Joseph Naso Will Face Death Penalty

Trial date expected to be set at the end of March

Wednesday, Feb 29, 2012  |  Updated 1:14 PM PDT
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Joseph Naso Will Face Death Penalty

AP Photo/Washoe County Sheriff's office)

Joseph Naso is representing himself in the trial.

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The Marin County District Attorney's Office said this morning it  will seek the death penalty against accused serial killer Joseph Naso.
    Deputy District Attorney Dori Ahana made the announcement at  Naso's arraignment in Marin County Superior Court.

    Naso, 78, of Reno, re-entered not-guilty pleas to charges that he  murdered four Northern California women, two from the Bay Area, between 1977  and 1994.     Naso waived his right to have a trial within 60 days. He said he  needs four weeks to prepare a motion to dismiss the charges against him.
    Judge Andrew Sweet set March 28 for a status report on that motion  and to set a trial date.
    Ahana told the judge prosecutors expect the trial to last four  months.
    Naso is charged with the murders of Roxene Roggasch, 18, of  Oakland, in Marin County in 1977; Carmen Colon, 22, in Port Costa in Contra  Costa County in 1978; and Pamela Parsons, 38, and Tracy Tafoya, 31, in Yuba  County in 1993 and 1994, respectively.
    In addition to the four murder charges, he faces a  special-circumstance allegation of committing multiple murders, which makes  him eligible for the death penalty if convicted.
    Prosecutors had not said publicly until today whether they would  pursue the death penalty.
    He was ordered to stand trial for the killings in January at the  conclusion of a nine-day preliminary hearing that included testimony by his  ex-wife Judith and investigators, who said semen found on pantyhose Roggasch  was wearing contained DNA that was likely Naso's.
    Naso has been acting as his own attorney, and at a hearing earlier  this month, Sweet found Naso to be capable of continuing to represent himself  as the case proceeds to trial. 
 

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