Matthew Queen Guilty of Second-Degree Murder

Michael Queen, 45, faced more than thirty separate charges including first-degree murder, torture and kidnapping in the death of Micah Holsonbake, a member of the Bakersfield 3.

Queen was acquitted of the charges Thursday and was instead convicted of a lesser charge of second-degree murder in the death of Holsonbake who has been missing since April 2018.

Prosecutors say Queen and his girlfriend Baylee Despot killed Holsonbake after a dispute over a gun, chopped up his body and scattered the pieces around Kern County. His arm and skull have been recovered from the Kern River.

Despot, 20, has been missing since 2018.

Despot, Holsonbake and James Kulstad, killed in a shooting unrelated to Queen’s case, became known as the “Bakersfield 3.” They knew each other and either died or went missing within two months.

Queen will be sentenced June 7, 2022. He faces 50 years to life in prison.

-Jeff Lemucchi