Judge upholds evidence in Vallejo kidnapping case police originally thought was hoax

A federal judge in Sacramento today upheld a key piece of evidence that led to the arrest of Matthew Muller for the high-profile kidnapping of a Vallejo woman in 2015.
U.S. District Court Judge Troy Nunley denied a motion by defense attorney Thomas Johnson to suppress evidence Dublin police collected after finding Muller's cellphone at a home he burglarized on June 5, 2015.
Johnson said the warrantless search of Muller's phone was the "poisonous tree" that led to his arrest at his mother's South Lake Tahoe home on June 8 on suspicion of the kidnapping of physical therapist Denise Huskins, 30, from her Mare Island home on March 23, 2015.
The case was initially considered a hoax by Vallejo police, who held a news conference to question the account that Huskins and her boyfriend Aaron Quinn gave of the kidnapping. Huskins was found safe in Southern California two days after her disappearance.
Muller faces a possible term of life in prison if convicted. A trial is U.S. District Court in Sacramento is scheduled for Jan. 30, 2017.
Muller pleaded no contest and was convicted in Alameda County Superior Court September 2015 to attempted robbery, burglary and assault with a deadly weapon in the Dublin residential burglary case.
He was then indicted in the kidnapping case on Oct. 1.
After Muller was charged in federal court, Vallejo police Chief
Andrew Bidou sent Huskins and Quinn a letter of apology.
The couple filed a claim of reputation damage and emotional distress against Vallejo police in September as a precursor of a possible civil lawsuit.