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Former Murphys Man Pleads Guilty To Murdering Son

Seneca County, NY — Authorities say a former Calaveras resident that moved to upstate New York has admitted to killing his son to collect a $700,000 life insurance policy.

53-year-old Karl Karlsen plead guilty to second-degree murder just one day before his trial. According to the Associated Press the Seneca County District Attorney, Barry Porsch, says the plea came as a surprise.


Karlsen was charged with murder and insurance fraud in the death of his son Levi. Prosecutors said Karlsen killed the 23-year-old in 2008 by toppling a truck on him as he worked underneath. Karlsen was sole beneficiary of Levi’s insurance policy.


The sentence he faces wasn’t initially released.


The New York case prompted Calaveras County Sheriff’s Officials to investigate Karlsen as a suspect in the possible murder of his wife 22 years ago. In 1991, Kristina Karlsen died in a house fire in Murphys while Karl and their three children, including 5 year-old Levi, escaped the flames.


In January, investigators re-opened the case and started questioning people mentioned in the initial 1991 fire report. Sheriff’s Officials sent the case to the Calaveras County D.A. Barbara Yook.


Karlsen walked away with $200,000 in insurance money after the death of his wife.


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