Murder charges filed in ’91 fire death

Union Democrat staff /

The Calaveras County District Attorney's Office has charged a former Murphys man with murder in the 1991 death of his wife in a house fire.

The charge was announced in a brief statement late Friday afternoon by DA Barbara Yook.

The complaint filed Friday by the Calaveras County District Attorney's office charges Karl H. Karlsen with the premeditated murder of his wife and murdering her for financial gain.

Yook said her office will not comment further on the case.

The charge follows Karlsen's November admission to killing his son, Levi Karlsen, on his family's farm in upstate New York in 2008.

He admitted to New York prosecutors that he kicked a jack stand out from under a truck his son was working on and then left him for dead while he went to a wedding.

Karlsen was indicted in 2012, charged with murdering his son and fraud. He'd collected a $707,000 life insurance settlement on a policy he'd taken out about two weeks before Levi Karlsen's death.

Karl Karlsen faces 15 years to life in New York state prison for his second-degree murder conviction, according to New York prosecutors.

For the complete story, see the Sept. 2, 2014, edition of The Union Democrat.

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