Accused serial killer Joseph Naso announced Wednesday that he wants a new legal adviser, then complained about courtroom delays on his case.
The 78-year-old murder suspect, appearing for his latest status hearing in Marin Superior Court, confirmed that he has fired "advisory counsel" Bill Fazio after four months. Advisory counsel can provide limited legal guidance but not full-blown representation.
Fazio was the advisory counsel Naso chose after firing Michael Marowitz, whom he hired after deciding he needed legal advice, which was after he waged a protracted and successful legal campaign to represent himself.
Now he wants a court-appointed advisory counsel at county expense, he told Judge Andrew Sweet on Wednesday. Sweet referred Naso to the public defender's office, but reminded Naso that he would eventually have to pay the county if he has the resources.
Naso, a retired commercial photographer, has more than $1 million in assets, authorities said. The public defender's office has already said that Naso is too wealthy to qualify for its services.
"We've been round and round about this," Sweet said.
Naso also complained that, on days he is scheduled to appear in court, he has been kept in a holding cell while Judge Sweet worked through other cases on his docket. Naso said he would be brought down to court for the 9 a.m. calendar, but sometimes his case would not be called for several hours.
"There's something wrong with this court," Naso said.
Sweet noted that Naso had just fired his second advisory counsel since changing his mind about whether he needs legal help.
"In fairness, any delays in these proceedings fall on your shoulders," the judge said.
The trial is set to begin in November. Naso is charged with murdering Roxene Roggasch, 18, dumped outside 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.
Investigators said semen on Roggasch's pantyhose matched Naso's DNA profile, and that Roggasch was strangled with panty hose that contained the DNA of Naso's wife. He also had extensive photos of Parsons in his collection, and admitted he dated Tafoya.
Naso was identified as the suspect after a 2010 probation search at his Reno home revealed a vast collection of photographs of dead or unconscious women in various states of undress, incriminating writings, sadistic magazines, and diaries describing sex crimes, investigators said. Authorities are still investigating whether he can be linked to additional homicides.
Naso has pleaded not guilty. He says the photos are his private artwork and that the women are in staged poses.
All four murder cases are being prosecuted in Marin under an agreement among county authorities. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Contact Gary Klien via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.