Friend remembers Shauneen Zupan as loving and fun
Shauneen A. Zupan was a vivacious, loyal woman who was dedicated to her family and cared deeply for the man accused of killing her, said Barry Fraticelli, Shauneen’s friend of more than 25 years.
“She was fun and she loved to giggle,” Fraticelli said, smiling. “She had a great sense of humor and strong values and morals. When she believed something was right, she supported it and when she believed it was wrong, she fought it.”
Fraticelli sat outside the courtroom during a break Tuesday in Nevada City where Frank Zupan was on trial for the Nov. 15, 2005, shooting death of his wife. Fraticelli, a small woman in her 60s with lively eyes, traveled from the Bay Area to attend the trial with another friend.
Shauneen Zupan was a “very pretty, glamorous girl who was very popular” at work at the now-closed Agnews State Hospital in San Jose. Fraticelli told The Union.
Then-widowed Shauneen Zupan met Frank Zupan in the late ’70s at the Saddlerack, Fraticelli said, a large country-western bar and dance venue in San Jose.
But when the two started dating, Shauneen Zupan’s friends didn’t approve of him. He was a single father of four boys who appeared to have a rocky relationship with Shauneen Zupan from the start, Franticelli said.
“We thought she could do better,” Fraticelli said. “They had their ups and downs. Shauneen would be through with the relationship, then (Zupan) would wine her and dine her with jewelry, flowers and he even bought her a (Lincoln) Continental.”
Shauneen Zupan was a woman who would never tolerate cheating, Fraticelli said.
Witness testimony earlier in the trial has shown Frank Zupan was dating other women during his marriage. Shortly before her death, Shauneen Zupan was taking steps to confirm her suspicions about him. She had found pictures of Zupan and another woman hidden in the couple’s barn at their Retrac Road home. She also asked her co-worker for software to help bypass the password on her husband’s computer.
“She would not tolerate him playing around,” Fraticelli said, shaking her head. “She would go for a lot, but she wasn’t going to go for that.”
Fraticelli said she believes Zupan was “playing around,” but that he killed Shauneen for financial reasons.
“He was so materialistic. He didn’t want to lose anything,” she said, shaking her head.
Also in court Tuesday, Shauneen’s son Dirk McMeans testified his mother was planning to sell her home in Fremont and split the proceeds between her two sons.
“She was going to sell it and give the money to me and my brother to make down payments on houses,” McMeans said.
He said the night his mother was killed, a “blubbering” Frank Zupan called him at his home in Sacramento.
“(Zupan) said, ‘There’s been an accident, and your mother’s been shot,'” McMeans said. “He started telling me how to get to the hospital.”
McMeans began to cry. Superior Court Judge Robert Tamietti handed him a box of tissues.
Assistant District Attorney Ron Wolfson asked what Zupan said next, and McMeans said there was an obvious shift in Zupan’s voice. He said all the emotion was suddenly gone.
“It was just gone. He wasn’t upset any more when he started telling me how to get to the hospital.”
He left her waiting
In other testimony, Shauneen Zupan’s friend Lori Trotter said Frank Zupan had been angry with Shauneen the night before she died.
Trotter, who rode in a van pool with Shauneen for five years, said Zupan left a note for his wife on her parked minivan on the evening of Nov. 14, 2005, saying he would be by to pick her up and that she should wait for him.
“I didn’t want her waiting in the dark,” Trotter said, so she waited with Shauneen Zupan until 5:45 p.m. Frank Zupan had not arrived, but her friend told her to go.
The next morning, Trotter testified, Shauneen Zupan told her she had waited for her husband for two hours, but he never showed up.
Shauneen Zupan told her friend she went home and found the house full of smoke, Trotter said.
“Frank had left a can of beans on the stove and there was a lot of smoke damage. There were melting knobs on the stove and microwave.”
Frank Zupan asked his wife where she had been, and she showed him his note, Trotter testified.
“(Zupan) was just angry she waited for two hours,” Trotter said. “He was angry that she wasn’t at home.”
In earlier testimony, another co-worker testified that he had seen a bruise on Shauneen Zupan’s face that next morning, covered by make-up.
That same night, McMeans testified, his mother called him and told him “Frank was acting weird.”
“Was that the last time you talked to your mom?” Wolfson asked McMeans.
McMeans sighed and his face reddened slightly.
“Yeah,” McMeans said into the witness stand microphone in his deep voice. He poured himself a glass of water and gulped it down.
Testimony resumes at 9 a.m. today.
To contact Staff Writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail email@example.com or call 477-4236.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User