want to see Donald Jones, criminlist from SBC, check out this episode of On the case: Season 9; epidode 5 An uninvited guest.
Sorry to be off topic, but the McStays had at lease 3 phones, whatever way the attack on them happened, no one tried to call 911.
Doesn’t that kind of make it seem as if they were all subdued at the same time? If one McStay is upstairs and hears something downstairs, wouldn’t they maybe make a call for help?
What about this case?
Click to access E055840.PDF
Click to access Order%20Denying%20Successive%20Petition%20for%20Write%20of%20Habeas%20Corpus%2004cv656.pdf
Mad, that is interesting in the Yablonsky case that Donald Jones performs the first DNA testing, then an unnamed technician re-does the test. If Donald Jones is such a remarkable technician that he needs to be brought out of retirement for the McStay case, why wasn’t his work on the Yablonsky case considered sufficient?
Here’s more: http://lucernevalleyleader.com/node/1439
I’ve got a question for you, since you are so certain someone was helping Chase. Could it be that Chase wrote all the checks from the home of the person who helped him kill the family?
If Merritt didn’t write those checks from his own home, yes, I think that’s possible. And an air card is transportable. It can be used from just about any location. I do wonder if cell towers “pinged” by way of that air card, identified a location for Merritt’s check writing outside of Rancho Cucamonga.
Also, this warrant seems to indicate that the information had by way of the air card might show that Merritt returned to the McStay home…..
It’s all a little cryptic, but fascinating.
To review the GEMS and JUNK evidence of this case:
GEMS for the DA:
Merritt forged and cashed checks on Joey’s account, just before and right after the McStays are believed to have been killed.
(Merritt admits to doing this, only he claims that he was told to do this by Joey. But Merritt’s claims seem off. Why would Joey, who was meticulous in his book keeping, instruct anyone to write checks using a random order for the check numbers. Why would Joey instruct Merritt to write checks after Feb 4 then backdate them to Feb 4? Why would Joey instruct Merritt to delete any record of the transactions?)
Also, why on earth would Joey hand over the check writing to another person? For what purpose? If Joey wanted to hide the check writing-for some reason, he could have deleted the checks from the register himself.
(None of that makes sense, and in the nonsensical nature of it, it’s pretty certain Merritt is lying.—-ding, ding, ding, big score for the DA)
For whatever reason, it would appear that Merritt didn’t tell LE where he writes and prints these checks (or his version of where didn’t turn out to be true). This could be a score or a minus on the DA’s column. If you admit to writing an prining checks, why not just tell where you did this?
There is also the cancelling of the QuickBooks account. Or the two attempts to do this.
That’s true. And in the SWs the point is made a number of times that this attempt to delete the account was done right before Merritt contacts Joey’s mother for the first time.
The 7:59pm check written, but not printed, on Feb 4 was drafted on Joey’s office desktop computer. (We’ll see at trial, but I’m going to hazard a guess that this can’t be proven. I think they can prove the check was drafted, I just don’t think they are going to be able to prove it was drafted in Joey’s office.) And it makes no sense to any other part of the state’s case if it was drafted there. (I know that this check writing might be used to prove Merritt’s presence in the McStay home on Feb 4. But in actuality, the state’s case makes more sense if that check wasn’t written from the home.)
Why would someone drive off with 4 bloody bodies in the bed of his truck, park, then somehow return to the scene of the crime to write a check he doesn’t print. And how is he clean enough to enter that small office, with wall to wall beige carpeting–to do this, even if he were so crazy to do such a thing?
That simply does not make any sense at all.
The family was bludgeoned to death in the home. JUNK. Doesn’t make any sense to what is found in that home only two weeks following the murders. You have seasoned detectives traipsing through. You have a family desperate to find out what happened to their loved ones. And you have Tim Miller who is a search and rescue expert. He might not be a crime scene technician, but he’s certain to have eyeballed the place pretty hard.
The lack of evidence of a crime in that home, cannot be explained away with a little paint. I personally think it would better if LE allowed that the family was killed elsewhere. And actually if the murders were fulfilled at the grave site then the jurisdiction is firmly theirs. The hammer at the graves indicates to me that it was used there, not at the home. The hammer alone would have been incredibly bloody if the family had been killed at their home. Are you really going to travel with such a thing and not leave blood everywhere?
And Merritt would have been a mess. Is there really time for him to shower and what did he wear after the killing? He was way too big to fit Joey’s clothes. Did he bring a change of attire.
👎👎👎👎👎👎 THUMBS DOWN. Junk.
Why do you think they are going forward then?
Well, again, the motive is so strong and the check writing sandwiches the murders. So it may be that this is enough to convince a jury of Merritt’s guilt. And as Lurk, points out, there may be even more daming evidence related to this, presented at trial.
And there is also the Rickie Lee Fowler factor.
What is the Rickie Lee Fowler factor?
Rickie Lee Fowler was sentenced to death in SBC (another Ramos trophy case) on NO evidence AT ALL. It’s true he kind of confessed, but he didn’t confess to setting the “Old Fire”. In fact, Fowler isn’t the one who threw the flare that supposedly started the blaze–(they never forensically proved it was a flare that set the fire)–the blaze that is supposed to have resulted in the deaths of a number of people in the Old Fire tragedy (all of the victims suffered heart attacks, etc. they weren’t directly killed by the fire itself).
Rickie didn’t set the fire. He was simply WITH the guy who supposedly set the fire by throwing a flare out a window of a van, but that guy never admitted to this. He was murdered before Rickie’s trial.
It’s one of the most egregious miscarriages of justice, I personally have read about. Just in that it’s so blatant. You don’t put someone on deathrow because they were sitting next to an idiot who throws a flare out the window in the middle of a drought. But no one cares about Fowler. He was kind of a lost soul. So I do wonder if SBC thinks, well if they can get a death conviction on that unfounded charge, the Merritt case will be a piece of cake.
That stated, I’m not saying Merritt isn’t involved in the McStay murders. I just think that it’s possible that more investigation was needed.
If there are accomplices, do we want them to get away with murder?
No. And maybe Chase did steal some money but didn’t kill the family.
That’s possible. Only the timing of the theft is highly suspicious. And then Merritt’s ever changing alibis. That’s really problematic.
But it could be that Merritt was associating with someone who convinced him to carry this out, and perhaps the original intent was not murder. Perhaps it was something much different.
I also don’t get how, if Merritt admits to writing the checks, he doesn’t also admit to WHERE he wrote the checks.
You’re right. The wording is confusing on this warrant:
“The information from the air card will be used to show Merritt accessed the Quickbook online account while at the residence….”
So you might be absolutely right. They don’t have absolute proof as to where Chase was when that check was written the night of the murders. Does this also mean that they don’t know if the check was even written in that home?
That’s what I’m wondering. If they had an IP address for the individual who signed into the QB account on night of Feb 4, and wrote that check at 7:59pm, then how would the air card info help them with this?
It’s possible that QB doesn’t retain that data or doesn’t retain it for very long and all they know is that on Feb 4, earlier in the day, QB was signed onto by Joey’s computer, because the hard-drive and web history on the computer itself would show this. But if someone from another computer signed on later, this wouldn’t necessarily be evident.
Elluma Discovery appears to have put in a lot of time on this case for the defense. I wonder what they were looking at.
Also, you’ll see in the next few SWs that San Diego investigators knew about the forgeries in 2010. Why then were they so convinced that the family just left? Why not look much more closely at Merritt?
This aspect of the case remains the most baffling for me.
I agree. I don’t see how you could enter that office and not leave evidence of it if you were covered in blood.
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