Naso Makes Potential Legal Gaffe in Court

By Lori Preuitt
|  Thursday, May 5, 2011  |  Updated 1:23 PM PDT
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Naso Makes Potential Legal Gaffe in Court

AP Photo/Washoe County Sheriff's office)

Joseph Naso faces the death penalty.

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The man accused in a string of Northern California homicides that date back to the 1970s was back in court Thursday in an effort to convince a judge to allow him to act as his own attorney.

Joseph Naso, 77, is charged with the 1977 murder of Roxene Roggasch, who was abducted in the Oakland Hills and whose body was later found near Fairfax, the 1978 slaying of Carmen Colon near Port Costa in Contra Costa County and the 1993 and 1994 killings in Yuba County of Paula Parsons and Tracy Tofoya. slayings, including two Yuba County woman, between 1977 and 1994.

One legal expert told KCRA's Mike Teselle that what Naso had to say in court Thursday could be self-incriminating and used against him by prosecutors.

Naso tried to explained one of the reasons he wants to act as his own attorney by saying,
"The thing is, I don't feel anyone knows this case as well as I do."

Sacramento defense attorney Johnny Griffin, who is not involved in the Naso case, told Teselle, "It can cut both ways. It could be very incriminating. The prosecutor could see that as an admission. However, the defendant may have been saying I have seen the case and I have alibis for everything I'm accused."

Following court, Marin County District Attorney Ed Berberian would not reveal if he would use Naso's statement during the trial. "I am not going to comment on Mr. Naso's statements in court," said Berberian.

In the end, Judge Andrew Sweet did not rule on the matter. He said he would decide whether he would allow Naso to serve as his own attorney Friday.

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