Plea possible in Carlson murderFARGO, N.D. - Attorneys have filed a joint motion asking a judge to reconsider a plea agreement for a 16-year-old accused of killing his sister last summer in Fargo, saying a psychologist believes the boy can be rehabilitated.
By: Brittany Lawonn, The Forum, Worthington Daily Globe
FARGO, N.D. - Attorneys have filed a joint motion asking a judge to reconsider a plea agreement for a 16-year-old accused of killing his sister last summer in Fargo, saying a psychologist believes the boy can be rehabilitated.
The request comes a week before Sergei Isaac Carlson is set to face trial on murder and deviate sexual act charges.
In May, District Court Judge John Irby rejected Carlson’s guilty plea to a murder charge that called for him to serve 30 years in prison for his then-16-year-old sister Whitney’s death.
Irby said the agreement offered no guarantee that Carlson would be rehabilitated, telling family members he had an obligation to protect society.
Attorneys cite a psychological exam conducted by Dr. R.P. Ascano after the May hearing that shows Carlson’s “prognosis for rehabilitation is fair to good, contingent upon the quality of the psychotherapeutic care he receives and the technical expertise of the attending therapist,” the motion states.
The Rev. Scott Carlson, the children’s father, pleaded with Irby to reconsider the deal in June. He and other family members are among a list of witnesses subpoenaed to testify in the pending trial, including the mother, who discovered the child’s body.
Attorneys filed the motion Monday in Cass County District Court, acknowledging that taking the case to trial poses risk and uncertainty.
Irby has not yet ruled on the motion and it is unclear if a hearing will be scheduled regarding the request.
Jury selection is slated to begin next Monday in Bismarck.
Carlson, who was adopted as a child from Russia, told police he “strangled (his sister) with his hands and placed pillows over her face to muffle her sounds” and indicated he engaged in sexual contact with her after she had died, court documents state.