LOS ANGELES – A man who claimed to be a member of the storied Rockefeller family insists he had nothing to do with the killing of a California man more than 25 years ago, his lawyer said Wednesday — a day after Los Angeles prosecutors charged the man with murder in the case.

Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, 50, is a German national who came to the United States in the 1970s and assumed many identities, including Clark Rockefeller, a supposed heir to the Rockefeller oil fortune. He is currently serving a four- to five-year sentence for a 2009 conviction in Boston in the kidnapping of his 7-year-old daughter.

Police in California had long considered him a person of interest in the killing of 27-year-old John Sohus, a former landlord who mysteriously disappeared with his wife, Linda, in 1985 at the same time a German man using the name Christopher Chichester was staying in a guest house on their property in the wealthy Los Angeles-area enclave of San Marino, prosecutors said.

Gerhartsreiter could face 26 years to life in prison if convicted of murder in the disappearance of Sohus.

“He maintains complete innocence as he always has,” Boston defense attorney Jeffrey Denner said after meeting Gerhartsreiter for two hours.

“He doesn’t know what to make of it,” Denner said of the charge. “He thinks that obviously the notoriety of this (Boston kidnapping) case has generated interest in the Sohus case that didn’t exist before.”

Gerhartsreiter is eligible for parole next year in the kidnapping case.

Denner said his client is not afraid of any evidence in the California case because he believes “it will prove his innocence, not his guilt.”

Gerhartsreiter came to the United States as a teenager. Through the years, he told friends and acquaintances that he was a physicist, an art collector, a ship captain and a financial adviser who renegotiated debt for small countries.

At his 2009 trial for kidnapping, prosecutors said Gerhartsreiter used aliases to move in wealthy circles in Boston, New York and Los Angeles. His story has become the subject of a TV movie.

During Gerhartsreiter’s kidnapping trial, his lawyers claimed he was suffering from a delusional disorder and was legally insane when he snatched his daughter during a supervised visit in Boston following a bitter divorce from his wife. Prosecutors portrayed him as a master manipulator.