BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A defense lawyer attacked the credibility of a witness and alleged victim in the trial of Matthew Queen on Tuesday, noting the witness used drugs at the time, didn’t call police and continued to hang out at the home of the man she says threatened to kill her.
Megan Farmer admitted to all those points brought up by Timothy Hennessy, who represents Queen in his trial on charges of torture, murder, kidnapping and a number of other offenses.
Also Tuesday, another witness said a box of spent ammunition was found outside her home last week. It’s unclear whether someone intentionally left it or it was trash blown onto her property.
Farmer testified Queen twice pointed a gun at her, once in an orchard and later at his home. She said she feared for her life both times.
Queen, 45, and Despot are charged with torturing and killing Holsonbake in March 2018, possibly over a stolen gun. It’s alleged Queen and Holsonbake fabricated illegal firearms and Despot helped sell them.
Queen has pleaded not guilty to the 35 counts against him. He faces 50 years to life if convicted of all charges.
Holsonbake and Despot are members of the “Bakersfield 3,” three acquaintances who were either killed or went missing within two months. The third member, James Kulstad, was fatally shot. No arrests have been made in Kulstad’s case but it’s not believed connected to the incidents alleged in this trial.
Farmer is one of several people who say Queen threatened them. She completed her testimony Tuesday morning, and is the first civilian witness to testify.
After Hennessy pointed out Farmer’s failure to contact police, prosecutor Eric Smith asked followup questions in which she said her phone only worked with WiFi back then. She didn’t believe it would work in the orchard so she didn’t try calling 911.
She acknowledged not calling law enforcement in the weeks or months afterward.
Farmer testified she feared for her life in both instances Queen allegedly pulled a gun on her. She didn’t believe he was joking.
Hennessy suggested his client has an unusual sense of humor and conducted elaborate pranks.
He asked Farmer if she recalled an instance where Queen and others put on dog collars and shocked each other with cattle prods as a joke.
Farmer said she didn’t remember that.
After Farmer, Darren Wonderly, an investigator with the Kern County District Attorney’s office, testified he had examined the cellular devices of Holsonbake and Queen. He said both showed they were near the orchard in the 20000 block of Rosedale Highway where Farmer said the threat occurred.
Perhaps the most unusual testimony Tuesday morning came from Casey Hardy, who called 911 after hearing a man yelling for help the night of the alleged incident in the orchard. Hardy said a dispatcher later told her a man had been found.
That man was identified Micah Holsonbake, said prosecutor Melanie Ayala, who is handling the case with Smith. He was taken into custody on outstanding warrants.
Hardy testified that last Monday she found a box of ammunition with spent rounds inside located within her gated property.
“It was very unsettling and worrisome,” Hardy said.
Hennessy asked Hardy if she ever found trash or other items along the road by her property. She said yes.
But she also said the box appeared to have been set there.