SAN FRANCISCO – The Latest on the plea change of a man charged with a California kidnapping that was initially dismissed as a hoax (all times local):
A disbarred Harvard University-trained attorney has pleaded guilty to a bizarre kidnapping that police initially dismissed as a hoax.
Matthew Muller admitted in federal court in Sacramento on Thursday that he snatched the woman and held her for ransom last year.
The 39-year-old previously pleaded not guilty to abducting Denise Huskins in March 2015.
Her boyfriend, Aaron Quinn, said kidnappers broke into the couple's Vallejo home, took Huskins and demanded $8,500 as a ransom.
Huskins turned up safe two days later in her hometown of Huntington Beach, where she says she was dropped off. After she reappeared, Vallejo police called the kidnapping a hoax.
Huskins sued, accusing police of wrongly likening the case to the movie "Gone Girl" and damaging the reputations of her and her boyfriend.
A federal official says a disbarred Harvard University-trained attorney is set to plead guilty in a kidnapping case in California that police initially dismissed as a hoax.
Lauren Horwood, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office in Sacramento, said Wednesday that defendant Matthew Muller is expected to enter a new plea Thursday. He previously pleaded not guilty to a kidnapping charge.
Horwood did not provide further details on the plea change and no documents were immediately available laying out specifics.
A call to Muller's attorney, Thomas Johnson, was not immediately returned.
Prosecutors initially charged Muller with kidnapping Denise Huskins from her Vallejo home in March 2015.
Huskins' boyfriend, Aaron Quinn, reported that kidnappers broke into the couple's home, abducted Huskins and demanded money.
Huskins turned up safe two days later in her hometown of Huntington Beach, where she says she was dropped off.
Vallejo police at first dismissed the kidnapping as a hoax, though the city has since apologized to Huskins.