Waterloo (WSYR-TV) – A Seneca County man accused of killing his son for insurance money appeared in court on Monday.
52-year-old Karl Karlsen has been charged with murder
. A judge entered a mandatory not guilty plea.
Karlsen used a walker to enter the courtroom.
According to the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office Karlsen’s actions allowed his son to be crushed beneath a vehicle he was working on.
He has been charged with second degree murder.
At the time, police believed the death of Levi Karlsen in 2008 was a tragic accident.
In addition, authorities in California have re-opened a case in which a fire took the life of Karlsen’s first wife in 1991.
In both cases, Karlsen took out substantial life insurance policies in which he was named as the sole beneficiary.
Many of Christina Karlsen’s family members flew from California for the man’s arraignment.
“I need to be here not only for closure, but Christina would want me to be here. Not only her for, but for her son,” said her mother, Arlene Meltcer.
Karl Karlsen has a large family in the Finger Lakes region, but only one of his six siblings attended the arraignment.
“It's hard to see. At the end of the day, he's still my brother. The family's been going through a lot and we'll just go with the punches and see what happens,” said Mike Karlsen, his brother.
Karlsen says he has been denied a court-appointed attorney because he owns property. He says, however, that all of his assets are wrapped up in a divorce case.