As I sift through videos of trial and all the legal documents that were made available to the public on this case, I feel as if I’ve opened a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle that has been thrown into the air, all the pieces left scattered where they landed. As there are still so many unknowns on this case, perhaps examining what we do know objectively, will help focus all the seemingly disparate parts into one cohesive picture. Maybe there is a way to get the pieces to actually fit.
How can what happened to the McStay family of four ever be known in full, if even one piece of evidence discovered, is not fully examined?
And there is evidence that wasn’t vetted at all, it would seem:
Though a verdict has been reached and a sentencing recommendation given by the jury on People v. Merritt, so many questions still remain unanswered regarding these tragic and horrific murders: the Where, When, How & the strong likelihood of additional participants, and who they are, all remain stark unknowns. The prosecution admits as much, when in closing San Bernardino County DA Britt Imes states that in regard to CalCrim 520 jury instruction–
“It does not require us to prove WHERE.
It does not require us to prove WHEN.
And it does not require us to prove HOW.
You can have a murder case without answering those questions.”
(Near the 5:00 min. mark.)
What Imes neglects to mention is that the prosecution also made zero effort to prove conclusively, or otherwise, whether there was more than one person involved in this crime (even when hand-delivered DNA profiles that were CODIS ready, extracted from items at the graves Accomplices. Profiles that so far SBC has refused to run through CODIS.) Unbelievable.
And even though there is compelling evidence, presented by the prosecutors themselves, of more than one perp involved in these murders. The most obvious evidence being two sets of tire tracks, each leading to a different McStay grave. (These tracks are each of different widths. And both appear to have been made on the same day, perhaps at the exact same time. It’s a little bit of a stretch to imagine that one person drove two different vehicles to the same location, at the exact same time.)
And though the DA offered a passing speculation that perhaps rain caused the “2nd” set of tracks to spread out and become wider, at no time was an expert brought in to speak to this. Never. Ever. Nunca. Nada. None.
And again, with the absence of the “WHEN” on this case, we don’t have any way of knowing for certain if it was even raining when the bodies of this beautiful-innocent-and-deserving-of-full-justice family, were buried.
We just don’t.
Which leaves anyone actually paying attention here with a dilemma.
You can believe that Chase Merritt is guilty and is exactly where he should be, heading at this moment to a final sentencing of death. But without knowing the WHERE, or the WHEN or the HOW, what certainty is there that proof beyond a reasonable doubt is even possible against any one individual accused of this crime? And if you disagree with me there, and believe that BARD was possible in this case, STILL what certainty is there that everyone who was involved in this horror, is being held accountable?
A reminder: Chase Merritt was not convicted by way confession. There were no eye-witnesses He was never tied with any degree of certainty to any known element of this crime. Chase Merritt was basically convicted by way of an email, an email that is so cryptic that no one is exactly certain of its meaning. And by way of Quickbooks activity that has more than one plausible, reasonable explanation.
That’s it. A man is being sentenced to death by way of a contrived motive, many factors of which are factually in error, and essence of which are little more than a whole heaping on of speculation.
But more on the prosecution’s theory of motive later.
What anyone truly thinking through this case will note right off is that for all the “mountains” of evidence that was literally unearthed on this case from two shallow graves in the Victorville desert, surprisingly little of that evidence was given close scrutiny. Basically there is all this evidence that was delivered during trial like pieces to a jigsaw puzzle, that are still sitting on a proverbial table-a scattered mess.
My view is that the defense team for Chase Merritt, did a brilliant job revealing enough about the true relationship between Chase Merritt and Joseph McStay, to where I personally find it hard to imagine Chase Merritt would kill Joseph or any of his family. I don’t see motive. And as nothing but motive was ever offered, absent conclusive evidence of involvement, my perspective at this time is that Chase is innocent. But even if I didn’t believe in Chase’s innocence, I would want to know about The OTHERS. As in those others who almost had to have been involved. Because what I believe without question is that this crime was committed by at least two people. And if DNA extracted from items at the graves is any indication, there were three. Maybe more. We just don’t know.
This post will be a work in progress.