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Murder Trial for Former Piedmont Resident Delayed

Joseph Naso, who lived in Piedmont with his family in the 1970s and '80s, will stand trial in Marin County in April for the murders of four women.

Bay City News Service—The trial of accused serial killer Joseph Naso, a former Piedmont resident, has been postponed until April 24.

Naso, 78, initially was scheduled to be tried in Marin County Superior in October for killing four women between 1977 and 1994 in Marin, Contra Costa and Yuba counties. His trial was then re-scheduled for January when Naso said he needed more time.

Judge Andrew Sweet granted Naso a continuance until April on Friday, Deputy District Attorney Rosemary Slote said. The prosecution opposed the continuance, but the judge ruled in Naso's favor because he is representing himself, Slote said.

Naso said he could not be ready for trial in January because of the volume of the reports he has received, Slote said.

The judge also agreed to designate Naso's advisory counsel, Deputy Public Defender Pedro Oliveros, as Naso's stand-by counsel, Slote said. As stand-by counsel, Oliveros will represent Naso if Naso's right to represent himself is rescinded, Slote said.

Naso lived in Piedmont during the late 1970s and early 1980s, according to local residents who attended Piedmont schools with his sons.

Naso is charged with the murder of Roxene Roggasch in January 1977; Carmen Colon, 22, in Contra Costa County in August 1978; Pamela Parsons, 38, in Contra Costa County on Sept. 19, 1993; and Tracy Tafoya, 31, in August 1994 in Yuba County. The victims were found along roadsides in the three counties.

Roggasch's body was found on the eastern slope of White's Hill near Fairfax on Jan. 11, 1977. She was wearing a pair of pantyhose inside out, another pair was found around her neck, a third pair was found in her mouth and a fourth pair was wrapped around her mouth.

At Naso's preliminary hearing in January, Contra Costa County Sheriff's Deputy Tuan Nguyen, a criminalist who processed and examined the pantyhose for DNA evidence, testified semen from two males was found on the inside of the pantyhose Roggasch was wearing. He said one of the sperm samples "likely" came from Naso.

"You are likely the source as Male B. We can never say you are, just likely are," Nguyen testified on cross-examination.

Nguyen also testified DNA found on the pantyhose wrapped around Roggasch's neck matched that of Naso's former wife Judith Naso.

The pair of pantyhose wrapped around Roggasch's mouth contained "contact" DNA from at least four individuals, Nguyen testified. It was of poor quality and he was unable to develop individual DNA profiles from it, he said.

The Marin County District Attorney's Office is alleging Naso, a self-employed photographer who took photos of scantily-clothed women who appeared dead, asleep or unconscious, strangled the four women who worked as prostitutes.

Copyright © 2012 by Bay City News, Inc. -- Republication, Rebroadcast or any other Reuse without the express written consent of Bay City News, Inc. is prohibited.

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