Crime - Sacto 911

Murder charge filed against son in shooting of Placer County olive oil maker

Video: Teresa Popovich defends son

Teresa Popovich talks about her son, Robert Yandolino, who is in jail and accused of killing his father, prominent olive oil maker Carlo Alexander Yandolino. Carlo Yandolino was Popovich’s ex-husband. Video by Andrew Seng/aseng@sacbee.com
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Teresa Popovich talks about her son, Robert Yandolino, who is in jail and accused of killing his father, prominent olive oil maker Carlo Alexander Yandolino. Carlo Yandolino was Popovich’s ex-husband. Video by Andrew Seng/aseng@sacbee.com

The Placer County District Attorney’s Office said Monday that it has filed murder charges against Robert Carlo Yandolino in connection with last week’s shooting death of his father, the producer of Monte Vista Ranch Olive Oil.

A public defender was appointed Monday to represent Yandolino, whose arraignment was continued until Thursday, Assistant District Attorney Jeff Wilson said.

The 25-year-old Rocklin resident is being charged in the fatal shooting of Carlo Alexander Yandolino, 58, of Newcastle.

The younger Yandolino was arrested last week in Rocklin by detectives from the Placer County Sheriff’s Office, assisted by special enforcement teams from the Rocklin and Roseville police departments. He is being held without bail.

The district attorney said in a news release that Yandolino’s charges include one count of premeditated murder, plus an allegation of a special circumstance of “lying in wait,” and using a firearm during the commission of the murder. Attempted-murder charges were also filed relating to an attack on a second victim who survived.

Based on the special circumstance allegation, Yandolino would be eligible for the death penalty if convicted.

Placer County sheriff’s deputies allege that the younger Yandolino walked up to his father’s SUV and fired a handgun through the window at close range shortly before 9:45 a.m. Thursday. Carlo Yandolino died of a gunshot to the head, deputies said.

He was killed at his Monte Vista Ranch in Placer County, a property studded with olive trees more than a century old.

Prosecutors say Robert Yandolino fled in a 2003 silver Lexus. He was arrested without incident that afternoon after a five-hour manhunt.

Placer County officials said a ranch worker suffered minor injuries when Robert Yandolino struck him in the head with a rock. The victim was treated at a hospital and released.

Robert Yandolino’s mother, who was formerly married to his father, said Saturday that her son had moved to Placer County from Southern California in January partly to be closer to his father.

“Robert (strove) to have a relationship with his father,” said Teresa Popovich, 54, who remarried after her divorce from Carlo Yandolino in 1993. “He wanted that more than anything.”

Father and son had a strained relationship through much of Robert’s life, Popovich said. Robert “tried to live with (his father) one time years ago, and it just didn’t work out,” she said.

On Monday, the Facebook page for Monte Vista Ranch Olive Oil included a posting from Rebecca McGuire, the current wife of Carlo Yandolino and his partner in the business. Due to his death, she wrote, the ranch’s tasting bar would remain closed until further notice.

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