Lawyers wrangle over new charges

Defense wants Placer County out in ex-CHP officer case
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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Attorney Daniel Nicholson said Wednesday Placer County shouldn’t be involved in any new charges against Auburn-area ex-CHP officer Ruben Cesar Salgado. Salgado, 37, and his girlfriend, Breaonna Nunes, were arrested July 15 at the Governors Inn on Richards Boulevard in Sacramento. Nunes was booked into Sacramento County Jail on misdemeanor drug charges. Salgado was booked into Placer County Jail and charged with a felony of attempting to hire someone to commit murder against someone with the initials “R.M.” Salgado was also charged with possessing methamphetamine, a felony, being under the influence of methamphetamine and possessing drug paraphernalia, both misdemeanors. In addition, Salgado, who worked out of the Newcastle highway patrol office, was charged with a special allegation of committing a felony while out on bail. The former officer was originally arrested in May and charged with numerous drug-related felonies and misdemeanors. He entered a not-guilty plea and was out on a $70,000 bail. The California Highway Patrol fired Salgado June 30. During proceedings Wednesday at Auburn’s Placer County Jail courtroom, prosecuting attorney Douglas Van Breemen stated “R.M.” was an informant who sold Salgado drugs in connection with his previous charges. Van Breemen said Salgado tried to have the person killed because he wanted the first case to go away. Nicholson filed a demurrer, or objecting document, with the court and said Placer County shouldn’t be able to oversee the new charges, because they occurred in Sacramento County. “This court as Placer County has no jurisdiction to hold my client,” Nicholson said. Nicholson stated the law requires the court to make a decision on the demurrer immediately unless there are exceptional circumstances preventing that. Van Breemen said he would need some time to prepare a brief in response to the demurrer. “There are some nuances in the law, and we request a day or two to do that,” he said. Van Breemen also said the two cases are related because the alleged intended victim in the second case was an informant in the first case. “Now in July the defendant is soliciting the murder of that person through another informant,” Van Breemen said. Judge Mark Curry said the case does involve exceptional circumstances because of factual complexity, so a hearing would have to be held in order to act on the demurrer. The hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday in Department 3 of Auburn’s historic courthouse. Outside the courtroom Nicholson said so far he hasn’t heard anything about Sacramento County charging Salgado, so if Placer County can’t hear the new charges, the second case would no longer exist. “If the matter is dismissed, there is nothing to hold him on,” Nicholson said. Nicholson said the original drug charges would still go forward, and he expects the case to go to trial. Salgado is being held in Placer County Jail and is ineligible for bail. Reach Bridget Jones at