14 Sep 2014
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Suspect in Tina Faelz Slaying Will be Tried as Adult

Judge Rhonda Burgess said the viciousness of the crime and Carlson's age were reasons to move 27-year-old murder case out of the juvenile system and into adult court.

Suspect in Tina Faelz Slaying Will be Tried as Adult

Steven J. Carlson, the man accused of stabbing 14-year-old Tina Faelz to death 27 years ago, will be charged as an adult, a judge ruled Tuesday.

Carlson, 44, has been in the juvenile system since his August arrest because he was 16 years old when Faelz was killed.

There are several criteria that have to be met to keep an adult in juvenile court, and Carlson did not meet them, Judge Rhonda Burgess said. She said the viciousness of the crime, along with Carlson's age and "extensive criminal record" were among the reasons to move the case.

The alleged offense, she said, was particularly vicious. Tina was stabbed 44 times and left to die, she said.

She also noted that Carlson was found with a knife after the crime and that he possessed "criminal sophistication" because the crime was committed in an upscale area in broad daylight, and he was able to leave the scene undetected.

She also said that Carlson's DNA was found on Tina's purse, which was at the crime scene.

Authorities said in August that technological strides led to new DNA findings based on old evidence samples, but did not say what those findings were.

Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Cheryl Poncini asked that two DNA reports be put into evidence on Tuesday — one dated March 2011 and one dated August 2011. They included information about the purse.

Carlson, a registered sex offender with a criminal history involving drugs and battery, was on suspicion of killing Faelz in April 1984. At the time of the stabbing, he was a classmate of Tina's at Her body was found by other students in a culvert near a well-worn walking path after school that April day; no arrests were made in the case until now.

Relatives of Carlson's and friends and relatives of Faelz's are not allowed to talk to the press because of a gag order put in place days after the arrest. However, before that order, Carlson's father did that he doesn't believe his son committed the crime. And Carlson told a Contra Costa Times reporter that he didn't do it.

Attorney Cameron Bowman of the lawfirm   Valencia, Ippolito and Bowman appeared with Carlson on Tuesday but did not say much in court.

All court hearings up until Tuesday were held at San Leandro Juvenile Justice Center.

Carlson will appear at Wiley W. Manuel Courthouse in Oakland for arraignment at 2 p.m. Thursday, when the adult proceedings will begin.

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