Charges tossed against couple in beating death

A San Francisco couple accused in the beating death of their housemate in December had all charges dismissed against them Wednesday after defense attorneys argued their rights to a speedy trial were violated — and then were rearrested.

Richard Carelli and Michelle Pinkerton, both 38, have remained in custody since their April 7 arrest in Mexico after allegedly fleeing San Francisco in late January as police investigated the Dec. 22 killing of Leonard Milo Hoskins, 49.

Hoskins’ body was later found in a sleeping bag wrapped with duct tape in Carelli’s van — which had been impounded by police during the investigation — but not before Carelli and Pinkerton had already left San Francisco.

After their arrest, prosecutors charged Carelli with murder and Pinkerton as an accessory to murder.

Both pleaded not guilty to the crimes.

Carelli and Pinkerton were immediately re-arrested following the dismissal of the charges, according to District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Erica Derryck. The two were expected to be rearraigned on a new felony complaint with the same original charges within the next 48 hours, said Derryck, who called Wednesday’s motion an “illusory dismissal.”

Wednesday, as a preliminary hearing in the case was set to begin, Judge James Luther agreed with a motion by defense attorneys for Carelli and Pinkerton that their rights to a preliminary hearing within 60 days had been violated, and dismissed the felony complaint against them.

Attorneys for Carelli and Pinkerton told Luther on Wednesday that their clients had reasserted their rights to a preliminary hearing within 60 days during a June 2 hearing before one judge.

Then on July 28, another judge, Paul Alvarado, agreed to postpone the preliminary hearing beyond the Aug. 1 time limit because the prior prosecutor on the case was trying another murder case at the time.

The Carelli-Pinkerton case was subsequently transferred to Assistant District Attorney David Merin, who told Luther that he was prepared to begin the preliminary hearing.

According to the District Attorney’s Office, Luther granted the motion under a technicality in the law, saying that whether or not there was “good cause” for Alvarado to postpone the preliminary hearing, the 60-day rule still applied.

Bay Area NewsCrimeCrime & Courtsleonard milo hoskinsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Ali Jamalian, whose life was disrupted in the wake of being charged with possession decades ago, now heads up Sunset Connect, a cannabis manufacturing company. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Green Rush: Cannabis equity program elevates unexpected entrepreneurs

‘It’s a form of reparations for those of us who were ruined by cannabis arrest’

The Giants and Dodgers face each other again following a May series the Dodgers swept; Dodgers shortstop Gavin Lux caught stealing by Giants second baseman Donovan Solano at Oracle Park on May 23 is pictured. 
Chris Victorio/
Special to The Examiner
Giants vs. Dodgers: What you need to know before this week’s huge series

By Chris Haft Special to The Examiner That grinding noise you’ll hear… Continue reading

San Francisco supervisors approved zoning changes that will allow a chain grocery store to occupy the bottom floor of the 555 Fulton St. condo building. (Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)
Trader Joe’s approved for Hayes Valley, bringing long-awaited grocery store

New Seasons Market canceled plans at 555 Fulton St. citing construction delays

Shek-Woon Ng, 107, who retired at 99 from his acupuncture practice in San Francisco’s Chinatown, got a COVID-19 vaccination in June. <ins>(Courtesy Sky Link TV)</ins>
Lesson from a 107-year-old man who is now fully vaccinated

One in four seniors in S.F.’s Chinatown have not been inoculated

Most Read