Guilty Verdict in 1984 Murder of 14-year-old

Oakland, CA. Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley announced that today a jury found Steven Carlson, 46, guilty of first degree murder for the brutal 1984 killing of 14 year old Tina Faelz.

On April 5, 1984, the mutilated body of fourteen-year-old Tina Faelz was found in a ditch along Interstate 680, behind Foothill High School in Pleasanton. She had been stabbed forty-four times. Her schoolbooks were scattered beside her body, and her purse had been thrown into some shrubbery behind her. In 1986, police interviewed Steven Carlson because of rumors that he had confessed to the murder. Carlson had lived across the street from where the murder occurred, and had been in the same freshman class as Tina. In 1986, Carlson admitted to detectives that he had told people he’d killed Tina, but claimed he was just joking.

Over many years, analysis of numerous items of crime scene evidence yielded no suspect information. In 2008, Detective Dana Stout requested that Tina’s purse be analyzed. Biologists with the FBI found four bloodstains on Tina’s purse; one stain was Tina’s blood, and the other three were Steven Carlson’s blood. In a statement to detectives in 2011, Carlson laughed nervously, calling it a “cold case,” and then claimed to have no memory of the murder.

"Today's verdict is the result of decades of committed and diligent work on the part of the Pleasanton Police Department, and unwavering dedication by all involved to bringing justice to Tina Faelz and her family. Advancements in technology clearly illustrate the power of DNA evidence in solving crimes and convicting violent criminals," states DA O’Malley.

“I would like to thank the numerous dedicated Pleasanton detectives who worked this case over the decades, and the FBI for solving the case through the DNA analysis of the purse. I hope that today's verdict brings a sense of justice to Tina’s family and friends,” states Deputy District Attorney Stacie Pettigrew, the trial prosecutor.

The sentencing is scheduled for January 9, 2015 at 9:00 A.M. in Department 6 at the René C. Davidson Courthouse.

Contact: ADA Teresa Drenick
(510) 272-6280
Alameda County District Attorney’s Office

Posted on Oct 30, 2014