BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Matthew Queen has been found guilty of second-degree murder in the death of Micah Holsonbake. He was acquitted of first-degree murder.
Queen faced 35 counts. He was found guilty of terrorizing Megan Farmer, felony burglary, felony kidnapping in the case of Caleb Seiler, and multiple counts of possession of firearms by a felon, and multiple accounts of felony manufacturing, distributing or transporting assault weapons.
He was found not guilty of torturing and kidnapping Holsonbake, as well as not guilty of multiple assault charges.
The jury did not come to a decision on five counts. The judge asked the jury to continue to consider two of the counts.
The trial centered heavily on a small group of friends and acquaintances surrounding Queen. Witnesses during the trial testified to Queen's violent nature with the prosecution saying he often played off threats as "jokes."
The defense counsel claimed it was originally Holsonback who threatened Queen and that during a struggle it was Baylee Despot who delivered the deadly blow.
At the briefing held by the Kern County District Attorney’s Office after the verdict, Prosecutor Eric Smith said there is still in a warrant in the system for Baylee Despot’s arrest. Despot, who is still missing, was also charged in Holsonbake’s death.
“So, at this time if she is found alive, she will be arrested on those charges.”
However, prosecutor Prosecutor Eric Smith anticipated Queen blaming someone else for the murder of Holsonbake.
"This is January 12, 2019. Whose the name of that bookie boyfriend of yours that was looking for Micah until Micah choked you out and you solicited a hitman from Caleb. I bet the two of you could clear all of this up. Again, putting people into it when he knows well that he was the one that killed Micah Holsonbake.”
Micah Holsonbake’s mother, Cheryl Holsonbake, said it was a lot to comprehend but they are relieved that Matthew Queen will never be able to hurt or torture anyone again.
“As Eric Smith commented to us, its murder. It’s significant and its murder, and we said that we would get him for that, and we did. There is a sense of relief that somebody is being forced to take the accountability for the part they played in his death and the kidnapping of the other individuals this is someone who traumatized a lot of people.”
The District Attorney Cynthia Zimmer, along with the prosecuting team on the case, held a briefing after Matthew Queen was found guilty by the jury of 24 out of 35 counts.
Prosecutor Smith said the team is satisfied with a murder conviction and said they are thankful to the jury and the community during the course of the trial. Smith adds that Queen could face decades in prison.
Queen is expected to return to Kern County Superior Court on June 7 to be sentenced.
This is a developing story. More information as it becomes available.