At 3:39 PM on 11 November 2016, deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were summoned to the 49000 block of CA Highway 101 in Laytonville CA. The property in question was five miles up a dirt driveway that ran west from 101 to the rear portion of Black Oak Ranch.
Jeffrey Quinn Settler, age 35, had been killed at his commercial plantation by some of the “trimmigrant” workers he had imported from out of state to process his marijuana. These seven or eight laborers had still been working for him until just before the homicide. They returned during the night of November 10th, and found him sleeping in his marijuana storage shed. After they set upon him and killed him, they left with over 100 pounds of cured salable marijuana.
The suspects fled in a number of vehicles. One was a blue 2015 or 2017 VW Golf sedan, Virginia tag #VHR5611, with twin lightning bolts portrayed on the gas cap. There is also a 1999 Honda Accord, CA tag # 7LPN823, and a 2005 Volvo XC70, CA tag # 7TVT318. Another suspect vehicle is described as a white Toyota Camry.
Jeffrey's body was found by another worker remaining on Settler's property. The worker had to hike several miles into Laytonville to call for help.
Responding deputies at first believed a young mother among the trimmigrants had been kidnapped, along with her small child. However, they quickly ascertained mother and child were safe. A cold driving rain was pouring down upon the crime site. Processing of the crime scene was delayed until the following day.
On the evening of 16 November, suspect Zachary Ryan Wuester of Haskell NJ surrendered in Willits CA and has been arraigned. On 23 November 2016, Gary Lynn “Giggles” Fitzgerald of Roanoke IL gave up and was booked for suspicion of murder. Abdirrahman “Richie” Mohamad was also picked up, in San Diego.
Suspects still being sought are Frederick “Freddy” 27, Clifton NJ; Gary Blank III, 34, Elgin IL; Jesse Wells, 32, Binghamton NY; Michael Kane, 25, Pleasantville NY. All suspects are described as white males.
So far, the charges being pressed are murder and kidnapping. California law establishes the law of parties—that is, all parties to a crime are equally responsible for the offense. Triggerman, lookout, instigator of a homicide—doesn't matter. All can be held guilty of the offense in question. And California has a stringent definition of kidnapping; convictions have been secured for moving a victim just a few feet, or detaining them only a short period of time.
This is obviously still a developing case. Further information could be crucial. Information concerning this case may be called in to the MCSO Tipline at 707-234-2100. Their Investigative Services Bureau may be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Sheriff's Office can also be reached at 951 Low Gap Road, Ukiah, CA 95482.
Don't play hero if you spot these folks. Call the cops!
The Mendocino Voice, 11/13 November 2016: http://mendovoice.com/2016/11/homici...r-laytonville/
Redheaded Blackbelt, 12 November 2016: http:kymkemp.com/2016/11/12/woman-and-child-sought-in-connection-with-homicide-north-of-laytonville-in-bay-area/
The Ukiah (CA) Daily Journal, 13 November 2016: http://www/ukiahdailyhournal.com/art...plate=printart
Redheaded Blackbelt, 13 November 2016: http:kymkemp.com/2016/11/13/trimmers-tagged-as-suspects-in-laytonville-homicide-by-mendocino-sheriffs-office/
Anderson Valley (CA) Advertiser, 14 November 2016: http://www.theava.com/archives/62545#5
Santa Rosa (CA) Press Democrat, 14 November 2016: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/63...ing?artslide=0
Santa Rosa (CA) Press Democrat, 15 November 2016: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/6310530-181/father-of-slain-laytonville-pot?artslide=0
Anderson Valley (CA) Advertiser, 15 November 2016: http://www.theava.com/archives/62579#6
Anderson Valley (CA) Advertiser, 17 November 2016: http://www.theava.com/archives/62712#1
Anderson Valley (CA) Advertiser, 18 November 2016: http://www.theava.com/archives/62741#3
Anderson Valley (CA) Advertiser, 23 November 2016: http://www.theava.com/archives/62922
Anderson Valley (CA) Advertiser, 25 November 2016
Santa Rosa (CA) Press Democrat, 25 November 2016: http://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/6367691-181/second-suspect-booked-in-laytonville?artslide=0
Anderson Valley (CA) Advertiser, 30 November 2016: http://www.theava.com/archives/63110#2
Willits (CA) Weekly, 25 November 2016,1 and 8 December 2016
Anderson Valley (CA) Advertiser, 9 December 2016: http://www.theava.com/archives/63462#1