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Justin Merriman

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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 23, 1999 | TRACY WILSON TIMES STAFF WRITER
The 51-year-old mother of accused killer Justin Merriman has been indicted by the grand jury for allegedly conspiring to intimidate witnesses in her son's murder case. Beverlee Sue Merriman, a Ventura bookkeeper, was arrested Tuesday. She has also been indicted on charges of perjury and conspiring to aid a criminal street gang. Also named in the indictment were Jennifer Wepplo, 23, of Somis and Samantha Medina, 25, of Madera.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 2, 2001 | ANNA GORMAN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Calling the rape and murder of Santa Monica College student Katrina Montgomery "unspeakably brutal," a judge sentenced white power gang member Justin Merriman to death Tuesday. "I have no doubt about Mr. Merriman's culpability," Judge Vincent J. O'Neill Jr. said during a sentencing hearing in Ventura County Superior Court. "The evidence in this case was truly overwhelming."
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 24, 2000 | GINA PICCALO, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
In stark contrast to her tidy appearance in court Thursday, testimony from Justin Merriman's friends depicted his mother as an accomplice in the slaying of Kristina Montgomery, who diligently scrubbed blood off the stairs of her home, and even hired professional cleaners to help--while reporting nothing to police. Merriman is accused of raping and murdering 20-year-old Katrina Montgomery in a bedroom at his mother's Ventura home in the predawn hours after a rowdy gang party Nov.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 13, 2001 | TRACY WILSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Ventura County jury on Monday recommended the death penalty for a 28-year-old skinhead gang member who raped and killed Santa Monica College student Katrina Montgomery, ending a murder case that took years to solve. Justin Merriman, who defiantly took the stand last week to claim his innocence, sat stone-faced as jurors filed into court after about eight hours of deliberations.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 20, 2001 | TRACY WILSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Justin Merriman plunged a knife into college student Katrina Montgomery's neck, and, as she begged for her life, beat her with a wrench and slit her throat, a witness testified Friday. Former skinhead Larry Nicassio told jurors that, while spending the night at Merriman's home in November 1992, he watched the defendant kill Montgomery after a brutal sexual assault.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 20, 2001 | TRACY WILSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Justin Merriman plunged a knife into college student Katrina Montgomery's neck, and as she curled into a ball on the floor--begging for her life--he beat her with a wrench and slit her throat. That was the testimony of former skinhead Larry Nicassio, who told the jury that while spending the night at Merriman's home in November 1992 he watched the defendant kill Montgomery after a sexual assault.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 12, 2001 | TRACY WILSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Since age 17, murder defendant Justin Merriman has spent most of his life behind bars. Now, the decision of a Ventura County jury could send him to prison for life. Or worse. Last week, jurors began deliberating whether Merriman, a 28-year-old skinhead gang member, raped and slit the throat of a 20-year-old community college student eight years ago.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 14, 1999 | TRACY WILSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Arguing that Justin Merriman has used a network of skinhead gang members to intimidate witnesses in his murder trial, Ventura County prosecutors told a judge Tuesday that he remains a threat and again asked that the 26-year-old defendant's jail communications be restricted. Dressed in jail blues and wearing a reddish-brown beard, Merriman pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Ventura County Superior Court to charges of conspiracy, solicitation and dissuading witnesses by force or threat.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 5, 1999
The mother of a man accused of murder was taken into custody Monday after a bail hearing at which prosecutors portrayed her as a danger to the community and an associate of her son's white supremacist gang. Beverlee Sue Merriman, 51, looked stunned as a judge ordered her held on $2-million bail pending a January trial on conspiracy and perjury charges. Merriman had been free on $120,000 bail.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 2000 | TRACY WILSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Beverlee Sue Merriman apparently saw her son and his friend carrying Katrina Montgomery's lifeless body from the family home just 45 minutes after her slaying in 1992, a witness testified Monday.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 8, 2001 | TRACY WILSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
An incident of juror misconduct surfaced Wednesday during the penalty phase of the Justin Merriman murder case, but a Ventura County judge ruled it was not prejudicial enough to force a mistrial. Superior Court Judge Vincent J. O'Neill Jr. issued the ruling after a dramatic disclosure that during deliberations last month a 63-year-old female juror and a county deputy sheriff discussed how the jury was going to "fry" Merriman.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 2, 2001 | TRACY WILSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
At age 17, convicted killer Justin Merriman was diagnosed as a sociopath by a court-appointed psychologist, who warned that without treatment he posed a violent threat to anyone who got in his way. "I indicated he was headed for some serious trouble," psychologist Leonard Diamond testified Thursday. Three years after the diagnosis, Merriman killed a 20-year-old college student and used a network of skinhead gang members to cover up his crime.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 1, 2001 | TRACY WILSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Convicted killer Justin Merriman suffers from a congenital brain defect and severe psychological problems that should spare him the death penalty, a defense lawyer argued Wednesday. Attorney Willard Wiksell told jurors he is not making excuses for Merriman, a skinhead gang member who was found guilty of first-degree murder last month in the 1992 slaying of college student Katrina Montgomery.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 28, 2001 | TRACY WILSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
For years, Katrina Montgomery's family waited for her to walk through the door, uncertain whether the 20-year-old college student was dead or alive. But Montgomery never came home. Raped and killed by skinhead gang member Justin Merriman, she was buried in a shallow grave and her slaying concealed for years by white supremacists loyal to him. Two weeks ago, a Ventura County jury convicted Merriman, 28, of first-degree murder and related allegations that make him eligible for the death penalty.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 24, 2001 | TRACY WILSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A Ventura County judge ruled Friday that jurors hearing the penalty phase for convicted murderer Justin Merriman can consider evidence of a dozen uncharged crimes allegedly committed by the white supremacist. Superior Court Judge Vincent J. O'Neill Jr. will also allow jurors to view a dagger-like knife taken from Merriman, 28, during an arrest several years ago and to consider evidence of his conduct in jail while awaiting trial.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 23, 2001 | TRACY WILSON, TIMES STAFF WRITER
When jurors reconvene next week to weigh the fate of convicted killer Justin Merriman, prosecutors want them to hear evidence of a dozen uncharged crimes the 28-year-old skinhead gang member allegedly committed during the past decade. But defense attorneys say many of those alleged crimes are based on flimsy evidence and should not be presented to a jury deciding whether Merriman spends the rest of his life in prison or is executed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 1, 2000 | TRACY WILSON
A 26-year-old woman convicted of conspiracy last year for trying to threaten a witness told a Ventura County jury on Friday that people who "rat" on suspects and cooperate with law enforcement deserve to be hurt. Samantha Medina admitted that she tried to hunt down a female informant who told prosecutors that murder suspect Justin Merriman, 27, was responsible for the 1992 slaying of Katrina Montgomery. Last year, Medina pleaded guilty to conspiring with Merriman to "take out" the informant.
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