Man accused in murder of Incline woman stands trial
October 15, 2008
RENO (AP) ” A man who went on trial Tuesday for last year’s murder of a professor at the University of Nevada, Reno told police that he arranged the killing at the request of the victim’s husband.
Mohamed Kalam Kamaludeen also told detectives that he hired another man in an unsuccessful attempt to kill professor Judy Calder at her Incline Village home in 2006 ” an attack police never solved.
The dramatic disclosures came from both the prosecutor and a public defender during opening arguments before Washoe County District Court Judge Patrick Flanagan and a three-woman, nine-man jury.
Kamaludeen, 50, has pleaded not guilty to the charges of murder with a deadly weapon of a person over the age of 60, and one count of solicitation to commit murder. He could be sentenced to life in prison without parole if he is convicted.
Kamaludeen, who also is known as Rickey Barge, is the only person who has been charged. He is accused of stabbing Calder at his business warehouse in Reno on Aug. 18, 2007. Antelope hunters found her body 10 days later about 375 miles away in Elko County near the Idaho line.
Calder, 64, was an associate professor in the university’s Department of Human Development and Family Studies who did research with the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.
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Kamaludeen initially told detectives he knew nothing about her disappearance, said Bruce Hahn, Washoe County chief deputy district attorney.
Kamaludeen pointed the finger at the professor’s husband, Jim Calder, only after Kamaludeen fled to Mexico, where he was captured and jailed, Hahn said.
“In the new version, Jim Calder wanted her dead. ‘I did it for my buddy Jim,'” Hahn recounted to the jury.
The prosecutor said Kamaludeen told detectives the real killer was Carlos Filomeno ” an alleged accomplice who is scheduled to testify that he saw Kamaludeen stab the professor three or four times in the chest.
Hahn said Kamaludeen also claimed to have hired a third man, Ray Patterson, to attack Calder in 2006.
Police followed up on those claims but “nothing changed,” Hahn said.
Hahn told the jury he doesn’t have to prove that Kamaludeen stabbed Calder. He said the accused committed the crime if he was guilty of “either doing it himself or arranging for someone else to do it through aiding and abetting, providing assistance to the murderer.”
Hahn didn’t offer a motive but investigators have said Kamaludeen killed the professor because he didn’t want to repay a $150,000 debt he owed her.
Jim Calder, a retired U.S. Marine who was married to Judy Calder for about 30 years, denies Kamaludeen’s claim but “won’t be making any kind of comments,” said Cal Dunlap, a Reno lawyer representing him and his daughter, Kim Calder, in a civil suit against Kamaludeen seeking assets they say belong to them.
Public defender Maizie Pusich told the jurors they must determine who is telling the truth. She said the account given by Filomeno ” a two-time felon currently imprisoned on an unrelated charge ” is almost identical to Kamaludeen’s version, except for who did the stabbing.
She said Filomeno initially denied any involvement, said he hadn’t seen Judy Calder for six months and recalled that Kamaludeen had “treated her like a mother.”
But after police chipped away at his story, Filomeno asked for help from a detective who told him “whoever comes forward first and is honest, wins,” Pusich said.
Filomeno then told the detective Kamaludeen drove him to a store the night before the murder and gave him two $100 bills to purchase knives, three sets of sweat suits and three pair of tennis shoes ” all corroborated later by Kamaludeen.
Filomeno said he thought Kamaludeen was joking when he indicated he intended to kill the woman, Pusich said. He told police he heard Kamaludeen telephone Judy Calder the morning of the murder and asked her to come to the warehouse, she said.
Filomeno said Kamaludeen then told him to change into the sweats so they didn’t get blood on their clothes.
“But he told police he still thought he was kidding ” the only person who claims to be present there at the time of the killing,” Pusich said.
Filomeno said after he saw Kamaludeen stab Calder at the warehouse, they cleaned up the blood and loaded her body into a large box Kamaludeen had lined with plastic, she said. They loaded the box into a white van, which Filomeno said he drove to south of Jackpot and dumped the body as Kamaludeen had instructed ” details Kamaludeen also provided police.
“Please consider what is the person’s motivation,” Pusich told the jury. “What is the big picture?”