ac kaye on mcstay murder suspect_00032112.jpg
ac kaye on mcstay murder suspect_00032112.jpg
Now playing
04:30
McStay murder suspect's CNN interview
covid-19 relief package house biden sot malveaux nr vpx _00000000.png
PHOTO: CNN
covid-19 relief package house biden sot malveaux nr vpx _00000000.png
Now playing
02:28
CNN's Joe Johns explains Biden's short speech as relief bill heads to Senate
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
PHOTO: House TV
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
Now playing
02:52
House passes Biden's $1.9 trillion Covid-19 relief package
PHOTO: CNN Weather
Now playing
02:03
Weekend weather: Flash flooding, severe storms, and record warmth
Misinformation Trump Capitol March rn orig_00004630.png
Misinformation Trump Capitol March rn orig_00004630.png
Now playing
04:08
These Trump supporters are convinced he will be president again on March 4
AURORA, CO - DECEMBER 15: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center investigational pharmacy technician Sara Berech holds a dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine before it is administered in a clinical trial on December 15, 2020 in Aurora, Colorado. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine could be submitted for emergency use by late January and is the only vaccine among leading candidates given as a single dose. (Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)
PHOTO: Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images
AURORA, CO - DECEMBER 15: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY) Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center investigational pharmacy technician Sara Berech holds a dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine before it is administered in a clinical trial on December 15, 2020 in Aurora, Colorado. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine could be submitted for emergency use by late January and is the only vaccine among leading candidates given as a single dose. (Photo by Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images)
Now playing
03:19
Doctor who voted to approve Johnson and Johhnson vaccine speaks out
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh on October 2018.
PHOTO: FAYEZ NURELDINE/AFP/Getty Images
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends a conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh on October 2018.
Now playing
02:10
US intel report: Saudi Crown Prince responsible for approving Khashoggi operation
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:24
Acosta corrects CPAC organizer: Trump did lose the election
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17: The U.S. Capitol dome is seen beyond a security fence on January 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. After last week
PHOTO: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images
WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17: The U.S. Capitol dome is seen beyond a security fence on January 17, 2021 in Washington, DC. After last week's riots at the U.S. Capitol Building, the FBI has warned of additional threats in the nation's capital and in all 50 states. According to reports, as many as 25,000 National Guard soldiers will be guarding the city as preparations are made for the inauguration of Joe Biden as the 46th U.S. President. (Photo by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images)
Now playing
02:33
This is what's in the $1.9 trillion coronavirus package
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
09:36
I lost everything: Texas mom's devastating story from winter storm
Now playing
01:23
See what happened when CPAC organizers asked crowd to wear masks
The Pentagon, the headquarters of the US Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, across the Potomac River from Washington, DC is seen from the air January 24, 2017.  / AFP PHOTO / Daniel SLIM        (Photo credit should read DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Daniel Slim/Getty Images
The Pentagon, the headquarters of the US Department of Defense, located in Arlington County, across the Potomac River from Washington, DC is seen from the air January 24, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Daniel SLIM (Photo credit should read DANIEL SLIM/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
05:24
US carries out airstrikes on Iran-backed militia groups
A woman walks past mailboxes  seen outside of a US Post Office in Washington, DC on August 17, 2020. - The United States Postal Service is popularly known for delivering mail despite snow, rain or heat, but it faces a new foe in President Donald Trump. Ahead of the November 3 elections in which millions of voters are expected to cast ballots by mail due to the coronavirus, Trump has leveled an unprecedented attack at the USPS, opposing efforts to give the cash-strapped agency more money as part of a big new virus-related stimulus package, even as changes there have caused delays in mail delivery. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
PHOTO: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
A woman walks past mailboxes seen outside of a US Post Office in Washington, DC on August 17, 2020. - The United States Postal Service is popularly known for delivering mail despite snow, rain or heat, but it faces a new foe in President Donald Trump. Ahead of the November 3 elections in which millions of voters are expected to cast ballots by mail due to the coronavirus, Trump has leveled an unprecedented attack at the USPS, opposing efforts to give the cash-strapped agency more money as part of a big new virus-related stimulus package, even as changes there have caused delays in mail delivery. (Photo by MANDEL NGAN / AFP) (Photo by MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty Images)
Now playing
02:49
Biden announces 3 nominees to USPS board
PHOTO: CNN
Now playing
02:00
Weekend hindered by rain in the East and snow in the Northwest
The exterior of the U.S. Capitol building is seen at sunrise on February 8, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Senate is scheduled to begin the second impeachment trial of former U.S. President Donald J. Trump on February 9.
PHOTO: Sarah Silbiger/Getty Images
The exterior of the U.S. Capitol building is seen at sunrise on February 8, 2021 in Washington, DC. The Senate is scheduled to begin the second impeachment trial of former U.S. President Donald J. Trump on February 9.
Now playing
01:57
Senate parliamentarian rules against minimum wage increase in relief bill
Now playing
03:56
Marjorie Taylor Greene's challenger explains decision to run
Everyone wears masks and desks are spaced at the high school, where full in-person teaching has been offered since the school year began.
PHOTO: CNN
Everyone wears masks and desks are spaced at the high school, where full in-person teaching has been offered since the school year began.
Now playing
03:20
Ohio school is staying open with these safety measures
(CNN) —  

The man accused of killing a California couple and their two children and burying them in the Mojave Desert was found guilty of first-degree murder on Monday.

Charles Ray Merritt, 62, could face the death penalty for killing the McStay family, who went missing in 2010.

The bodies of Joseph and Summer McStay and their sons, Gianni, 4, and Joseph Jr., 3, were found in a shallow grave in 2013, about 100 miles north of their suburban San Diego home. They were bludgeoned to death with a sledgehammer and buried in shallow graves outside Victorville.

Merritt, a business associate of Joseph McStay, was arrested in 2014. Prosecutors say Merritt owed McStay more than $42,000.

The family’s disappearance had puzzled investigators, who said there were no signs of struggle at their home. Food had been left out and the dogs were home.

The jury spent about a week deliberating the case. Jurors reached a verdict on four counts of first-degree murder on Friday, but the verdict was announced on Monday. The penalty phase of Merritt’s trial is set to begin on Tuesday.

Back in 2014, Merritt spoke to CNN and said he had “absolutely no clue” how the family was killed.

“If I were to guess, like anyone else, I would think it was probably random because I honestly don’t believe that family had anything to do with it. I don’t think that any of his friends had anything to do with it. Joseph was just too well-liked,” Merritt told CNN then.

Merritt said he and Joseph McStay were business associates who became friends. Merritt made custom indoor waterfalls and McStay would buy them, he said. They met in 2007 when McStay needed some help with a water feature. They played paintball together, had dinner a couple times a week, and he also spent time with the McStays and gotten to know the family, he said.

Merritt and McStay met for a business lunch in Rancho Cucamonga the day the family disappeared, he said.

“I am definitely the last person he saw,” Merritt said.

CNN’s Michael Pearson contributed to this report.