Update: Karl Karlsen In Court Without An Attorney

3:30pm Update

(Waterloo, NY)-Karl Karlsen's arraignment in Seneca County Court Monday afternoon lasted less than five minutes before his case was adjourned so he can obtain an attorney.

Judge Dennis Bender entered a not guilty plea on behalf of Karlsen at his arraignment.

Using a walker and getting help standing and walking in the courtroom from deputies, Karlsen made his way to the defendant's table and told Judge Dennis Bender he did not have a lawyer. Karlsen said he had applied for a court appointed attorney, but he owned property and therefore he was told he need to hire his own attorney.   Karlsen then went on to say he is in the process of a divorce and the property was part of the divorce case so he has reapplied for a court appointed attorney.

The 52-year old Karlsen of Varick, who is also under investigation by authorities in California in connection with the death of his first wife in a 1991, is accused of killing his son 23-year old Levi Karlsen, on November 20, 2008 in Varick.

Levi Karlsen's death was initially ruled accidental by authorities, just like the death of Karlsen's first wife, Christina Karlsen, in Murphys, Calif., on Jan. 1, 1991.



Judge Bender adjourned the case until December 17th at 2pm. 

Seneca County District Attorney Barry Porsch told the court "the people are ready for trial."

Karlsen was returned to the Seneca County Jail without bail.

Levi Karlsen's Grandmother and Christina Karlsen's mother, Arlene Meltzer, tells reporters outside the Seneca County Courthouse that she came "to see justice done." Standing beside her is Christina's sister Colette Bousson. Both women came to Waterloo from California for today's court appearance. Photos by Greg Cotterill, Finger Lakes News Radio.



The Romulus man accused of murdering his son to collect life insurance money, will be arraigned in the Seneca County Court this afternoon.

After an eight-month investigation, Karl Karlsen was indicted on charges of second-degree murder and insurance fraud on November 30.

Seneca County Sheriff's Deputies say Karlsen caused the death of his 23-year-old son on November 20, 2008.

Karl Karlsen

Police say Karlsen's son was working underneath a truck in a barn, and through the actions of Karlsen, the truck fell on top of him and killed him.

Seneca County Sheriff Jack Stenberg say investigators learned that a substantial life insurance policy had been taken out on Levi Karlsen just days before he died. That policy named Karlsen as the sole beneficiary.

Karlsen is currently in the Seneca County Jail without bail. If convicted Karlsen faces up to 25 years to life in prison.

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