Ex-wife, cadaver dog trainer, testifies at Queen’s trial
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — In May 2018, Kristina Starr received a phone call from prison from her husband, Matthew Queen.
He asked her to remove some items from the back of his Chevy Suburban, Starr said Thursday.
She checked the back of the vehicle. The objects were firearms.
Starr, who testified Thursday at Queen’s trial for murder and numerous other charges including multiple weapons offenses, said she had never seen the guns before. She denied ordering gun components or helping Queen make guns.
She and Queen are no longer together and had been separated but lived together in 2018 in a house on Compass Avenue, Starr said. Baylee Despot, Queen’s girlfriend, lived with them.
Queen, 45, is on trial for torture, murder and numerous other offences, including multiple gun offences. He and Despot are accused of torturing and killing “Bakersfield 3” member Micah Holsonbake.
The trial is in its ninth day.
It is alleged that the Queen and the Despot killed Holsonbake, 38, for a stolen weapon. Despot disappeared shortly after Holsonbake disappeared in March 2018.
Holsonbake’s left arm and skull were later found in the Kern River. Despot was not heard.
Despot, Holsonbake and James Kulstad became known as Bakersfield 3 because each was killed or disappeared within two months.
The Kern County Sheriff’s Sgt also testified Thursday morning. Danny Bowlings and Lt. Tammie Sullivan, who trains dogs used to locate bodies with the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Unit.
They testified that they were sent to a remote area of Maricopa in June 2018, led there by Caleb Seiler, a Queen’s acquaintance who has previously testified.
Sullivan said dogs are trained to pick up the slightest scent of human blood, fluid or bone.
After 15 minutes in the Maricopa area, one of the dogs alerted — she smelled an odor, Sullivan said.
The dog, named Sadie, alerted so quickly “it put me in shock,” Sullivan said. She called the dog back and sent it away. The dog alerted at the same location a second and third time.
Authorities dug for several hours but found nothing.
Sullivan, however, is convinced the dog smelled liquid or bone.
“There was something there,” Sullivan said. “He could have been moved.
Queen’s Counsel Timothy Hennessy asked if the fluid or bone could be from anyone, even an off-roader who cut himself. Sullivan said it was possible.