Trial underway for man accused of killing 4 from San Diego

FILE – In this May 19, 2015, file photo,, Charles “Chase” Merritt, (John Gibbins/The San Diego Union-Tribune via AP, Pool)

SAN BERNARDINO, CA (AP) —Opening statements are underway in the trial of a Southern California man accused of beating a family of four to death with a sledgehammer and burying them in the desert.

Prosecutors made opening statements Monday in the trial of 61-year-old Charles “Chase” Merritt in San Bernardino.

Defense attorneys also made statements to defend Merritt and will continue addressing the jury in the afternoon.

Merritt is charged with killing his business associate Joseph McStay; McStay’s wife, Summer; and their 3- and 4-year-old sons.

The McStay family disappeared from their San Diego County home in 2010. Three years later, their bodies were found in a remote desert location more than 100 miles (160 kilometers) away in San Bernardino County.

Categories: Local San Diego News