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Man Accused of Killing Son for Insurance Money Arraigned

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Rochester: Man Accused of Killing Son for Insurance Money Arraigned
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A Seneca County man accused of murdering his own son in 2008 has pleaded not guilty in County Court. Karl Karlsen, 53, was arraigned on charges of murder and insurance fraud Monday. Outside the courtroom, YNN spoke with family of Karlsen's alleged victim. They traveled thousands of miles, just to see the man they call "no good."


That's how Arlene Meltzer thinks her former son-in-law Karl Karlsen was able to murder both her daughter and grandson, and get away with it.

The evidence, she says, was well-hidden.

"Some people can fool others... not – I've always known in my heart that he was involved in all of it. But it had to come from the right people to bring it out."

Karlsen is now facing two murder charges for Levi's death, and was arraigned Monday in Seneca County Court.

The indictment against Karlsen alleges that while his son Levi was working underneath a car back in 2008, Karl Karlsen caused the vehicle to fall on Levi, crushing him to death. Investigators say Karl did not attempt to help Levi and actually left the body beneath the car for hours. Then, they say, he passed the tragedy off as an "accident."

"Just not a stellar person,” said Colette Bousson, Levi’s aunt.

Bousson says she knew Karlsen was trouble when he married her sister Christina and moved with her to California. That's where Christina died; when the couple's Calaveras County home burned down in 1991.

Just this past week, investigators there re-opened their investigation into that fire, spurred by new information that Karlsen may have been more than just a victim of the blaze.

"He was not a good man. Not kind. A little over-the-top on his aggressiveness... didn't treat either my sister or the kids, with kind hands,” Bousson said.

Both Levi and Christina's deaths have one important tie: after each of them, Karlsen collected a hefty life insurance payout. Investigators have noticed. Karlsen is also facing an insurance fraud charge in the death of his son Levi.

Karlsen is due back in court next Monday. Until then, he's jailed without bail. ClientIP:, UserAgent: CCBot/2.0 ( Profile: TWCSAMLSP