Judge: Critical evidence in Vallejo kidnapping case stays

Byby Melanie Woodrow KGO logo
Friday, June 24, 2016
Judge: Critical evidence in Vallejo kidnapping case stays
A federal judge has denied a motion to throw out critical evidence in the kidnapping case that Vallejo police initially called a hoax.

VALLEJO, Calif. (KGO) -- NCritical evidence in a Vallejo kidnapping case will not be thrown out. That's the ruling from a federal judge on Thursday. Vallejo police initially called the kidnapping a hoax, but it wasn't.

For the first time, Aaron Quinn's mother and brother - Marianne Quinn and Matt Quinn - saw Matthew Muller in person. Muller is accused of breaking into a Vallejo home, drugging and blindfolding Aaron and his girlfriend Denise Huskins before kidnapping Huskins.

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"Muller and the law enforcement response were almost equally as traumatic for them," said Marianne.

They say that because after Huskins turned up, Vallejo Police called the kidnapping a hoax.

"You go from this terrible, violent ordeal to then being accused on international media of being liars," said Matt.

It's an accusation that might have stuck had it not been for a later Dublin home invasion where Muller left his cellphone behind.

Dublin police bypassed the locked phone by calling 911, eventually leading them to a South Lake Tahoe home where they found Muller and evidence linking him to the Vallejo kidnapping.

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"If it hadn't been for the Dublin police, Matt Muller would still be out there," said Marianne.

Muller's attorney Thomas Johnson says the warrantless search of the phone violated his Fourth Amendment rights. The judge disagreed, ruling Muller didn't have a reasonable expectation of privacy when he broke into the Dublin home.

"The Fourth Amendment is a critical piece of our society and we lost on the motion so it's definitely a bad day," said Johnson.

The decision means all the evidence at trial will be considered, if there's a trial. Muller could still change his plea.

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"I hope he does the right thing and pleads guilty," said Matt.

Meantime, Aaron and Huskins have filed a civil rights lawsuit against the City of Vallejo and members of the police department.

Both families are outraged Muller hasn't been charged with sexually assaulting Huskins or drugging Huskins and Quinn. They're also outraged law enforcement isn't looking for additional suspects. Huskin and Quinn do not believe Muller acted alone.