Seneca County man indicted for son's murder

Posted at: 11/29/2012 8:18 PM
Updated at: 11/29/2012 10:53 PM
By: Lynette Adams

An accident that claimed the life of a 23-year-old on a farm four years in Romulus was thought to be just that, a tragic accident.

Karl Karlsen, a 52-year-old man, is facing two counts of second degree murder and one count of insurance fraud. Levi Karlsen, Karlsen's 23 year old son died while working on a truck on Karlsen's farm days after. The sheriff said Karlsen purchased a sizable life insurance policy on Levi.

The indictment against Karlsen states the evidence shows he intended to kill his son four years ago and that his action demonstrated a depraved indifference for human life.

News10NBC spoke with Levi Karlsen's grandfather, Art Alexander.

Art Alexander doesn't mince words when talking about his former son-in-law. That was his reaction by phone to news Karl Karlsen had been indicted for the murder of his son, Levi Karlsen, Alexander's grandson. News10NBC spoke to Alexander from his home in Murphys, California.

Alexander said, “It broke my heart when my daughter died and then my grandson.”

Karlsen is facing two counts of murder and one count of insurance fraud, stemming from an incident that happened on Karlsen's farm four years ago this month.

Seneca County District Attorney Barry Porsch said, “The allegations with respect to the murder counts is he caused the death of Levi Karlsen and also recklessly caused the death of Levi Karlsen."

Police say four years ago, Karlsen was working on a truck with his son, Levi. The truck was jacked up in the air. Karlsen is accused of causing the truck to fall. Levi Karlsen was pinned underneath and later pronounced dead at the hospital. It was considered an accident until authorities say they learned of a sizable life insurance policy taken out by Karlsen, naming him as the sole beneficiary. But Alexander says this story is eerily familiar.

Karlsen said, “When he was here in California, he bought an expensive life insurance policy and she died before he even made the first payment on it.”

Levi's mother, Kristina, who is Karlsen's first wife, died in a house fire that was treated as accidental. Police in Murphys, California are now re-examining that case. But Alexander always had his suspicions and theories and finally, he says justice may be served.

Karlsen said, “I never thought I would see the day it would happen. You expect your kids to live longer than you and your grand kids especially.”

News10NBC did stop by Karlsen's farm to speak with Karlsen's wife, Cynthia. No one answered. Numerous calls to her have not been returned.

Karlsen is held at the Seneca County Jail with no bail. He will be arraigned on the indictment on December 10.