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UPDATE

Ex-cop allegedly offered to pay $10K to kill witness

Judge blocks attempt to move case out of county
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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A Placer judge Friday denied an ex-CHP officer’s request to dismiss a murder-for-hire case from the county. Additionally, a brief filed Friday revealed details of how Ruben Cesar Salgado allegedly offered $10,000 to take a witness in a drug case against him “out of the game.” On Wednesday Ruben Cesar Salgado’s attorney, Daniel Nicholson, filed a demurrer, or objecting document, stating that Salgado’s charge should not be heard in Placer County. “Your complaint is that the facts in the alleged crime all occurred in Sacramento County and there is no connection to Placer County,” said Judge Mark Curry in Friday’s proceedings in Auburn’s historic courthouse. Salgado was arrested July 15 for allegedly hiring someone to commit murder against a woman with the initials “R.M.” He was also charged with another felony drug charge, two misdemeanors and a special allegation. “R.M.” is a resident of Placer County, according to court documents. It was revealed Wednesday that the potential victim was a confidential informant who sold Salgado drugs in May, according to Prosecuting Attorney Douglas Van Breemen. Salgado had previously been arrested in May on numerous drug-related felonies and misdemeanors. The California Highway Patrol fired Salgado June 30. According to a brief written by Van Breemen in response to the demurrer, the intended victim, identified as CI 1, met with California Highway Patrol Investigator Don Davis July 6. “CI 1 informed Davis that she heard through her contacts that defendant was ‘looking to take her out of the game,’” the brief states. The brief goes on to state that Salgado offered $10,000 to another person, known as CI 2, to murder “R.M.” and dispose of her body. “Defendant mentioned (“R.M.”) by name and told CI 2 that that if (“R.M.”) wasn’t around there would be no case against him,” according to the brief. According to the brief, CI 2 said he or she had a brother who was just released from prison who could commit the murder. “According to CI 2, defendant said, ‘10 racks and no questions asked,’” the brief states. Racks is a slang term for thousands of dollars. CI 2 and his or her brother met Salgado July 14 in the Governors Inn parking lot to discuss how the murder should happen, how evidence should be destroyed and what to do with “R.M.’s” body, according to the brief. Salgado also told the confidential informants that he was changing where he lived to avoid the police who were investigating him, according to the brief. Nicholson stated Friday that Placer County had no jurisdiction in the new charges because they allegedly occurred at the Governors Inn on Richards Boulevard in Sacramento. “In this case the facts of the matter wholly arise in Sacramento,” he said. Van Breemen said the original drug charges are connected to the murder-for-hire charge. “He was trying to solicit the murder of a Placer County witness in a Placer County case who happens to be a Placer County resident,” Van Breemen said. “Placer County would be directly affected if the defendant’s intentions had taken place.” Curry denied the demurrer saying the new charges were related to the old charges and to Placer County because of where “R.M.” lived and the murder-for-hire charge stemming from the original drug charges. “I find given the facts … there is a sufficient connection with Placer County … given the intended victim of the crime was a Placer County resident,” Curry said. The two cases will continue to be held in Placer County. Outside the courtroom Nicholson said the demurrer wasn’t about trying to gain an advantage by moving the case to Sacramento. “It’s not necessarily an advantage,” Nicholson said. “It’s a question of where the case belongs. The judge says the case belongs here. We are going to fight it out in Placer for now.” Salgado also entered a plea of not guilty for his current charges and denied the special allegation. Salgado is scheduled to appear in Auburn’s Placer County Jail courtroom at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 10 for an early status conference in his original case. He is also scheduled to appear Aug. 20 in Dept. 33 in Roseville to arrange for a preliminary hearing. Salgado is being held in Placer County Jail and is ineligible for bail. Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com