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May 20, 9:33 PM EDT

Man accused of killing California family hires attorneys

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AP Photo/James Quigg

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SAN BERNARDINO, Calif. (AP) -- A man charged with killing a California family of four who mysteriously disappeared from their home will no longer represent himself in court.

U-T San Diego ( ) reports Wednesday that Charles "Chase" Merritt has hired a team of defense attorneys.

A preliminary hearing in the case on Tuesday was postponed until Friday in part because Merritt said he might hire a lawyer.

The hearing is to determine whether there is enough evidence for the 58-year-old Merritt to stand trial in the killings of 40-year-old Joseph McStay, 43-year-old Summer McStay and their two young sons. The family disappeared in 2010 and their remains were found in the desert in 2013.

One of the attorneys, Jimmy Mettias, says the team is unlikely to be ready in time for Friday's hearing.


Information from: U-T San Diego,

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