BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — In May 2018, Kristina Starr received a phone call from jail from her husband, Matthew Queen.
He asked her to remove some items from the back of his Chevy Suburban, Starr said Thursday.
She checked the back of the vehicle. The items were guns.
Starr, who testified Thursday in Queen’s trial on murder and numerous other charges, including multiple weapons offenses, said she had never seen the guns before. She denied ordering firearm components or assisting Queen with manufacturing weapons.
She and Queen are no longer together, and had been separated but living together in 2018 at a house on Compass Avenue, Starr said. Living with them was Baylee Despot, Queen’s girlfriend.
Queen, 45, is on trial on charges of torture, murder and numerous other offenses, including multiple gun-related offenses. He and Despot are accused of torturing and killing Micah Holsonbake, a member of the “Bakersfield 3.”
The trial is in its 9th day.
It’s alleged Queen and Despot killed Holsonbake, 38, over a stolen gun. Despot disappeared shortly after Holsonbake went missing in March 2018.
Holsonbake’s left arm and skull were later recovered from the Kern River. Despot has not been heard from.
Despot, Holsonbake and James Kulstad became known as the Bakersfield 3 because each was either killed or went missing within two months.
Also testifying Thursday morning were Kern County sheriff’s Sgt. Danny Bowlings and Lt. Tammie Sullivan, who trains dogs used to locate bodies with the sheriff’s Search and Rescue unit.
They testified they were sent to a remote area of Maricopa in June 2018, directed there by Caleb Seiler, an acquaintance of Queen’s who has previously testified.
Sullivan said the dogs are trained to pick up the minutest scent of human blood, fluid or bone.
After 15 minutes in the Maricopa area, one of the dogs alerted — she got a scent, Sullivan said.
The dog, named Sadie, alerted so quickly “it put me in a shock,” Sullivan testified. She called the dog back and sent her out again. The dog alerted in the same location a second and third time.
Authorities dug for several hours but didn’t find anything.
Sullivan, however, is confident the dog smelled fluid or bone.
“There was something there,” Sullivan said. “It could have been moved.”
Queen’s attorney, Timothy Hennessy, asked if the fluid or bone could have been from anyone, even someone off-roading who cut themselves. Sullivan said that’s possible.