Twice-convicted murderer Karl Karlsen was sentenced to life in prison without parole in Calaveras County Superior Court on Tuesday, March 17 for the arson death of his wife 29 years ago.
Karlsen was convicted in February of setting fire to his home in Murphys in 1991, killing his wife, Christina Alexander Karlsen, in order to collect on a $200,000 life insurance policy. Karlsen was previously convicted in New York State for the 2008 murder of his son Levi Karlsen and was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison.
With the completion of the trial, Karl Karlsen will be returned to New York to carry out the remainder of his sentence there. If and when that prison term is completed, he will be moved to California state prison to serve out his life sentence.
Several family members of Christina Alexander gave a victim impact statement before Judge Thomas A. Smith before Tuesday’s sentence was passed, describing the emotional impact of Karlsen’s crimes and urging the maximum sentence. Karl Karlsen was not present for the reading of the victim statements, claiming illness.
Karlsen’s defense attorney filed a notice to appeal the conviction in the case the following day, March 18.