Murderer to testify in nail-gun case |

Murderer to testify in nail-gun case

Frank Zupan of Grass Valley, convicted in March for the shooting murder of his wife, is set to testify for the prosecution in the trial of Grass Valley murder suspect Richard Williams, accused of killing his wife with a nail gun Oct. 22, 2005.

The two murder suspects shared a jail cell at Wayne Brown Correctional Facility before Zupan’s conviction, said Nevada County Deputy District Attorney Kathryn Francis.

Zupan is one of 25 witnesses Francis plans to call in Williams’ trial, scheduled to begin Aug. 28.

Francis would not elaborate Tuesday on the nature of Zupan’s scheduled testimony.

Zupan shot his wife, Shauneen Zupan, in November 2005 as she sat in the driver’s seat of the couple’s minivan on McCourtney Road.

Former Assistant District Attorney Ron Wolfson argued the killing was for financial gain, and a Nevada County jury convicted Zupan of that special circumstance, as well as the special circumstance of lying in wait.

Nevada County Superior Court Judge Robert Tamietti sentenced Zupan April 30 to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Zupan is now incarcerated at High Desert State Prison in Susanville.

Williams is accused of shooting his wife, Hendrika “Hetty” Williams, once in the chest and twice in the head with a high-powered nail gun Oct. 22, 2005, at the home the estranged couple had once shared on the 10000 block of Alta Street and then turning the gun on himself.

Hetty Williams was pronounced dead shortly after the shooting, while Richard Williams healed from his abdominal wounds during a month-long stay at Sutter Roseville Medical Center.

Richard Williams is charged with murder and the special circumstance of lying in wait. If he is found guilty of the murder and the special circumstance allegation, he faces the same sentence as Zupan, life in prison without the possibility of parole. The DA’s office will not pursue the death penalty in the case, former Assistant District Attorney Ron Wolfson said in August of 2006.

Williams’ attorney, Stephen Munkelt, has requested a change of venue for the trial due to the media coverage of the case, according to court records. A hearing to address Munkelt’s change of venue motion is scheduled for Aug. 3 in Nevada County Superior Court, Francis said.

Williams’ trial is scheduled to begin 9 a.m., Aug. 28, in Nevada County Superior Court.


To contact Staff Writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail or call 477-4236.

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