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The Latest: Kidnapping victim's lawyer wants life sentence

FILE - This undated file photo released by the Vallejo Police Department shows Denise Huskins. Matthew Muller, a disbarred Harvard University-trained attorney, was set to plead guilty in a kidnapping case in California that police initially dismissed as a hoax, the U.S. Attorney's office said Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016. Muller was expected to enter a new plea on Thursday, said Lauren Horwood, a spokeswoman for the office in Sacramento. Muller previously pleaded not guilty to a kidnapping charge that prosecutors say stemmed from his abduction of Huskins from her Vallejo home in March 2015. (Vallejo Police Department via AP)
September 29, 2016 - 4:21 PM

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):

4:30 p.m.

An attorney for the victim of a kidnapping initially dismissed as a hoax says a judge should sentence the man convicted of the abduction to life in prison despite prosecutors' plan to recommend no more than a 40-year term.

Douglas Rappaport said at a news conference on Thursday that the victim, Denise Huskins, and her boyfriend, Aaron Quinn, are worried that Matthew Muller will commit more crimes if he is released. Huskins and Quinn appeared at the news conference with him, but they did not speak.

Muller, a disbarred Harvard University-trained attorney, pleaded guilty Thursday to kidnapping Huskins in March 2015 and holding her for ransom.

Quinn said kidnappers broke into the couple's Vallejo, California, home, took Huskins and demanded $17,000 as 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.

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11:30 a.m.

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.

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1:15 a.m.

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.

News from © The Associated Press, 2016
The Associated Press

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