A San Rafael man pleaded not guilty in Marin County Superior Court on Tuesday to fatally stabbing his 72-year-old mother at her C Street home in San Rafael last month.Richard Leroy Carlson, 30, will return to court for a preliminary hearing on June 9. He is being held without bail in Marin County jail.Chief Deputy District Attorney Kathryn Mitchell said Carlson is also charged with use of a weapon, a Leather man utility knife. Carlson faces 26 years to life in prison if he is convicted of first-degree murder and the weapons charge, and 16 years to life if convicted of second-degree murder with use of a knife, Mitchell said. He is ineligible for probation if convicted because the victim was elderly, Mitchell said.Police responding to an alarm call found Eleanor Carlson dead in her home at 215 C St. at about 4 a.m. on March 15, police spokeswoman Margo Rohrbacher said. There were signs of a break-in and arriving officers could see someone lying on the floor. Richard Leroy Carlson, who was adopted by Eleanor Carlson and her late husband, was arrested near the Hayward BART station on March 16.San Rafael police said Carlson’s mother obtained a temporary restraining order against him after a violent confrontation in January.
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