Two Nevada County brothers — Christopher Michael Nix, 20, and Scott Thomas Hollingshead, 24 — were arrested Wednesday morning in connection with the brutal murder of Brian Spalding on April 14.
Nix was arrested at about 6:30 a.m. at his residence on Keenan Way in Alta Sierra, while Hollingshead was picked up at his Folsom workplace at about 8:30 a.m. with the assistance of Folsom Police, Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal said.
Spalding, 41, was murdered in front of the home he shared with his family on Banner Mountain.
Spalding reportedly was on his way back to his residence on the 11000 block of Forest View Drive, off Banner Lava Cap Road, at about 11:15 p.m., April 14, after a long-standing poker night with friends.
His mother called 911 shortly thereafter, saying that her son was being beaten; additional callers reported two men attacking Spalding and then fleeing on foot.
Nevada County sheriff’s deputies arrived to find Spalding lying in the driveway; he had sustained numerous injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.
The official cause of death was ruled to be multiple blunt-force trauma, although Spalding was shot, as well.
According to Royal, Nix and Hollingshead had gone to Spalding’s residence wearing dark clothing and something covering their faces to conceal their identities.
“They beat him severely and shot him several times in the upper torso,” Royal said.
On April 16, a citizen reported finding a gun magazine near the intersection of Gracie and Banner Lava Cap roads, Royal said. The sheriff’s office called in its search and rescue team to check for evidence in the area.
“We did find a handgun alongside Gracie Road, on a slope,” he said.
The gun was sent to the California Department of Justice lab for analysis, and it was determined to be linked to the homicide by ballistics and DNA, Royal said.
Nix and Hollingshead apparently were considered suspects from the early stages of the investigation, with Nevada County sheriff’s deputies searching Hollingshead’s residence in the 11000 block of Ridge Road the day after Spalding’s murder. The two men were arrested after results came back from the state crime lab that linked them to the homicide, with both men’s DNA reportedly being present at the crime scene.
“While the exact motive for the murder is still under investigation at this time, it appears to stem from a personal relationship between at least one of the suspects and the victim,” Royal said.
“There is no indication any other suspects were involved.”
Both men have been charged with first-degree murder and are currently being held without bail. They are scheduled to be arraigned this morning.
To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4229.