Crime - Sacto 911

Vallejo kidnap suspect back in court in Sacramento

Matthew Muller, right, briefly appeared in federal court in Sacramento on Thursday with his attorney, Tom Johnson.
Matthew Muller, right, briefly appeared in federal court in Sacramento on Thursday with his attorney, Tom Johnson. Illustration by Vicki Behringer

Accused Vallejo kidnapper Matthew Muller made a brief appearance Thursday in federal court in Sacramento, but had his case pushed back six weeks as lawyers disclosed that a mountain of electronic and other evidence has been collected so far.

Muller, 38, is being held without bail in the Sacramento County jail. He appeared in court Thursday with his attorney, Tom Johnson, but did not speak.

U.S. District Judge Troy L. Nunley scheduled the next hearing for Dec. 17 after Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Segal said prosecutors and the defense were still working out details of evidence in the case.

Segal said evidence includes digital files and videos, bank records and a “substantial amount of law enforcement reports” that total more than 3,000 pages so far.

He added that Johnson already has been to the FBI’s Sacramento office to review some of the materials. A protective order issued Wednesday restricts how some of the materials may be used and limits access to it to lawyers and others closely tied to the case.

Muller, a Harvard-trained defense attorney, is accused of abducting Denise Huskins, 29, from her Vallejo home last March in a case that generated national headlines after Vallejo police originally labeled the kidnap a hoax.

Muller is suspected of hatching a plot that included claims that a gang had taken Huskins after using surveillance conducted by drones and hidden cameras.

Huskins was released days after her abduction. She and her boyfriend, Aaron Quinn, have both filed claims against the city.

Muller, a 1995 graduate of Bella Vista High School in Fair Oaks and a former Marine, faces life in prison if convicted.

Sam Stanton: 916-321-1091, @StantonSam

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