BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A man charged with torture and murder in connection with the death of a member of what’s become known as the “Bakersfield 3” had his trial postponed Friday.
Matthew Queen, 45, is now scheduled for trial in February, but a judge last month said it’s likely to be postponed even further.
Prosecutors say Queen and ex-girlfriend Baylee Despot, also charged in the case, bound Micah Holsonbake with zip ties then tortured and killed him after questioning him about a gun they believed he stole.
The killing allegedly happened in March 2018. Holsonbake’s severed arm was found months later in the Kern River, and his skull was recovered last month east of the overflow parking lot of Pyle’s Boys Camp.
Queen is also charged with multiple firearm, kidnapping and threat offenses in other incidents. Prosecutors say Queen and Holsonbake assembled illegal AR-15-style rifles, some of which they kept and others they sold.
Another co-defendant, Matthew Tyler Vandecasteele, 35, took a plea deal last month and agreed to testify at Queen’s trial. Prosecutors allege the torture and killing took place in his garage.
Despot disappeared in April 2018. She and Holsonbake are members of what’s known as the “Bakersfield 3,” acquaintances who were killed or went missing within two months of each other in 2018.
James Kulstad, the third person, was shot and killed in southwest Bakersfield on April 8, 2018. No arrests have been made in his killing.
Anyone with information regarding these cases is asked to call Secret Witness at 661-322-4040.