BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Witnesses told investigators that a victim, believed to be Micah Holsonbake of the 'Bakersfield 3', was scared of Matthew Queen, the man charged with Holsonbake's death. Court records also show police believe Queen made calls to the Secret Witness hotline in an attempt to mislead the investigation.
Queen 43, has been in custody since his arrest last summer on firearms and kidnapping charges.
According to the court documents, witnesses reported to investigators that Holsonbake was paranoid and afraid of Queen. Reports allege Queen had previously kidnapped Holsonbake and threatened him.
Also charged in connection to Holsonbake's death is another member of the 'Bakersfield 3', Baylee Despot. Despot has been missing since April 2018, but was charged due to there being “no known physical evidence that definitively confirms her possible death."
A third suspect, Matthew Tyler Vandecasteele, was charged with kidnapping and conspiracy in relation to the case.
According to court records, Queen believed Holsonbake stole a gun from him. Queen and Despot allegedly kidnapped Holsonbake in an attempt to extract information and zip-tied him to a chair in Vandecasteele's garage.
Court documents allege Holsonbake was killed that night and that Queen and Vandecasteele dismembered the body before disposing of it.
Months later, the Kern County Sheriff's Office retrieved a severed arm from the Kern River. The coroner's office confirmed it belonged to Holsonbake.
Although the identity of the victim is blocked out in the court documents, the circumstances surrounding the reports coincide with details surrounding Holsonbake's disappearance.
Investigators wrote in the report that in August 2019, police spoke to Matthew Queen who said something that caught their attention.
According to the report, during the interview, Queen referred to Despot as a "sugar momma." Investigators wrote this stood out because it had previously been alleged through an anonymous tip. Investigators also wrote that the anonymous caller gave a code name that matched alias on a social media account created by Queen.
Investigators wrote that because of these similarities, they believe Queen was the one who placed the anonymous call "in an attempt to direct the investigation away from him."
Queen pleaded not guilty earlier this month and is due in court on July 20.
Vandecasteele is in custody in another county and has no court date scheduled yet.