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Son pleads not guilty in killing of his father, a prominent Placer County olive oil maker

Robert Yandolino, 25, glances at his attorney during his arraignment in Placer Superior Court at the Bill Santucci Justice Center on Thursday in Roseville. Yandolino allegedly killed his father, Carlo Yandolino, 58, a prominent olive oil maker in Placer County.
Robert Yandolino, 25, glances at his attorney during his arraignment in Placer Superior Court at the Bill Santucci Justice Center on Thursday in Roseville. Yandolino allegedly killed his father, Carlo Yandolino, 58, a prominent olive oil maker in Placer County. rpench@sacbee.com

The son of a prominent Placer County olive oil maker entered not-guilty pleas on Thursday in connection with the shooting death of his father last week.

Robert Carlo Yandolino, 25, stands accused of murdering his father, Carlo Alexander Yandolino, 58, at the family’s home and olive oil farm in unincorporated Placer County, between Newcastle and Lincoln.

The younger Yandolino faces one count of premeditated murder, including a special circumstance for “lying in wait,” according to the Placer County District Attorney’s Office. He also faces an attempted murder charge for attacking a farmhand – who survived – with a rock, authorities said.

During his Thursday arraignment in Roseville, Robert Yandolino wore an orange jumpsuit and appeared to be dazed but in good spirits. He conversed with his court-appointed attorney several times and answered Placer Superior Court Judge Eugene Gini Jr.’s questions with a soft but firm voice.

Placer County sheriff’s deputies say Yandolino walked up to his father’s SUV and fired a handgun through the window at close range at 9:45 a.m. on May 14. He allegedly evaded capture for several hours before surrendering to police at a friend’s apartment in Rocklin.

Yandolino’s attorney, Martin Jones, declined comment outside the courtroom, saying that he is still reviewing the early police reports.

Bail was not granted during the hearing, and Yandolino remains at the Placer County jail in Auburn. Prosecutors have not said whether they will seek the death penalty.

Carlo Yandolino and his wife, Rebecca McGuire, operated the Monte Vista Ranch Olive Oil Company on Oakhurst Way. The property has 350 old-growth olive trees.

McGuire did not return a call seeking comment Thursday.

Robert Yandolino’s mother, Teresa Popovich, said last week that her son had moved to Placer County from Southern California in January partly to be closer to his father. Popovich is the former wife of the slain olive oil producer and divorced him in 1993.

Yandolino’s next court date is scheduled for June 18. Authorities have not released a motive in the case.

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