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By Shawn Raymundo

Charles “Chase” Merritt was sentenced to death on Tuesday, Jan. 21 for the murder of the McStay family, according to news reports.

Following a months-long trial conducted this past June, Merritt, 62, was found guilty of four counts of first-degree murder, as he had been charged with the killing of his former business partner, Joseph McStay, 40, his wife Summer, 43, and their two sons Gianni, 4, and Joseph Jr., 3.

The McStays lived in San Clemente before moving to Fallbrook, where they resided before the family of four disappeared from their home in February of 2010, the San Clemente Times previously reported.

Their remains were found three years later, roughly 100 miles away in the Mojave Desert, buried in shallow graves. Merritt, who was convicted of bludgeoning the family to death before disposing of the bodies, was arrested in November 2014. His trial began on Jan. 7, 2019.

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