Criminal Justice

Harvard law grad is sentenced in kidnapping once believed to be a hoax

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A Harvard law grad and former lawyer was sentenced to 40 years in prison on Thursday for a 2015 kidnapping of a California woman.

Matthew Muller, 39, spoke briefly to the court, report the Sacramento Bee and the Los Angeles Times. “I’m still sick with shame that my actions have been so devastating,” he said.

Muller had pleaded guilty last September to a crime that authorities initially believed to be a hoax. The 40-year sentence was the maximum specified in the plea deal.

Muller had admitted abducting Denise Huskins from the home where she lived with her boyfriend in March 2015. Muller put Huskins in the trunk of his car and held her at a home in Lake Tahoe for two days while demanding a ransom. Huskins was eventually released near her family’s home.

Police focused on Muller when a cellphone linked to him was dropped in a different home invasion.

Testifying in court on Thursday, Huskins asked for a life sentence, according to the newspaper accounts. “I know, without doubt or hesitation, that as long as he walks free, there will be more victims,” she said.

Huskins said she still has nightmares every night as a result of the abduction. “Sleep is not rest for me, it is a trigger,” she said. “I still can’t make sense of any of this.”

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