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Released by: District Attorney
For Immediate Release

Man Pleads no Contest to Murdering his Father and Wife

Santa Rosa, CA  –  February 5, 2019  –  Defendant Dalton James Carlson, 33 years old of Santa Rosa, entered pleas of no contest today to two counts of 1st degree murder in connection with the February 2017 killing of his wife Jessica Carlson, age 37, and his father Dale Carlson, age 57.  The defendant will be committed to state prison for 75 years-to-life when he is sentenced on March 27 by the Honorable Robert LaForge. 

District Attorney Ravitch stated, “The murders of Jessica Carlson and Dale Carlson by this defendant were brutal and have taken a tremendous toll on the family and friends of the victims.  Studies have shown that one in four women and one in seven men have been victims of domestic violence in their lifetimes.  Statistics, however, do not do justice to the impact these events have on real people’s lives.  We hope the resolution of this case brings some small bit of closure to the individuals affected by these heinous crimes.”

Jessica Carlson’s body was found in her home on Glenbrook Drive in Santa Rosa on February 25, 2017 by her 15 year-old daughter and Dalton Carlson’s mother Tari who had gone to the house after the family failed to hear from Dalton or Jessica the previous day.  Meanwhile across town, friends of Dale Carlson, concerned because he failed to show up for work on February 24, discovered his body lying in his kitchen on Valley Center Drive.  Jessica died from a single bullet wound to her head.  Dale was struck at least 11 times with a large mag-style flashlight and died of blunt force trauma.

Darlton Carlson had been arrested the day before the murders after police were summoned to Jessica’s Glenbrook home on a report of a possible burglary.  Santa Rosa Police Department officers arrived at the home and found a car window smashed, and Dalton Carlson walking on the roof.  His father’s car was later found around the corner.

Darlton Carlson was linked to the crime after both victim’s blood was found on the overalls he was wearing when he was arrested.  Darlton Carlson’s fingerprint was also found on a beer can located in Dale Carlson’s living room.

In addition to the two murder charges, Darlton Carlson pled guilty to another domestic violence charge against his wife from an incident that occurred in December of 2016.  The two first degree murder charges carry sentences of 25 years-to-life each, and the admission to use of a firearm causing injury or death carries an additional 25 years-to-life.

The case was prosecuted by Deputy District Attorneys Barbara Nanney and Sharmalee Rajakumaran. Greg Wojcik, formerly with Santa Rosa Police Department and currently a District Attorney Investigator, was lead investigator for the Santa Rosa Police Department.

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Joan Croft
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Office of the District Attorney
County of Sonoma
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