SANTA ROSA (CBS SF) — A Santa Rosa man on Tuesday morning was ordered to stand trial in Sonoma County Superior Court for allegedly killing his estranged wife and his father in Santa Rosa last year.

Dalton James Carlson, 33, was held to answer on two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of burglary.

Carlson allegedly killed his father Dale Robert Carlson, 57, in his father’s residence at 2630 Valley Center Drive, and his estranged wife Jessica Noel Carlson, 37, at a residence at 1566 Glenbrook Ave.

Their bodies were found by relatives or friends less than two hours apart on Feb. 25, 2017.

Dale Carlson died of blunt force trauma and deep lacerations to the head, and Jessica Carlson died of a perforating gunshot wound from a .45-caliber handgun in the head and neck and blunt force trauma to the head, according to testimony at today’s preliminary hearing.

Police found Dale Carlson’s body around 10:50 a.m. and Jessica Carlson’s body around 12:35 p.m.

At the time of the slayings, Dalton Carlson was facing a misdemeanor charge of battery of Jessica Carlson and damaging a communications device.

He was arrested on Feb. 24, 2017, for being under the influence of a drug outside his wife’s house that morning and violating a peaceful contact restraining order.

Carlson’s attorney Jeff Mitchell said testimony during the three-hour hearing indicated Carlson had a “mental break” and he was found in a “psychotic state” with a hammer on the roof of Jessica’s home.

Carlson resisted arrest and he was rambling in the back of a police patrol car, Mitchell said.

Carlson faces the death penalty or life in prison without parole if he is convicted of the two murders, which include a multiple murders special circumstance.


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