SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- (KTLA) -- A jury on Monday recommended the death penalty for a Southern California man convicted of killing a family of four with a sledgehammer and burying their bodies in shallow desert graves.
Jurors in San Bernardino made the recommendation for Charles "Chase" Merritt, 62, in a case that puzzled investigators for years after a couple and their two young sons vanished from their home in 2010. Their bodies were found three years later.
Merritt supported his head on his fists and closed his eyes as the verdicts were read. He also spoke briefly to his attorney.
He was convicted this month of the murders of his former business associate Joseph McStay, McStay's wife Summer, and their 4- and 3-year-old sons, Gianni and Joseph Jr.