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Trial Of Accused Bay Area Serial Killer Begins With Jury Selection

SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) - Jury selection begins Monday at the trial of alleged serial killer Joseph Naso.

Naso, 79, of Reno, is charged with killing four women whose bodies were found along rural roads in Yuba, Marin and Contra Costa counties between 1977 and 1994.

Naso's advisory counsel Pedro Oliveros said prospective jurors who filled out a questionnaire will report to Marin County Superior Court Judge Andrew Sweet's chambers.

Twelve jurors and nine alternates will be selected for the trial that is expected to last until November, Oliveros said. Opening statements are currently scheduled for June 17, he said.

Naso represented himself at the preliminary hearing in the case and will do so again at the trial. Oliveros said as Naso's advisory counsel, his role is limited to helping Naso with questions regarding the law and trial procedure.

Naso is charged with the murders of Roxene Roggasch, 18; Carmen Colon, 22; Pamela Parsons, 38, and Tracey Tafoya, 31.

Naso, a self-employed modeling photographer, photographed nude and partially nude women in heels, lingerie and garters in poses that made them appear dead, incapacitated or unconscious, according to testimony at the preliminary hearing in January 2012.

Pathologists who performed autopsies on the women testified at the hearing that all of them died of asphyxiation due or likely due to strangulation.

Roggasch, of Oakland, whose body was found on the eastern slope of White's Hill in Fairfax on Jan. 11, 1977, was wearing panty hose inside out, according to the prosecution's witnesses.

Another pair of panty hose was around her neck, a third pair was in her mouth and a fourth pair was wrapped around her mouth.

Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office Deputy Tuan Nguyen, a criminalist who processed the pantyhose for DNA evidence, testified that Naso's wife's DNA was found on one pair of panty hose, and semen from two males were found on another pair. One of the semen samples likely came from Naso, Nguyen said.

The prosecution is alleging that the murders were committed during sexual battery and false imprisonment, and reflect the dominance and control of the women shown in Naso's photographs.

During the preliminary hearing, Naso said he had many dates and girlfriends who willingly posed for the photographs.

"This has nothing to do with power but with rapport," he said during the hearing.

Naso said all of the prosecution's evidence at the hearing was circumstantial. He faces the death penalty if convicted of committing multiple murders.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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