Analyst testifies to DNA evidence on 2nd day of hearing for accused killer Matthew Queen

Crime Watch

Baylee Despot, Matthew Vandecasteele and Matthew Queen

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A forensic analyst testified Thursday the DNA of Micah Holsonbake cannot be excluded from a large blood stain found on a wooden shelf inside a detached garage.

It’s in that garage that prosecutors say Matthew Queen and Baylee Desport tortured and murdered Hosonbake in March 2018.

The analyst’s testimony came on the second day of Queen’s preliminary hearing, which will last into Friday. At the end of the hearing, a judge will determine if prosecutors have presented enough evidence to order Queen to stand trial on dozens of counts.

Prosecutors say Queen, 44, and Despot bound Holsonbake with zip ties and questioned him in the garage before killing him. Court documents say Holsonbake may have been killed for allegedly stealing a gun from Queen.

The garage belonged to Matthew Tyler Vandecasteele, 34, who is charged with kidnapping and conspiracy.

Both Holsonbake and Despot are members of the “Bakersfield 3,” acquaintances who were killed or went missing within two months of each other in 2018. Despot disappeared in April 2018 and hasn’t been heard from since.

Charges were filed against Queen, Despot and Vandecasteele in May 2020. Despite her being missing for two years at that time, Despot was charged because there was no physical evidence that confirmed she had died, prosecutors said.

Queen also faces dozens of other charges related to allegedly making illegal firearms and other offenses.

Holsonbake was last seen around Flower Street and Mount Vernon Avenue on March 23, 2018. Months later, an arm later identified as Holsonbake’s was found in the Kern River near Hart Park. The rest of his body has not been found.

James Kulstad, the third member, was shot and killed in southwest Bakersfield on April 8, 2018. No arrests have been made in his killing.

Some of Wednesday’s hearing focused on the discovery of Holsonbake’s arm by boys playing in the river and how investigators preserved it for testing. Testimony was also heard from an ex-girlfriend of Queen who stayed at Vandecasteele’s place at the time prosecutors say the killing took place.

While unable to provide exact dates, the woman testified she smoked methamphetamine with Holsonbake in a room at Vandecasteele’s house. She said Holsonbake left the room and she never saw him again. She said she didn’t hear noises coming from the garage afterward.

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