Man accused of killing wife pleads innocent |

Man accused of killing wife pleads innocent

A 60-year-old Grass Valley man accused of kidnapping and killing his wife for financial gain in November pleaded innocent to the charges.

“We will enter a plea of not guilty and deny the special circumstance allegations,” said Frank Zupan’s attorney Stephen Munkelt, rubbing his client’s shoulder in Nevada County Superior Court Tuesday afternoon.

Zupan, dressed in gray slacks and a white button-down shirt, listened intently to Munkelt’s whispering during court proceedings and looked to his lawyer for a nod before answering any of the judge’s questions.

Nevada County Superior Court Judge Robert Tamietti granted Munkelt’s request that Zupan be allowed to appear in court during trial without handcuffs, though Zupan will have to wear leg restraints during all court proceedings because of Zupan’s close proximity to exits in the court’s holding area, where defendants wait to be escorted by deputies to a courtroom.

In a Feb. 23 hearing, Nevada County Superior Court Judge Julie McManus denied Zupan bail due to three special circumstances of the case which are murder for financial gain, lying in wait and kidnapping.

In court Tuesday, Munkelt requested another hearing to address his request for bail to be set.

Zupan was arrested Feb. 22, three months after his wife Shauneen Zupan was shot twice in the head and found by a motorist slumped over the wheel of her minivan near the intersection of McCourtney and Indian Springs roads.

Investigators had been waiting for key evidence to return from the California Department of Justice crime lab, which helped cement the case against Zupan, said Nevada County Sheriff Keith Royal.

Zupan’s bail hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. April 6 in Nevada County Superior Court.


To contact staff writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail robynm@ or call 477-4236.

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