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April 16, 2013
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DA declines to file charges in Nevada County solicitation for murder case

The Nevada County District Attorney’s office has declined to file charges against a man arrested on suspicion of soliciting someone to kill his neighbor.

Ray Hugenberger, 65, was arrested Friday for solicitation of murder after a week-long investigation conducted by the Major Crimes Unit and the Narcotics Task Force.

But according to defense attorney Stephen Munkelt, the DA decided Monday not to file charges due to insufficiency of evidence. Hugenberger was released from county jail Tuesday.

Deputy District Attorney Jennifer Ow confirmed that charges were not filed, but declined to comment further.

“No charges are being filed at this time,” said Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal. “There is a desire for further investigation.”

Royal noted that there is still a matter of a gun with its serial number removed that was found at Hugenberger’s residence.

Hugenberger was arrested after the Sheriff’s Office received information that he was looking for someone to murder his neighbor, with whom he had been in litigation, Lt. Steve Tripp said. An investigation was conducted that reportedly included wiring an informant.

A harassment claim and a request for a temporary restraining order were filed this week against Hugenberger by Teresa Lighty, who also is suing him for approximately $2.85 million.

Lighty filed a complaint in September 2012 against Hugenberger and Greg Tingey, who allegedly was his caretaker on a property on Vernon Way.

According to Lighty’s complaint, she asked permission from Tingey to store a trailer on the Vernon Way property. On Oct. 3, 2010, she allegedly was unhitching her truck from the trailer when Tingey lifted the trailer, crushing her hand.

In court documents, Hugenberger wrote that “everything in this complaint is either false or borderline lies.”

A motion to quash the complaint was denied in January, and the matter is set for trial on Sept. 24.

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


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The Union Updated Jul 19, 2013 02:35PM Published Apr 21, 2013 06:05AM Copyright 2013 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.