Matthew Queen murder trial scheduled July 6

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — Matthew Queen, charged with murder and dozens of other counts in the killing of a member of the so-called “Bakersfield 3” and other offenses, has received a date for the start of his trial.

A Superior Court judge on Friday set Queen’s trial for July 6, with a readiness hearing June 25.

Prosecutors say Queen, 44, tortured and killed Micah Holsonbake in March 2018. His severed arm turned up in the Kern River months later and the rest of his body remains missing.

Baylee Despot, Queen’s former girlfriend, is also charged with killing Holsonbake. She disappeared in April 2018 and hasn’t been heard from since.

Queen and Despot tortured Holsonbake in a garage to extract information from him about a gun they believed he stole, according to prosecutors and testimony during Queen’s preliminary hearing.

The garage where Holsonbake was questioned was owned by Matthew Tyler Vandecasteele, 34, prosecutors say. Vandecasteele is charged with kidnapping, conspiracy and manufacturing an assault weapon.

Queen also faces charges of torture, kidnapping, assault with a firearm on a person, assault on a person with force likely to result in great bodily injury, burglary, making terroristic threats, manufacturing an assault weapon, possession of an assault rifle, possession of a firearm and ammunition by a felon and resisting arrest.

Two people testified at the hearing that Queen kidnapped and pointed a gun at them in separate incidents. It’s alleged Queen assembled and sold illegal AR-style rifles.

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