Murder warrant issued in murder, man wanted for questioning in judge shooting
A murder warrant has been issued today for a Reno businessman suspected in the murder of his estranged wife and the shooting of a judge Monday.
Reno Police Chief Deputy Jim Johns said Darren Mack, 45, is wanted for the killing of Charla Mack, 40, and for questioning in the shooting of Family Court Judge Chuck Weller.
He remains at large, possibly driving a silver Ford Explorer with California license plate 5POR272. Johns said Darren Mack rented the car within the last week.
Charla Mack’s body was found in her Wilbur May Parkway home about 3 p.m. after officers were led there in the investigation of the 11 a.m. shooting of Weller.
Weller, 53, was shot at least once in the chest as he stood near a third floor window of the Mills B. Lane Courthouse at First and Sierra streets in Reno. He is listed in serious condition.
Johns said Charla Mack died as a result of “multiple traumatic injuries,” and her body was found in the home’s garage. It’s unclear if Charla Mack was shot before or after the judge.
Weller was handling a divorce between the Macks in which Darren Mack, owner of Palace Jewelry and Loan on South Virginia Street, was ordered to pay $829 a month in child support and $10,000 a month in alimony, according to Washoe County Court’s online records. The couple has a 7-year-old daughter in common.
Washoe County District Attorney Dick Gammick said a criminal complaint has been filed against Darren Mack charging him with open murder with the use of a deadly weapon. He was unable to say whether he would seek the death penalty.
Johns said several residences were searched overnight, including a home on Franktown Road in Washoe Valley which Darren Mack owns. Traffic at the Reno Tahoe International Airport was also stopped for a short time last night after a rental car agent thought he saw the suspect sitting in a silver Ford Explorer in the parking garage. None of the leads proved fruitful.
Darren Mack’s photograph, along with his wife and three children, also appears on a Web site advertising the sale of diamonds and other jewelry. On the Web site, he wrote:
“My name is Darren Mack, and I am the third generation owner of a small business in Reno, Nevada. My family has owned and operated small businesses in Nevada for 45 years.”
A man who answered the listed telephone number told AP it was a business number, not a number for Mack. Asked if he could locate Mack, the man who refused to give his name said, “I’m sorry, I’ll have to contact a lawyer before I can talk to anyone” and hung up.
A telephone number listed for Darren and Charla Mack was out of service.
Family court officials said the sniper could be someone unhappy with a ruling in a child custody case, and a survey of Internet Web sites shows many postings by people unhappy with Weller and his family court decisions.
Darren Mack is described as 5 feet, 11 inches tall, between 190 and 220 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information on his whereabouts is asked to call the Reno Police Department at 334-2188 or if the vehicle is spotted call 911.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Secret Witness turns 40 this year – and it’s helped solve many of Northern Nevada’s most violent crimes
Secret Witness tips have played a pivotal role in solving some of the most violent crimes the greater Northern Nevada region has seen. To date, Secret Witness has paid out more than $300,000 in rewards to anonymous tipsters. Rewards range from $50 (graffiti/tagging) to $1,500 (armed robbery) to $2,500 (murder).