North Bay News

Joseph Naso pleads not guilty to four murders

Friday, May 27, 2011
Joseph Naso

Joseph Naso (KGO Photo)

Accused serial killer Joseph Naso this morning challenged the "accuracy and legitimacy" of photos of women the prosecution claims are the probable cause for his arrest on the four murder charges that have been filed against him.

Naso, 77, who was a self-employed photographer, is charged with killing four women, whose bodies were found in Yuba, Marin and Contra Costa counties between 1977 and 1994. He pleaded not guilty to the charges Friday morning.

Nevada investigators recovered photos of scantily dressed women in Naso's home in Reno, Nev., last year while Naso was in the El Dorado County Jail serving a sentence for violating his probation.

One of the murdered women, Roxene Roggasch, 18, of Oakland, reportedly was partially dressed and bound when her body was found in Fairfax in 1977.

The Marin County District Attorney's Office said Naso was not among the leads generated in the investigation of the Roggasch murder and no charges were filed against him at that time.

"Evidence discovered in 2010 generated a fresh investigative effort," Marin County District Attorney Ed Berberian said in a news release last month.

"This more recent investigation uncovered evidence linking Naso to the murder of Roxene Roggasch," Berberian said.

Naso was arrested for the four murders by Marin County sheriff's deputies when he was released from the jail in South Lake Tahoe on April 11. He said today the provocative photos recovered from his home do not depict women "in forced poses, forced bondage or being deceased."

Citing four documents in the probable cause statement for his arrest and detention, Naso asked Marin County Superior Court Judge Andrew Sweet to suppress the statement, which is currently sealed, dismiss the murders complaint against him and release him from jail.

Sweet directed Naso to file a written motion on his request. The Marin District Attorney's Office said it will respond in writing to Naso's motion by Wednesday.

Sweet did not set a date for a hearing on the motion to dismiss the complaint.

The judge set the week of July 11 for Naso's preliminary hearing after the district attorney's office said it could take seven days.

Sweet also ruled that a questionnaire Naso filled out as part of his request to represent himself is part of the court record and will be available to the public.

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marin county, crime, murder, north bay news
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