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Rockefeller impostor ordered to stand trial in cold-case killing

A man who posed as a Rockefeller was ordered to stand trial Tuesday in a killing that baffled police for 26 years.

January 24, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
A German man who posed as a member of the Rockefeller family and assumed many other identities was ordered to stand trial Tuesday in a Los Angeles killing that baffled police for 26 years.

Superior Court Judge Jared Moses said there was sufficient evidence to hold Christian Gerhartsreiter for trial in the murder of John Sohus, the son of a woman who rented her guest house to the defendant.

The judge set bail at $10 million and ordered an arraignment Feb. 9.

Sohus and his wife, Linda, disappeared in 1985. Their bones were exhumed in the yard of the San Marino home in 1994. Forensic analysis suggested they were John Sohus' bones. No sign of Linda Sohus has ever been found.

Deputy District Attorney Habib Balian spent five days calling 29 witnesses to build a circumstantial case.

One witness testified that Gerhartsreiter, who became known as Clark Rockefeller, tried to sell him a blood-stained rug around the same time John Sohus disappeared.

The witness said that when his wife noticed the stain, Gerhartsreiter quickly rolled up the rug and left.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.