Accused serial killer Joseph Naso's re-entry of pleas to charges of murdering four Northern California women between 1977 and 1994 was delayed today until next week.
Naso, 78, of Reno, was held to answer to the charges on Jan. 23 after a nine-day preliminary hearing in and must re-enter pleas to the charges.
Naso, who pleaded not guilty in the court proceedings last year, is representing himself and is scheduled to re-enter pleas to the charges Feb. 10. It's possible a trial date will be set.
Judge Andrew Sweet today gave Naso paperwork to fill out regarding his intention to continue acting as his own attorney.
Deputy District Attorney Dori Ahana said the judge wants to make sure Naso is competent and capable of representing represent himself.
"He has the right to represent himself," Ahana said.
Naso could receive the death penalty for committing multiple murders. The Marin County District Attorney's Office has not disclosed whether it will seek the death penalty.
Naso, , lingerie and garters, is charged with killing Roxene Roggasch, 18, of Oakland, in January 1977; Carmen Colon, 22, in Contra Costa County in August 1978; Pamela Parsons, 38, on Sept. 19, 1993, and Tracy Tafoya, 31, in August 1994, both in Yuba County. He was arrested on April 13, 2010.
All of the women worked as prostitutes, according to testimony at the preliminary hearing.
Pathologists who performed autopsies on the women testified at the hearing that all four died of asphyxiation due or likely due to strangulation, Ahana said as she summed up the evidence at the end of the hearing.
Prosecutors presented evidence that the DNA of Naso's now ex-wife Judith Naso was found on . Roggasch was also found wearing a pair of inside-out pantyhose that included DNA thought to be that of Joseph Naso, prosecutors said.
The District Attorney's Office also presented a "list of ten" found in Naso's home. The list contained the word "girl" or "lady" followed by geographic locations, four of which were where the murder victims were found.
During the hearing Naso said the list and a ledger found in his Reno home referred to the models he photographed or to his old girlfriends.
The prosecution's evidence also included dozens of photographs of women who appeared unconscious, dead or incapacitated. A photo of Tafoya and several of Parsons' photos were found in Naso's home, prosecutors said.
Naso said he had contact with Parsons but not the other three victims. He said he picked up Parsons while she was hitchhiking. She offered him sex and he refused, but she agreed to be photographed, he said.
Prosecutors also said an entry in a journal found in Naso's home referred to Tafoya. It read: "Met Tracy. Put it to her." The entry was made on Aug. 5, 1994, the last day Tafoya was seen alive, Ahana said.
Ahana said that the photos of nude or partially nude women "mirrored" the way the four victims' nude or partially nude bodies were found along roads in the three counties.
Ahana said the strangulations are consistent with testimony by Naso's ex-girlfriend Betty Matheson,
Ahana said the murders were committed during sexual battery and false imprisonment. She said Naso had the knowledge and experience to commit the crimes, and the photos of the women found in his home speak for themselves.
"He actualized his sexual obsessions," Ahana said.
Dominance and control of the women were a common feature in the photos and in their slayings, Ahana said.
"Nice speech, but it's completely false," Naso said after Ahana concluded her arguments at the preliminary hearing.
He said the evidence against him is circumstantial.
None of the murder victims were found in heels, garters or lingerie, Naso noted.
"I've had lots of dates and girlfriends. This has nothing to do with power but with rapport," Naso said.
"I can probably get half the women in this room to disrobe voluntarily," Naso said.
"There is no evidence I committed these murders. Did I leave my signature or anything that belongs to me?" he asked.
Bay City News Service