Updated: 'Rockefeller' Charged With Murder to Face Hearing Jan. 18
Christian Gerhartsreiter, the Rockefeller impostor charged with the 1985 San Marino murder of John Sohus, will appear in Alhambra Superior Court Jan. 18 for a preliminary hearing where a judge decides if enough evidence exists for the case to go to trial.
The preliminary hearing for German national Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter--charged with the 1985 San Marino murder of his landlord's son John Sohus--will take place Jan. 18, 2012, a judge ruled Monday morning in Alhambra Superior Court.
Defense attorney Brad Bailey told Patch Monday that he estimates the hearing will last six days.
During the preliminary hearing the prosecution presents evidence and the judge decides if enough exists for the case to go to trial. The defense previously said they expect the case to go to trial.
Deputy District Attorney Habib Balian requested the date aloud in the courtroom Monday and defense attorneys Brad Bailey, Jeffrey Denner and Kenneth Kahn agreed, as did Gerhartsreiter, to the hearing date.
When the judge asked Gerhartsreiter if he understood the preliminary hearing will take place on Jan. 18 or within two days of that date, he also answered in the affirmative.
Attorneys on both sides said they do not anticipate any further preliminary hearing delays.
"I think it'll be an interesting hearing and I'm looking forward to it," Denner told Patch Monday.
Denner also said that the defense has so far reviewed 7,000 of the 11,000 pages of discovery for the case. Several DVDs and video tapes have also been disclosed.
Gerhartsreiter's preliminary hearing date was delayed twice and the defense and prosecution said at the Aug. 16 date setting that they hoped for a mid-January preliminary hearing, Patch previously reported.
“Preliminary setting dates can go for a while—it depends on how much time his team has or wants to get ready,” Los Angeles District Attorney Spokeswoman Jane Robison told Patch in August.
Gerhartsreiter went by the alias of fictional royal descendant Christopher Chichester when he lived in a San Marino guesthouse on Lorain Road in the 1980s. He quietly left San Marino shortly after Sohus and his wife Linda disappeared. Bodily remains were found in the backyard of the Lorain Road home in 1994 and were discovered earlier this year to be those of John Sohus, Patch previously reported.
After flying under the radar for two decades in other states and under various aliases, including his final alias of "Clark Rockefeller", a fake member of the famed Rockefeller family, Gerhartsreiter was convicted in 2009 of kidnapping his young daughter "Snooks" during a supervised visit.
When police discovered at the time of the kidnapping that Clark Rockefeller was not who he claimed to be and in fact had no identification or bank account, they investigated further and found he was Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, a man whose "Christopher Chichester" alias was wanted for questioning in the 1985 Sohus murder.
Did you know Gerhartsreiter as "Christopher Chichester" or "Clark Rockefeller"? What was he like?