Valley News -

Pair released from jail after prosecutors decline to file murder charges

First Lt. Curtis Lee Krueger and Nicole Ashlie Stapp were arrested in connection with the death last spring of Henry Stange


Last updated 8/31/2018 at 6:13pm

Murrieta Police Department

First Lt. Curtis Lee Krueger of Twentynine Palms and Nicole Ashlie Stapp, who were arrested on Aug. 29, were released from jail today.

MURRIETA - After prosecutors declined today to file murder charges against a 30-year-old U.S. Marine Corps officer and his girlfriend suspected of killing a Murrieta man, the pair were released from jail.

First Lt. Curtis Lee Krueger of Twentynine Palms and Nicole Ashlie Stapp, 27, of Joshua Tree were arrested Wednesday on suspicion of murder and conspiracy in connection with the death last spring of 54-year-old Henry Stange.

Riverside County District Attorney's Office spokesman John Hall told City News Service that the case is "under review'' but no criminal complaint was pending. He would not elaborate on the purported defects in the Murrieta Police Department's case.

Because Krueger and Stapp had been in custody for 48 hours and were constitutionally entitled to a speedy arraignment by the end of that window, they were freed from jail, even as detectives continued to work on re-submitting their case to the D.A.'s office. Jail records indicated they were released sometime this afternoon. Krueger had been at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta. Stapp had been in the Indio Jail.

Murrieta police spokesman Lt. Tony Conrad told CNS that investigators would not attempt to re-arrest the suspects on the same allegations without having the support of the D.A.'s office. Conrad said the department's entire detective bureau was "working on it'' and had no intention of dropping the matter.

It was unclear if charges other than murder might be sought by police.

Lt. Mark Reid said Thursday that detectives had been endeavoring to develop leads in the case since Stange's remains were located on June 2 in a shallow grave on the San Bernardino County side of Joshua Tree National Park.

The victim resided in the 24000 block of New Clay Street, near Kalmia Street. Investigators did not specify when he went missing, or if he was killed at his home.

A possible motive also was not disclosed, and there was no word on how the suspects were connected to him.

San Bernardino County sheriff's personnel coordinated with Murrieta police during the investigation.

Krueger was arrested by deputies near the south entrance to the Marine Corps' Twentynine Palms Air-Ground Combat Center. Stapp was taken into custody on the campus of Copper Mountain Community College in Joshua Tree.

Marine Lt. Adam Miller told CNS that Krueger enlisted in April 2005, beginning his career as a private. The young man continued up through the non-commissioned ranks until he qualified for officer candidate school. He earned his lieutenant's bars in 2015.

Krueger is a communications officer assigned to Combat Logistics Battalion 7, Combat Logistics Regiment 1 at Twentynine Palms. He has been stationed at the base since June 2017, Miller said.

Neither he nor Stapp has documented prior felony convictions.


Reader Comments


Our Family of Publications Includes:

Powered by ROAR Online Publication Software from Lions Light Corporation
© Copyright 2019

Rendered 09/09/2019 08:25