RENO - The suspect in a Reno homicide who also is wanted for questioning in the shooting of a family court judge told a television station several weeks ago he believed the judge was corrupt, KRNV-TV reported Monday night.
Darren Mack, owner of a jewelry store and pawn shop, is a suspect in the slaying at an apartment building that was home to his estranged wife, Charla Mack.
Mack also is a "person of interest" in the shooting of Washoe County Family Court Judge Chuck Weller, who recently presided over matters related to a divorce involving Mack, Reno Deputy Police Chief Jim Johns said.
KRNV-TV anchor Shelby Sheehan said Mack and a friend shared documents several weeks ago, trying to substantiate their claims that Weller was not impartial in his rulings.
"The pair alleged improprieties in the way Weller handed down verdicts and claimed Weller based some or all of his decisions on donations to his campaign," Sheehan said during a newscast Monday night.
They also presented court records they said showed a large number of legal motions made by attorneys hoping "not to do business in Weller's courtroom," she said.
After news broke about Monday's shooting of Weller, the friend - whom the station did not identify - visited the station again and met with police investigators and KRNV-TV reporters, she said.
The friend said he spoke with Mack on the telephone about 9 a.m. Monday, about two hours before Weller was shot. The friend said Mack "didn't sound great but didn't give any indication he was about to do anything," Sheehan said.
"He said (Mack) said he was hanging in there, doing OK, not great," she quoted the friend as saying.
Sheehan said the friend told her that he did not think Mack was capable of such violence.
"But then when he started to talk it through with the authorities who were here from (Reno police) and the Washoe County sheriff's office, he was talking about how Darren felt he had lost everything - he had lost his family, he had lost a lot financially, his home, and he felt he didn't have any other options," Sheehan said.
The friend said Mack had "a background of knowing how to use weapons," she said.
After the initial meeting with KRNV-TV, Mack sent the station a number of e-mails with information about Weller's campaign contributions.
During the initial meeting Mack was "very pleasant, very nice, very calm and seemed like a very intelligent man," Sheehan said.
"But I do remember him saying, 'Shelby, my case is over. I lost. I'm moving on.' But he said, 'I don't want any more families going through what my family has gone through because he really felt he was unjustly dealt with in the family court."