The lead prosecutor in the multiple murder trial of Cary Stayner said in court today that he expects to rest the first phase of his case on Wednesday morning.
Prosecutor George Williamson said that he plans to call one additional witness after FBI expert in paint, tape and plastics Ronald Menold finishes on the stand.
“We've got Mr. Menold and then one other witness,'' Williamson said.
Stayner's lead attorney, Marcia Morrissey filed a motion asking for a continuance in the trial Tuesday afternoon. Morrissey said that after the prosecution rests the defense would need additional time to have its experts evaluate Stayner's mental state.
“The neuro-psychiatric testing that we undertook as soon as it was recommended has not been completed,'' Morrissey said.
Stayner, 40, faces a possible death penalty if convicted of the February 1999 murders of Eureka residents Carole Sund, 42, and her daughter
Juli, 15, and their family friend Silvina Pelosso, 16, of Argentina. He is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole in federal prison after pleading guilty to the July 1999 murder of Yosemite National Park naturalist Joie Armstrong, 26. He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the charges.
Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Thomas Hastings told Morrissey that he would not delay the trial because of a defense witness’ availability.
“We're not going to be captive to a witness for the defense,” Hastings said.
The majority of Tuesday’s trial proceedings involved portions of Stayner's alleged taped confession in which he was negotiating with FBI agents for concessions, including access to child pornography, in exchange for his confession to the murders of the Sunds, Pelosso and Armstrong.
“If I don't confess it's going to cost you guys a lot of time and money. I'd like to save you guys that time and money,'' Stayner said on the tape. “What difference is it ... viewing a little child pornography in light of the murders of four people.”
FBI agent Jeffrey Rinek spoke to Stayner with a great deal of empathy on the tape in an attempt to get him to testify.
“Christ, we'll send out and get the video and we’ll sit here and watch them with you,” Rinek said.
Stayner told Rinek and FBI agent John Boles that his lifelong desire to view child pornography contributed to his allegedly committing the murders.
“Maybe because I never got to see it, these things happened,” Stayner said.
Stayner also attempted to negotiate two other concessions from the FBI. He wanted the $250,000 reward money that the Carole Sund's family had offered to go to his parents. He also wanted to be incarcerated in a federal prison near his Merced County home.
Frances Carrington, Carole Sund’s father, said the reward money was offered for the safe return of the three Yosemite tourists and was never paid out.
Carrington said today's playing of the tapes of Stayner negotiating with the FBI is further evidence of the former motel handyman's depravity.
“What kind of mind would ask for his folks to get the reward money at the time of his confession and ask for kiddie, what did they call it, kiddie porn,” Carrington said.
No evidence has been introduced that the FBI ever actually provided Stayner with child pornography.