Laytonville Sheriff’s officials said deputies confirmed Thursday afternoon that a San Francisco Bay Area man was killed on a remote property off North U.S. Highway 101 in Laytonville, California.
Sheriff’s officials said deputies confirmed that the man died in a violent assault and identified the individual as 35-year-old Bethel Island resident Jeffrey Quinn Settler.
Settler was allegedly growing marijuana for sale, which had nothing to do with medical but rather commercial uses, sheriff’s officials said. According to his father, Greg Settler of Lubbock, Texas Settler, who for years had been involved in marijuana operations, had been a grower in Laytonville for more than a decade.
Deputies said the brutal killing unfolded early Thursday morning when multiple suspects who Settler had hired as marijuana trimmers came to the property to rob Settler of some processed marijuana.
Settler was awakened early morning by his employees and was violently attacked and found dead later that day by a worker also staying at the remote property, according to sheriff’s officials who have released little else about the slaying. An autopsy was conducted Monday afternoon but results have not yet been released.
There is no evidence to suggest Settler knew the marijuana trimmers he hired, however, Settler slept in the same structure where he stored the processed marijuana he cultivated, and the suspects knew this, according to sheriff’s officials.
Settler put up a fight as he was beaten and stabbed, suffering defensive wounds as well as more lethal injuries as he fought back during the attack, according to one law enforcement source.
According to the Press Democrat, Settler was the father of three, including a three‑week‑old boy and a 1‑year‑old boy by his longtime girlfriend, said Greg Settler.
He was born and raised in Lubbock, Texas, the middle child of Greg and Deborah Settler’s five children.
His father expressed profound grief over his son’s murder yet also recognized his line of work was wrought with hazards.
“I didn’t necessarily agree with what he did. He’s my son. He didn’t deserve this,” said a tearful Greg Settler via the Press Democrat. “He was the most peaceful, kindest person.
Deputies said they believe the suspects may be fleeing to Southern California or out of the state, taking 100 pounds of processed pot they stole from Settler. One of the vehicles being used in the escape is thought to be a blue, 2017, 4-door Volkswagen Golf with Virginia license plate VHR5611.
The five trimmers were part of the annual influx into marijuana country at harvest time when seasonal workers are needed to trim the plants.
Commonly known as Trimmigrants in the cannabis harvesting circle, they typically are young travelers who come from across the nation and abroad for trimming jobs, which many times are given to individuals the grower knows personally, as well as individuals they know. This has been a growing problem in numerous Mendocino communities including Laytonville. Many people don’t end up with jobs and expand homeless issues for the mostly rural communities, according to residents and law enforcement officials.
Detectives will be seeking warrants for the four other suspects, which include Amanda Wiest and Frederick Gaestel.