Jury recommends death sentence for man who killed McStay family

SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. -- A jury recommended the death penalty Monday for the man who killed a Fallbrook couple and their two children and buried them in the Mojave Desert.

The same jury found Charles Ray Merritt, 62, guilty of killing the McStay family on June 10.

The bodies of Joseph and Summer McStay and their sons, Gianni, 4, and Joseph Jr., 3, were found in a shallow grave in 2013, about 100 miles north of their suburban Fallbrook home. They were bludgeoned to death with a sledgehammer and buried in shallow graves outside Victorville.

Merritt, a business associate of Joseph McStay, was arrested in 2014. Prosecutors say Merritt owed McStay more than $42,000.

This developing story will be updated as more information becomes available.

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