General Crime

* Joseph Naso Accused Serial Killer Could Get Court Appointed Attorney

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Days before his scheduled preliminary hearing on Tuesday, accused serial killer Joseph Naso this morning gave up his right to represent himself and asked Marin County Superior Court Judge Andrew Sweet to appoint the public defender’s office to represent him. Naso, 77, of Reno, is charged with killing with four Northern California women, including two from the Bay Area, between 1977 and 1994. Sweet indicated he will grant Naso’s request but will require him to pay for those services.

Sweet said the law requires him to appoint an attorney in a capital case where the defendant faces the death penalty, even if the defendant fails or refuses to find a lawyer. Naso again told the judge today he is still having trouble accessing his assets. He said he intended to hire attorney David Briggs as advisory counsel but his check to Briggs bounced. Naso also asked the judge to postpone his preliminary hearing.  Deputy District Attorney Rosemary Slote objected to the delay.

She said the judge is under no obligation to postpone the hearing at such a late date. Slote asked for more time to review the penal code section that Sweet said requires him to appoint a lawyer for Naso. Sweet said he will make a ruling at 1:30 p.m. on the postponement of the hearing and the appointment of the public defender’s office.

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