Queen appears with injury to face as trial postponed for second time

Apr. 27—Proceedings were delayed for the second day in a row Wednesday in the Bakersfield 3 trial as defendant Matthew Queen appeared in court with an injury to his face.

Queen, 45, has pleaded not guilty to 35 charges, including first-degree murder, torture and kidnapping in the death of Micah Holsonbake, a member of the Bakersfield 3. He also faces an assault charge and a slew of weapons allegations.

In court Wednesday, Queen had a large gash on the left side of his face. It is unclear if his injury prompted the pause in the proceedings, because presiding Judge Charles Brehmer did not reveal the reason for the postponement. Jurs are scheduled to return Thursday morning.

“You can see he’s been injured,” Brehmer said to the jury. “You are not to guess or speculate in any way in regard to the injuries … but it’s obvious he’s been injured.”

Lori Meza, spokeswoman for the Kern County Sheriff’s Office, said the Queen’s case is still under investigation and therefore she could not divulge whether there was an incident in the jail. A request for comment from Queen’s attorney Timothy Hennessy was not returned.

Baylee Despot, Queen’s ex-girlfriend and one of the Bakersfield 3, and Matthew Vandecasteele, a former friend of Queen’s, are also charged in Holsonbake’s death. However, Despot has been missing since April 2018 and Vandecasteele has taken a plea deal to testify against Queen. Vandecasteele is scheduled to be held May 23 for this case.

James Kulstad, who’s also considered part of the Bakersfield 3, was killed in an unrelated shooting around the time of Holsonbake’s death and Despot’s disappearance.

Jurors were first excused Tuesday morning and told to come back the next day by Brehmer, who only said he and the attorneys had “things to discuss.” On Wednesday, Brehmer told jurors to come back in the afternoon, at which point he announced the proceedings would continue Thursday morning.

“I’m sorry, there’s nothing I can do about it,” Brehmer said.

You can reach Ishani Desai at 661-395-7417. You can also follow her at @idesai98 on Twitter.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.