San Rafael man on trial for murdering adoptive mother

June 11, 2010 3:38:04 PM PDT
Testimony resumes this afternoon at the preliminary hearing of Richard Carlson, who is charged with killing his mother in her San Rafael home in March.

Forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Ferenc testified in Marin County Superior Court this morning that 72-year-old Eleanor Carlson died of stab wounds to her neck.

She was possibly kneeling on the floor when her throat was cut from behind, Ferenc said. One of the wounds was 7 inches long and 3 inches deep.

San Rafael police found her body lying in a pool of blood in the living room of her apartment at 215 C St. when they responded to an alarm at the duplex around 4 a.m. on March 15.

San Rafael police Officer Ed Chiu testified police discovered a broken window at the rear of the house. All the doors and windows were locked and the killer either entered through the window or was let in through the rear door, Chiu said.

The lights and television were still on when police arrived, he said.

Carlson, 30, who was adopted by Eleanor and her late husband, was initially shackled at the defense table until his right hand was freed to allow him to take notes.

San Rafael police Detective Phillip Mulodia testified Eleanor Carlson told one of her neighbors she was afraid of her son.

Carlson filed a police report after a domestic violence incident with her son Jan. 19, Mulodia said.

Carlson's neighbors removed all but two knives from her home when Carlson told them she was afraid her son would use them, Mulodia said. They left two so she could use them to eat, he said.

Mulodia testified Richard Carlson's girlfriend Noelle Dexter said she was with him at her Albany home between March 13 and around the evening of March 14 when Carlson left on a BART train.

She said they watched movies and cartoons, played video games, and went to dinner during Carlson's visit.

Carlson was arrested in Hayward on March 16.

Mulodia said police had Dexter's stepfather, John McCue, call Carlson and arrange to give him money at a BART station in Hayward.

Officers removed a Leatherman-type knife believed to be the murder weapon from Carlson's pocket when he was arrested, Mulodia said.

Testimony was scheduled to resume at 1:30 p.m.


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