Vallejo kidnapping case: Muller to be represented by public defender

VALLEJO (BCN) Matthew Muller, who was sentenced in federal court last year to 40 years in prison for the bizarre 2015 kidnapping of a Vallejo woman from Mare Island, accepted the services of the Solano County Public Defender's Office today in Solano County Superior Court.

That means Muller, 40, will not represent himself after pleading not guilty last week to six state felony charges including kidnapping for ransom, two forcible rapes, first-degree robbery of an inhabited dwelling, first-degree residential burglary and false imprisonment by violence.

In September 2016, he pleaded guilty in federal court to a federal kidnapping charge. The Solano County District Attorney's Office filed the state charges against him on Jan. 26. 

Last week Solano County Superior Court Commissioner Robert Q. Warshawsky granted Muller's intention to represent himself, but today Muller elected to be represented by a public defender. 

Solano County Public Defender Leslie Caldwell said an attorney should be assigned to Muller's case Tuesday. Caldwell asked the public and reporters to be mindful that Muller is innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.Muller is being held in the county jail under $2.25 million bail.

The nationally-publicized saga involving Denise Huskins and her boyfriend Aaron Quinn included a defamation of character lawsuit they filed against the Vallejo Police Department which said the kidnapping was a hoax. Police later apologized to the couple.

Prosecutors said that on March 23, 2015, Muller placed Huskins in the trunk of his car, held her hostage for two days and made ransom demands totaling $15,000. Huskins was released near her family's home in Huntington Beach on March 25.

Muller was arrested in South Lake Tahoe on June 8, 2015, after evidence, including a video of Muller and Huskins was allegedly found at his mother's home.