SAN RAFAEL — The Nevada man accused of killing four women, including a woman whose body was dumped in Contra Costa County, went back and forth with a Marin County judge on Monday over how he would defend himself.
Joseph Naso told the perplexed judge that he needed more time to find an attorney or a legal adviser.
Naso, 77, said he needed a month or two to find a lawyer he could trust to advise him. At the same time, he said he wanted to continue representing himself.
“It’s not clear to me exactly why you want a continuance,” Marin Superior Court Judge Andrew Sweet told Naso, noting a confusing motion filed by the suspect who so far has represented himself. “The motion suggests you may be asking to have a lawyer represent you,” or a lawyer to act in an advisory capacity, the judge observed.
“All of the above,” Naso replied. “It’s not so much the question of spending money to retain counsel but of retaining someone I can trust and feel confident of to represent me. There are people out there who would like to get my money.”
“I have decided I do need legal counsel for this case,” Naso continued. At the same time, “I would like to maintain that privilege” of representing myself.
“If you were to ask me right now do I want counsel or do I want to represent myself, I can’t answer that,” Naso said.
“The bottom line is, if I can find an attorney who is reasonable and is not just out for my money, I would consider that.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” the judge said at one point.
Authorities have said Naso has access to about $1 million in savings.
Ultimately, Sweet said there was no good cause to delay a Sept. 6 preliminary hearing.
Naso said he was wary of attorneys because he had been burned by one and said he had talked to a half-dozen lawyers and was having trouble finding one that measured up.
“In this county there are not that many attorneys who are interested in this type of case,” he said.
Naso has pleaded not guilty to charges of killing four women: Roxene Roggasch, 18, dumped near Whites Hill above Fairfax in 1977; Carmen Colon, 22, found near Port Costa in 1978; Pamela Parsons, 38, found in Yuba County in 1993; and Tracy Tafoya, 31, found in Yuba County in 1994. The cases are being prosecuted in Marin Superior Court.
He just needs to pass away in his sleep.