Zupan’s children testify | TheUnion.com

Zupan’s children testify

The youngest sons of murder suspect Frank A. Zupan took the witness stand Thursday and testified against their father, accused of killing their stepmother, Shauneen A. Zupan.

Devin and Colby Zupan told jurors that Frank Zupan bragged about hiding evidence from investigators and described how he would get rid of a murder weapon.

“He said if you wanted to get rid of (a gun), you would break it into little pieces and throw it into the Bear River on the way to the hospital,” said Devin Zupan, a man in his late 20s.

Before he testified, Devin Zupan walked by his father. With his head down, he glanced at Frank Zupan once. The elder Zupan did not make eye contact with his son, but stared ahead.

The young man contacted prosecutor Ron Wolfson by telephone March 14 with information about his father’s actions in the months following the Nov. 15, 2005, shooting death of the woman who raised him.

The brothers had originally been on the witness list for the defense, but they have since been removed; on Thursday, they testified for the prosecution.

Zupan transferred money

The brothers testified their father gloated that Nevada County Sheriff’s investigators had overlooked the hard drive to his computer during their search of his home on Retrac Way.

“The (computer) tower was up in the hay in the barn,” Devin Zupan said during questioning. “The sheriff’s office didn’t find it. I guess you could say he was happy or relieved.”

Frank Zupan owned at least two .22-caliber handguns, Devin Zupan said. In previous testimony, a forensic expert said a .22-caliber gun was used to kill Shauneen Zupan.

The murder weapon has not been found.

Zupan told his son to transfer several guns, jewelry and valuables from the home at the onset of a probate dispute between Zupan and Shauneen Zupan’s sons, Dirk and Adam McMeans, Devin Zupan said.

(For part of their teenage years, the McMeans boys lived in the couple’s home with the Zupan boys, who are younger and from Frank Zupan’s second marriage. Zupan has two older sons by his first marriage, Jeff and Joel Zupan, who were grown by the time Zupan married Shauneen Zupan.)

At the time of the probate dispute, Zupan also transferred four certificates of deposit and a checking account with more than $350,000 into his son’s name, Devin Zupan testified.

“He said he had a large auto insurance policy and they would pay $300,000, replace the vehicle and pay for funeral costs,” Devin Zupan said.

Other than the son’s testimony, the courtroom was silent.

Colby Zupan, close in age to his brother, testified Shauneen Zupan had told him she caught Frank Zupan on Internet dating sites and that the couple was possibly getting divorced.

In the past, Zupan had told his sons a gunman in a passing car shot their stepmother as she drove on McCourtney Road. His attorney, Quin Denvir, admitted that the story is untrue.

In his opening statement, Denvir said someone else killed Shauneen Zupan, and that Frank Zupan was so scared of whoever it was that he lied to everyone about his wife’s death.

“Anytime after the death of Shauneen Zupan, did your father tell you at anytime to take any measures to protect yourself?” Wolfson asked Colby Zupan.

“No,” he responded.

Victim’s will disputed

In other testimony, Shauneen Zupan’s son, Adam McMeans, said Frank Zupan denied his wife had a will.

“I’ve read her will. It was handwritten,” McMeans said. “I asked (Zupan) to honor her wishes. I had bought a double urn after my father died and she wished to be put in it.”

McMeans put his head on his hand and sobbed.

“Frank said she had no will,” McMeans said.

As McMeans left his stand and walked toward the courtroom doors, his tearful wife hugged him and they cried in each other’s arms.

Wolfson is expected to call his last witnesses Tuesday, then defense attorney Quin Denvir will begin calling his witnesses.

He is expected to call Frank Zupan to the stand.

The case may go to the jury next week, Judge Robert Tamietti told the jury in court.

The Zupan trial is scheduled to resume at 9 a.m. Tuesday in Nevada County Superior Court.


To contact Robyn Moormeister, e-mail robynm@theunion.com or call 477-4236.

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