VALLEJO (CBS SF) – A man charged in a bizarre Vallejo kidnapping case in March pleaded no contest Friday to a June attempted home invasion robbery in Dublin, prosecutors said.
Matthew Muller, 38, an ex-Marine and Harvard graduate, pleaded no contest to two counts of attempted robbery, burglary and assault with a deadly weapon, Alameda County district attorney’s spokeswoman Teresa Drenick said.READ MORE: Vigil Set for Saturday in Santa Rosa to Bring Attention to Search for Missing Mom
He would be taken into custody by federal authorities later Friday to face charges in the Vallejo kidnapping case but will return to state court on Nov. 13 for sentencing, where he faces up to 11 years in prison.
Vallejo police had called the kidnapping a hoax but Muller was implicated by evidence that surfaced during the investigation into the attempted robbery in Dublin.
During the June 5 attempted robbery, a Dublin couple woke up at about 3:30 a.m. to find a masked man standing in their bedroom. He told them to turn away from him and lie face down on their bed and put their hands behind their back, according to court filings by Dublin police.
He told them repeatedly that their daughter was safe and said he would tie the two victims’ hands behind their backs. But one of the victims tackled him to the ground, partially removing his mask.
The man called for his wife to get their gun but the suspect bashed him in the head with a metal object believed to be a flashlight and fled, police said.READ MORE: Warriors, Chase Center to Require Fans Show Proof of COVID Booster Shots
But police connected Muller to the crime when they found his cellphone left behind in the home, according to police. They tracked him to a South Lake Tahoe cabin where he was arrested on June 15. Evidence gathered by investigators searching Muller’s mothers home led the FBI to conclude the he was also responsible for the March 23 kidnapping of 30-year-old Denise Huskins.
Huskins and her boyfriend, Aaron Quinn, told investigators that at least two people invaded Quinn’s home early that morning, drugged the couple, bound their wrists with zip ties and forced them to wear swim goggles with the lenses taped over.
The men took Huskins from the home and demanded ransom from Quinn. Huskins was then dropped off in Huntington Beach two days later.
Vallejo police, however, said she was never kidnapped and that the couple had orchestrated the event and sent investigators on a “wild goose chase.” Two lengthy emails ostensibly from the kidnappers were sent to the San Francisco Chronicle insisting the kidnapping was not a hoax.
After the FBI learned of the evidence connecting Muller to the kidnapping — including swim goggles with taped lenses and a laptop that appeared to be Quinn’s found in a stolen car along with Muller’s ID — federal prosecutors charged Muller with the crime in July.
Attorneys for Quinn and Huskins said Thursday that the couple received a letter of apology from Vallejo police Chief Andrew Bidou after Muller was charged. They are pursuing legal action against the Vallejo Police Department.MORE NEWS: Pacers Stun Curry, Warriors 121-117 in Overtime
TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.