Man accused of murdering uncle returns to court

Detectives Ralph Hernandez and John Carlin, of the Sheriff’s Department Homicide Bureau, leave missing man Will Cierzan’s home in February 2020. Bobby Block/The Signal

Daniel Cierzan, 25, of Saugus, pleaded not guilty at his formal arraignment Thursday, after being held to answer on one count of murder in connection to his uncle’s disappearance in 2017.

Following his hearing, Cierzan was ordered to return Aug. 26 for a pretrial conference, according to Ricardo Santiago of the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.

Pretrial conferences are used for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to: establishing a timeline for concluding all pre-trial activities, and possibly setting a tentative trial date at this time; encouraging the settlement of cases; counsel trying to agree on undisputed facts or points of law; and more.

Cierzan was held to answer earlier this month after a San Fernando Superior Court judge ruled that there was enough evidence connecting the Saugus man to the disappearance of his uncle, Will Cierzan.

The elder of the two was last seen on Jan. 26, 2017, at his Saugus-area home.

During the preliminary phase of the court proceedings, the prosecution laid out their belief that the nephew was involved the murder of Will, as well as the transportation and still mysterious disposal of his body.

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