Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter is scheduled to be arraigned Friday morning in Los Angeles Superior Court.
Prosecutors believe he murdered Jonathan Sohus, who disappeared
along with his wife Linda in 1985.
Gerhartsreiter rented the couple's guesthouse and left town soon after they vanished.
His lawyers say he plans to plead not guilty.
Gerhartsreiter was already serving a prison term in Massachusetts prison following a 2009 conviction in the kidnapping of his 7-year-old daughter.