Convicted Killer Naso Sentenced to Death

By: AP Email
By: AP Email

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. (AP) - A California judge has sentenced a man convicted of the decades-old killings of four women with matching initials to death.

The Marin Independent Journal reports that Marin County Superior Court Judge Andrew Sweet called 79-year-old Joseph Naso an "evil and disturbed man" as he issued the sentence on Friday. Jurors had recommended the death penalty.

Naso was convicted of fatally strangling four prostitutes in Northern California with matching initials: Roxene Roggasch, Carmen Colon, Pamela Parsons and Tracy Tafoya.

Naso represented himself at trial, often coming off as confused and ornery. He called five witnesses, but did not testify himself.

In his closing arguments, he said he was not a monster and did not kill the women.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

Joseph Naso, the 79-year-old former photographer convicted of the decades-old killings of four women in Northern California, is scheduled to be sentenced Friday.

Naso will face a possible death sentence when Marin County Superior Court Judge Andrew Sweet delivers his order as jurors voted for the death penalty.

Naso was convicted of fatally strangling four prostitutes with matching initials: Roxene Roggasch, Carmen Colon, Pamela Parsons and Tracy Tafoya.

The elderly defendant represented himself at trial, often coming off as confused and ornery. He called five witnesses, and did not testify himself.

Though in his closing argument, Naso told the jury during he was no monster and did not kill the women.

But prosecutors presented a trove of evidence collected from Naso's Reno, Nev. home, including photographs of partially nude women appearing dead or knocked out, and a journal describing rapes of numerous underage girls and women dating back to the 1950s.

Investigators also found a "List of 10," featuring descriptions and references to the killings and the rural areas where the bodies were dumped.

Naso's DNA also linked him to one of the victims, Roggasch.

However, even if Naso is sentenced to death, it is unlikely he would ever see the state's death chamber.

There are 745 inmates already on California's Death Row and executions have been on hold since 2006, when a federal judge ordered an overhaul of California's execution protocol.

It's expected to take at least another year for prison officials to properly adopt the state's new single-drug execution method and have it cleared by the judge.


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