Steven John Carlson, 43, who was charged, Wednesday, with murdering of his then-classmate Tina Faelz 27 years ago, has been produced before a juvenile court.
Tina, 14, was found dead on April 5, 1984, in a drainage culvert under Interstate 680, which the school children took as a shortcut. She was stabbed over 15 times.
With the help the DNA, police arrested the suspect Carlson on Sunday. However, Carlson was only 16 when the crime happened and hence he's still treated as a minor for now.
Carlson appeared with red scrubs in court from Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, where he is being held without bail.
However, because of his age, the juvenile facility isn't suitable for him. Hence, a hearing will be necessary to transfer his case to adult court.
According to Aundrea Brown, Carlson's public defender, Carlson will be brought before the juvenile court again on Sept. 21 for a hearing to set future court dates.
"I have not seen a 43-year-old adult in juvenile court," Brown said. "This is procedural."
At least half dozen of Tina's relatives attended the hearing but gave no comments. No family member of Carlson appeared.
Carlson is a transient and has a long history with the law.
Lt. Jim Knox, Pleasanton police, who was present at the hearing, had helped in the search for evidence 27 years ago. "It's very difficult to deal with something like this happening in a safe community like Pleasanton," he said.
Two former classmates of Tina's, who know Carlson well, also attended the hearing. According to them, it was possible that Carlson wanted to make friends with Tina but she didn;t give him the chance.
"I'm just completely filled with emotions right now," Sandy Bourasa, a classmate of both victim and suspect. "I'm kind of at the angry stage."
"There's just a slew of emotions going through all of us right now," Lorraine Vener said, another classmate from San Jose. "I think we all just feel like we're back in that day when it happened. I don't know if justice can be served. We got to walk this earth for 27 years and make choices. Tina didn't do that."
"He was mean," Vener said about Carlson. "He was a bully. He had this way about him. People feared him."
Eric Voellm, who found Tina's body, said that the crime scene was "very surreal, just like it was straight out of a 'Friday the 13th'-type movie. I felt for a pulse, and I knew she was gone by her wounds."
He said, "I was just in such a rage when I found her. Who could do such a horrible thing, you know? This is a human being."