Attorney Jimmy Mettias and the McStay case
February 18, 2018 UPDATE – Jimmy Mettias former defense attorney for Chase Merritt who is accused of murdering the Mcstay family, has been disbarred from the State Bar of California for 90 days. What is interesting is that Mettias took over as the defense attorney for Merritt in March 2015 and the state bar began to investigate Mettias in July of 2015. Merritt fired Mettias in January of 2016. Mettias began practicing law in 2010. By doing some quick searches it appears as though Jimmy’s law firm has closed down this week.
The State Bar of California stated:
“Jimmy Philip Mettias [#269572], 36, of Victorville, was suspended Aug. 12, 2017, for 90 days and faces a one-year suspension if he does not comply with the terms of his one-year probation. He was ordered to notify his clients of the discipline and perform other obligations under rule 9.20 of the California Rules of Court. He was ordered to pass the Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination. Mettias stipulated that he failed to perform with competence for a client whom he represented in a tax lien dispute with the Franchise Tax Board. As a result, both the client and his wife’s drivers’ and real estate licenses were suspended. He made false statements to the client regarding the matter and failed to promptly return the client’s files. In aggravation, he committed multiple acts of wrongdoing and caused the client significant harm.”
The Daily Press is reported that the Steak and Shake has closed and that Jimmy Mettias was listed as one of the owners of the chain.
The McStay family. The family of four went missing and sadly were found buried together in the desert. Charles Merritt has been charged with their murder. Merritt’s trial is still pending. Search for McStay to see all the stories written about them.
CLAIM: A blogger has posted on his blog that Merritt’s defense attorney told the investigator on the defense case to ‘leak’ information about the McStay murder case to him so he could put it on his blog.
ORIGIN: A blogger posted on May 4 that Jimmy Mettias the former defense attorney on the McStay murder trial, instructed David Farrell, the former lead investigator on the team to “leak” information on the case to him so that he could post it on his blog. (Farrell asked to be removed from the case in March.) The blog states, “I would talk to Farrell almost daily, and he would give me information straight from the discovery that no one in the media had seen.”
Background on Blogger
The blogger who goes by the name of Rick Baker and whose name appears as the one writing and posting the information said he wanted to explain to his readers why he shut down his blog in 2015, and in doing so, has posted many allegations. Some of the allegations is that Mettias would have Farrell leak information to him so that the blogger could post it on his blog. The blogger also alleges that he was given photos to share on his blog from Mettias and that Mettias told him that “Chase was probably guilty.” The post also reads that this all went on for a couple of months ‘“until Jimmy Mettias decided he didn’t need me anymore and all communication between us stopped. I think he was on his way out from the case anyway, and didn’t care who he hurt. His recent behavior sure confirms that. Heck, I couldn’t even get David to return my calls or texts because he was instructed by Mettias to have no further contact with me. One minute we are talking numerous times daily, the next, locked out,”’ the blog reads.
Those are very incriminating statements and could cause an attorney to lose their license if they turned out to be true. But, are they? Would someone dare to write something so professionally damaging, that was not true? Keep reading….
Articles from the Sun
Going back to April 29, Joe Nelson from the Sun wrote an article about the hearing that day and evidently he was the only one that covered it as I can find no other news about it. Although on March 4, The Press Enterprise stated, “another hearing on discovery, or exchange of documents, is scheduled March 23.” At that hearing Rajan R. Maline told the Daily Press he requested more time, “because more time was needed to attain discovery from his defendant’s previous attorneys.” The Hearing was set for April 29th, which is the one that Joe Nelson reported on and as I said above seems to be the only reporter that showed up. At the hearing Nelson reported that the prosecution filed a motion because Farrell had “physical evidence in his possession that needs to be turned over to the court as part of the retrial discovery process.” There is evidently also notes, a list of witnesses and even billing statements the prosecution is stating Farrell has not turned over. You would think that Farrell being accused for holding evidence would be big media news on a high-profile case, as well as the previous allegations from the blogger that Mettias was giving him inside information, but I can’t find anyone else writing on it. This leads to the question did Farrell really have physical evidence in his possession and if so why if there only one media reporting on it?
The article by Nelson further states, as a result, Judge Michael A. Smith set up a hearing on May 5, after ordering the motion sealed. Because of the motion, no public or media was allowed at the May 5th hearing today. So, NO ONE really knows if the whole question about missing physical evidence was talked about, or if it was something entirely different. At this point we don’t know what is going on between the court and the past and current principal players, including Farrell. No media, no public and certainly no blogger was let in there to hear what was going on.
CONCLUSION: The blogger can be convincing that he talked with Mettias and Farrell, but did he? The question has to be asked, why would an attorney working on a high-profile case even think about jeopardizing their license for notoriety, or any other reason for that matter.
So, I figured the best thing to do is go directly to Mettias himself and ask him.
I contacted Mettias’ law firm and Jimmy Mettias himself told me he could not comment on the case, which is perfectly understandable, but he did say, “what Baker has alleged is completely and wholly false and defamatory.” Mettias did share some more information with me that I cannot comment on at this time.