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Trial Of Karl Karlsen Comes To An Abrupt Halt Before It Even Starts

Trial Of Karl Karlsen Comes To An Abrupt Halt Before It Even Starts

The Calaveras County murder trial of Karl Karlsen came to an abrupt halt this week, before it even started. Sonora attorney Scott Gross quit his representation of Karlsen, forcing the postponement of the trial less than one day before jury selection was scheduled to begin. Gross told the court he discovered a conflict of interest in his representation of Karlsen, but did not give additional details in open court. Karlsen, 56, is accused of murdering his wife, Christina Karlsen, after starting a fire at his family home in Murphys in 1991 to collect a $200,000 life insurance policy. Gross had been Karlsen’s attorney since March 7, 2016, when Karlsen was first arraigned on the murder charge. Judge Smith, Gross, Calaveras County District Attorney Barbara Yook and Deputy District Attorney Jeff Stone met privately in the Judge’s chambers for five minutes before the announcement was made. Smith set a trial setting conference for October 11th and tentatively assigned Karlsen representation from the Calaveras County Public Defender’s Office. When the trial begins, it is expected to last up to 20 days. An amended prosecution’s witness list includes 45 witnesses including family members and law enforcement officials.

Written by KVGC Staff

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