Steven Carlson, 44, was charged with a single count of murder in the death of the 14-year-old Foothill High School freshman, who was killed nearly 28 years ago.
Tuesday in juvenile court in San Leandro -- where Carlson has been appearing since his arrest last fall -- Judge Trina Thompson ruled that he be tried as an adult, although he was a juvenile when he allegedly killed Faelz.
The teen's body was discovered in a drainage ditch after school April 5, 1984.
Carlson remains in the Santa Rita Jail, and Cameron Bowman is taking over the case from Richard Foxall, the public defender originally assigned. Bowman was hired by Carlson's family to take the case from the public defender's office.
Had Carlson been arrested in 1984 when he was still a teen, a similar hearing would have been held, and the laws from that time still apply. Currently, a juvenile can be charged as an adult by the District Attorney's Office without such a hearing.
Carlson has served time, including a felony count of lewd or lascivious act with a child under 14 years of age and he is on the state's Megan's Law list of sex offenders. Police have previously said Faelz did not appear to have been sexually molested.
Faelz was last seen alive about an hour before her body was found. While the freshman girl often took the bus home from school, she had recently started walking home to avoid being teased by other students riding the bus, her mother, Shirley Orosco, said in a 2008 interview with the Pleasanton Weekly.
Like many of her classmates, Faelz took a back route from the high school, walking on a path that connected through Aster Court to Lemonwood Way and under Interstate 680 to her home in the Valley Trails neighborhood. That day, she only made it part way when police believe she was approached and stabbed to death.