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August 19, 2014
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Arraignment delayed in homicide case

The arraignment of two brothers on murder charges has been postponed until early September.

Scott Thomas Hollingshead and Christopher Michael Nix were arrested in May in connection with the murder of Brian Spalding in front of his residence in mid-April, and then were indicted Friday by a specially impaneled criminal grand jury.

Nix and Hollingshead reportedly had gone to Spalding’s residence, beat him and shot him several times in the upper torso. Spalding was pronounced dead at the scene, and the official cause of death was ruled to be multiple blunt-force trauma. Both men’s DNA reportedly was present at the crime scene, and a handgun recovered on Gracie Road also has been linked to the homicide by ballistics and DNA.

Hollingshead, 24, who is being represented by a court-appointed attorney, Stephen Munkelt, was indicted on a charge of murder with special allegations of lying in wait, intentional discharge of a firearm causing death or great bodily injury, and that a principal was armed with a firearm during the commission of the crime, and on one count of shooting at an occupied motor vehicle, with special allegations of intentional discharge of a firearm causing death or great bodily injury and that a principal was armed with a firearm during the commission of the crime.

Nix, 20, is being represented by Nevada County Assistant Public Defender Keri Klein. He faces a charge of murder with special allegations of lying in wait, aiding murder and that a principal was armed with a firearm during the commission of the crime, and a charge of shooting at an occupied motor vehicle, with a special allegation that a principal was armed with a firearm during the commission of the crime.

The two men were set to be arraigned on the indictment in Nevada County Superior Court Monday. But the two defense attorneys raised several potential concerns and requested a postponement.

According to Munkelt, a witness list that was provided should have been part of the indictment and therefore did not comply with the law.

Klein asked that defense investigators be ordered to refrain from contact with her client, who remains in custody, indicating that such contact violates his rights.

Both defense attorneys alleged that members of the law enforcement team had disclosed confidential information to the public; Klein said potential witnesses had been provided prejudicial information.

Assistant District Attorney Anna Ferguson disputed that, saying that sometimes investigators will discuss facts of the case with witnesses who are being interviewed, which was not prohibited.

Nix and Hollingshead remain in custody without bail and will be back in court on Sept. 8.

To contact City Editor Liz Kellar, email lkellar@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.


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The Union Updated Aug 19, 2014 11:20AM Published Aug 21, 2014 04:14PM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.