Trial of couple accused of killing housemate set for April

A San Francisco couple accused in connection with the December death of their housemate will stand trial in April on charges of murder and accessory to murder.

Richard Carelli, 38, and Michele Pinkerton, 39, pleaded not guilty to the charges at their arraignment in San Francisco Superior Court Thursday morning, and their jury trial was scheduled to begin April 24.

Carelli has been charged with murder, and Pinkerton as an accessory to murder. The couple remain in custody on $5 million and $1 million bail, respectively.

Earlier this month, a judge found after a preliminary hearing that there was probable cause to suspect the couple in the Dec. 22 death of 49-year-old Leonard Milo Hoskins at their Mission Terrace home.

Carelli and Pinkerton were living in an in-law unit in the garage at the time, when a neighbor said he saw Carelli confront Hoskins in the driveway, hit him in the head with a piece of wood, and drag him into the garage.

Hoskins' body was not discovered until Feb. 1 when Carelli's van was opened in a police impound yard following a homicide investigation that began in January.

Meanwhile, Carelli and Pinkerton had already left the home. They were arrested in April in Baja Mexico.

A San Francisco medical examiner testified during the preliminary hearing that she was not entirely certain how Hoskins died, and could only rule Hoskins' death “probable asphyxia with blunt force trauma.”

Carelli's attorney Rebecca Young argued Hoskins had a heart attack after he and Carelli fought inside the garage, constituting at best only manslaughter.

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