Janssen Law Seeks Justice for Nancy Huntzinger

By Thadeus Greenson

Nancy Huntzinger has filed a wrongful death suit against the man who killed her son, 14-year-old Curtis Huntzinger, seeking unspecified damages.

An Arcata High School student, Curtis Huntzinger went missing from the streets of Blue Lake in May 1990, after last being seen at his sister's house. Days before, Curtis Huntzinger reportedly told his mom that Stephen Hash, a family acquaintance, had molested him.

More than 18 years later, Hash admitted to the crime, confessing to Humboldt County District Attorney's Office investigators who confronted him in a Sebastopol Starbucks. Hash told the investigators that, on the night of May 18, 1990, during a sudden quarrel at his home, he struck Curtis Huntzinger in the head with a dumbbell, crushing his skull and killing him.
Hash later helped authorities recover Curtis Huntzinger's body, which he had buried in a wooded area just outside Blue Lake.

In December 2008, Hash pleaded guilty to a charge of voluntary manslaughter and was sentenced to serve 11 years in prison. According to court documents, Hash was served with papers in the civil suit in Folsom State Prison, which was listed as his current residence.

In the wrongful death suit, Nancy Huntzinger is seeking unspecified damages in excess of $25,000.

”As a result of the acts of Hash, decedent died, and decedent's mother lost the love, comfort, companionship, affection and society of her son, for which plaintiff seeks general damages,” the complaint states.

Huntzinger's attorney, Michael Crowley, said the suit also lists 20 John Does as defendants out of an abundance of caution.

”Naming Doe defendants is something that's very typically done at the beginning of a case,” Crowley said, adding that it allows attorneys the option of adding additional, unforeseen defendants once the case reaches the discovery phase.

A status conference has been scheduled in the case for Aug. 13.

reprinted from the Times-Standard Online