Killing of UNR prof, Tahoe resident, may have been murder-for-hire
RENO ” Police are investigating whether the man accused of killing a prominent professor at the University of Nevada, Reno last summer may have been involved in a murder-for-hire, a prosecutor told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
Mohamed Kamaludeen, who went by the name “Rickey Barge,” faces a preliminary hearing in Reno Justice Court on Friday on a charge of open murder in the August stabbing death of Judy Calder.
A longtime friend and business associate of Calder and her husband, Jim Calder, Kamaludeen is the only person who has been charged in the case. But Washoe Deputy District Attorney Bruce Hahn said the murder remains under investigation and that a newly revised criminal complaint suggests it is possible “someone else was involved other than Mr. Barge.”
“The way the second amended complaint reads is that Mr. Barge could have been involved in encouraging or hiring or inducing someone else into murdering Judy Calder,” he told AP.
Kamaludeen, 50, was arrested in Mexico in September on an immigration charge and extradited to Reno in January to face the murder charge after an inmate at the Washoe County Jail told police he saw Kamaludeen stab Judy Calder to death at Kamaludeen’s business, Imaging Technologies, on Aug. 18.
Police allege he killed her because of a $150,000 debt he owed her.
Judy Calder, 64, was known for her work on family and domestic violence. She worked with the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services and conducted research for 15 years in cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.
Her husband reported her missing Aug. 19, saying he had last talked to her by phone the day before and that he was worried because she appeared to have left behind her diabetes medication at a Sparks hotel-casino where she had spent the night Aug. 17.
A two-week search for her gripped the campus and local community before her body was found in rural Elko County, about 375 miles northeast of Reno.
The inmate who claims he saw Kamaludeen kill her – Carlos Filomeno – is mentioned repeatedly in an amended criminal complaint Hahn filed last week that for the first time suggests alternative theories of how the killing may have occurred.
In addition to accusing Kamaludeen of stabbing her to death, it alleges Kamaludeen may have played a role in the murder by “encouraging, hiring or inducing” Filomeno in committing the crime, or providing Filomeno with transportation to buy a knife or clothing used in the murder or “by providing Filomeno with money in payment for the murder,” or luring the victim to the murder scene or acting as a “look-out to facilitate the murder.”
“This has been a kind of an interesting case that has developed in some twists and turns we would not normally expect in a murder investigation,” Hahn told AP.
Nevada law allows for prosecution of an open murder charge under “different categories or theories of murder,” including premeditated, first-degree murder, Hahn said.
“Aiding and abetting is another theory of murder,” he explained. “He could have provided payment with money for the murder, or aided and abetted by luring the victim there or acting as a lookout.”
Hahn said he did not expect to immediately charge anyone else in the case “but things could change.”
Nevada Department of Corrections records show Filomeno, 39, is serving a minimum of 34 months at the state prison in Carson City on charges related to identity theft and possession of a stolen credit card.
“I think a murder case is always under investigation. We are still gathering evidence on this. We are only at the preliminary hearing stage,” Hahn said.
Maizie Pusich, a public defender representing Kamaludeen, did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.
A year before her death, Judy Calder was attacked by an intruder at her home in Incline Village near Lake Tahoe. Police investigated the August 2006 beating but brought no charges and have said they have nothing to tie that attack to her death last summer.
Reno Police Lt. Robert McDonald said Kamaludeen implicated himself in Calder’s murder when he met with detectives following his return to the United States. He declined to discuss “what level or what manner he implicated himself.”
Hahn agreed not to seek the death penalty as a condition of extradition.
Kamaludeen also was being sought on a murder charge in a 15-year-old case in Canada where he was accused of orchestrating the September 1993 robbery-related stabbing death of a 61-year-old Toronto man by a teenager.
In various court documents, his name also is spelled Kamaleudeen and Kamalaudeen.
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