Aug 14, 2012 8:46 PM by Lupita Murillo
TUCSON - Opening statements underway in the Michael Carlson trial. He confessed in a News4 interview of killing almost a dozen people in June of 2009.
Carlson is charged with the double murder of his neighbors. He's accused of murdering Kenneth Alliman known as "KR" and Rebecca Lofton in May 2009.
Prosecutor Nicol Green began opening statements by explaining to jurors dates and times leading to the murders. She gave them a lay of the land and said Carlson was homeless. Alliman and Lofton gave him a place to stay so he repaid them by killing them, burning their bodies and burying them. Green says no one should die the way these people did. She also told them he had confessed to their murders.
Defense attorney Harley Kurlander painted a different picture. He says the people who own the property had motive to kill Alliman and Lofton. He says the property owner had wanted the couple off his proberty for a while, but couldn't get rid of them. Kurlander claims the couple had stolen from the property owner. He told jurors, Carlson confessed rather than go back to a Texas prison even if it meant facing the death penalty.
Carlson had been sentenced to 99 years in Texas for aggravated armed robbery in the early 1980's. He was released on parole in 2003. Kurlander told jurors he had been in and out of Texas prisons for violating his parole. He ended up absconding in 2008 in a stolen vehicle and landed here in Tucson.
Testimony is scheduled to begin 10:30 Wednesday morning. The trial is expected to last about two weeks.