SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The Latest on the sentencing of a disbarred lawyer convicted of an elaborate kidnapping (all times local):
A judge has sentenced a former Harvard-trained attorney to 40 years in prison for a kidnapping so elaborate and bizarre that police in California initially dismissed it as a hoax.
U.S. District Judge Troy Nunley handed down the term Thursday to 39-year-old Matthew Muller for what he called a "heinous, atrocious, horrible crime." Muller had pleaded guilty.
Police realized Denise Huskins was telling the truth about her 2015 kidnapping after Muller was implicated in a different crime.
Huskins and her boyfriend, who also was tied up and drugged when she was abducted, gave tearful statements describing the physical and psychological torture that still haunts them.
Muller told the court that he was "sick with shame" for the pain he caused.
Prosecutors recommended the 40-year sentence in a plea deal. The defense had asked for 30 years.
A disbarred Harvard University-trained attorney faces decades in prison for a kidnapping so elaborate and bizarre that police in California initially dismissed it as a hoax.
Federal prosecutors are seeking a 40-year sentence Thursday for Matthew Muller. He pleaded guilty in September to holding a woman for ransom in a case that investigators once erroneously likened to the movie, "Gone Girl."
They realized that Denise Huskins was telling the truth about her March 2015 abduction only after Muller was implicated in a different crime.
Muller could face life in prison, but prosecutors agreed to recommend 40 years in exchange for his guilty plea.
Defense attorney Thomas Johnson wants a 30-year sentence, saying says his 39-year-old client has been diagnosed as manic and depressive and can be rehabilitated with proper treatment.