'Gone Girl' kidnapping suspect pleads no contest to home invasion charges

Byby Melanie Woodrow KGO logo
Saturday, September 19, 2015
'Girl Gone' kidnapping suspect pleads no contest to home invasion charges
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Matthew Muller, the suspect the real-life "Gone Girl" Vallejo kidnapping case, entered a no contest plea in another home invasion case on Friday.

HAYWARD, Calif. (KGO) -- It was dubbed the "real-life Gone Girl" case. Now, the main suspect in the Vallejo kidnapping is not contesting charges in another home invasion.

Friday, Matthew Muller appeared in Alameda County Superior Court in Hayward for a hearing on the Dublin home invasion that happened back in June. He entered a no contest plea and shortly after paramedics were called to the courtroom.

Despite becoming faint, Muller told the judge he was well enough to enter that no contest plea and continue. Following this new development, Muller will face federal charges in connection with the Vallejo kidnapping. In that case, his attorney says his plea will be different than it was in court Friday.

Investigators say Muller entered a Dublin house in June. The home's owner said he scared off Muller by calling to his wife to get the gun. The case might have remained unsolved, had it not been for a cellphone Muller left behind.

The cellphone evidence was something Muller's attorney, Thomas Johnson, wanted dismissed until now. Instead, Muller entered that no contest plea to charges in the Dublin home invasion robbery.

"A no contest plea is treated by the court as a guilty plea," Johnson clarified.

It was a strategic move according to Johnson, in advance of federal charges expected in another case -- the March Vallejo kidnapping of Denise Huskins.

Vallejo police called the kidnapping a hoax and that Denise and her boyfriend are liars. But when Dublin investigators arrested Muller in June, they uncovered evidence at his South Lake Tahoe home linking him to the earlier Vallejo crime as well.

That strategic move would overlap sentences if he is found guilty in the Vallejo kidnapping case.

"It's a binding agreement that he'll receive concurrent time for whatever time he gets in Sacramento in the federal case. If he doesn't get any time in the Sacramento case, then he comes back down here for sentencing," Johnson said.

At most the Dublin home invasion carries 11 years, but the Vallejo kidnapping would carry a much longer sentence.

"It's decades, as in plural," Johnson said.

Monday, Muller will be arraigned on a federal complaint for the Vallejo kidnapping. Johnson says Muller will plead not guilty.

Attorneys for Vallejo kidnap victim Denise Huskins plan to file a claim against the city of Vallejo whose police department initially dismissed her kidnapping as a hoax.

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