Man who called himself a Rockefeller due in court

July 8, 2011 - 4:29 AM
Rockefeller Mystery

FILE - In this May 18, 2010 file photo, Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, who calls himself Clark Rockefeller, enters Suffolk Superior Court in Boston for a hearing where he requested a reduced sentence in the kidnapping of his 7-year-old daughter. Gerhartsreiter, originally from Germany, will appear in court Friday, July 8, 2011 on charges that he murdered his Southern California landlord more than a quarter century ago and then fled the state. (AP Photo/Ted Fitzgerald, Pool, File)

ALHAMBRA, Calif. (AP) — A German immigrant who masqueraded as a member of the famous Rockefeller family is due to appear in a California courtroom on a charge that he murdered a Los Angeles-area man more than a quarter century ago.

Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter (GAYR'-hahrtz-ry-tur) is scheduled to be arraigned Friday morning in Los Angeles Superior Court in Alhambra, east of Los Angeles.

Prosecutors believe he murdered Jonathan Sohus, who disappeared along with his wife Linda in 1985. Gerhartsreiter rented the couple's guesthouse and left town soon after they vanished.

His lawyers say he plans to plead not guilty.

Gerhartsreiter was already serving a prison term in Massachusetts prison following a 2009 conviction in the kidnapping of his 7-year-old daughter.