This is a subject that is very hard for me to talk about. But it is one I am forced to deal with as we move closer to the trial and reporters are contacting me left and right. Here is how I first heard anything about the State's case including evidence of of rape:
To: Patrick McStay
Sent: Thursday, December 7, 2017 5:00 PM
Subject: Summer McStay
Good afternoon, Mr. McStay!
I'm working on a story about how investigators believe Summer McStay was raped before she was killed, given certain evidence found at the gravesites.
Did you know about this? What are your thoughts?
I appreciate any assistance you could provide.
Also, do you know Summer's mother's name and where she lives? City, state?
Let's examine what this reporter was referring to, and the story that was released.
"A motion filed in San Bernardino Superior Court on Nov. 20 on behalf of McStay family murder suspect Charles “Chase” Merritt by his attorney, James McGee, argued against the use of family photos and/or videos of the McStay family at trial, stating it could engender sympathy from the jury for the victims and prejudice the jury against Merritt. McGee argued that the use of family photos and/or videos in the case should only be relevant if they are used for identifying victims, otherwise they are irrelevant."
Ok, so this to me, is self-explanatory. The defense is focusing on removing anything that could humanize the victims in this case. They probably know Chase has no defense so they just have to hope that while they are throwing stuff at the wall to see what sticks, that the jury doesn't have too many photos of the family.
"McGee stated in his motion that the identity of the victims was not in dispute, and that DNA and dental records positively identified the McStay family as homicide victims...McGee noted that investigators submitted a DNA analysis request form to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department’s Forensic Biology Unit to “help identify involved parties and verify involved parties.” He also referenced an excerpt from page three of the form, which revealed something that has not been disclosed by investigators to date: they believe Summer McStay had been raped before she was killed...Investigators believe Summer was raped at the time as her pants were in the grave near her head, and her panties were in the pants as (if) they were pulled off together,” according to the motion. There were also incisions in her bra that lead investigators to believe it was cut off, the motion states."
Not sure there was really any such information or if the defense is guessing and trying to preempt any evidence if it exists. We know that in the records obtained from the preliminary hearing, that Summer's pants, with underwear inside, were found in the northernmost part of the grave. I can only surmise that it is another reference to the pants as stated in the preliminary.
On the one hand, it is believable because It's control and hate that are the reasons for rape and we know CM hated Summer. It is the ultimate way in his mind to disgrace and humiliate Summer and show her who's boss! On the other hand, I know that the defense often will bring something up first to deny it and try to cut off their opponent by getting their beliefs out first to lesson the damage.
As of the December 8 status hearing, Judge Michael A. Smith has denied the motion by Merritt's attorney, James McGee. He said at least one photo can be used of the McStay family because, as prosecutor Britt Imes argued, it has "probative value." Isn't it ironic that only one generic photo will be allowed to be used of my family but we will see the accused everyday.
Another status hearing has been set for January 12, 2018. But details such as these will not likely be discussed in open court until at least February or March 2018, after jury selection takes place.