Accused killer changes defense team - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

Accused killer changes defense team

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) – There's a major change to the defense team for the man accused in a triple homicide.

In court Thursday, Carlo Mercado told the judge that he can't afford his defense attorney and was appointed a public defender.

Mercado is accused in the murders of brothers Gianni and Salvatore Belvedere and Ilona Flint. Two of the victims were shot to death on Christmas Eve, and the third victim was found inside the trunk of a vehicle several weeks later.

Mercado's original defense attorney Michael Berg will not be representing him in the murder case, however he will represent Mercado on a prior weapons charge.

Berg told CBS News 8 he remains unaware of the evidence investigators had that allegedly connects Mercado to the murders.

"It's really unusual and it's extremely difficult to try to represent someone with absolutely no evidence whatsoever. I couldn't even get the affidavits for the search warrants – everything was sealed. So I have no idea what evidence they do have," Berg said. "(Mercado's) obviously extremely depressed he's (in custody). I think the reality of the situation is starting to set in a little bit, and it's very difficult for him."

Mercado's next court date is scheduled for September 15.

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