Trimmers Charged With Murdering Laytonville Grower in Court Together; Garberville Man Charged With Using Knife in the Attack

Gary "Cricket" Blank

Gary Blank

A Garberville man, Gary Blank III, along with another man, Michael Kane, has been charged with wielding a knife in the death of Jeffery Settler, a marijuana grower who lived near Laytonville. April 24th was the first time these two and their five co-defendants have all appeared in court together.

A man from Arcata, Gary Fitzgerald, and four other non-locals–Zachary Ryan Wuester, Abdirahman “Richie” Mohamed, Jesse Wells, and Frederick Gaestel—were also arrested or turned themselves in one by one as co-defendants.The seven men, former employees of Settler, have all been charged with his murder on November 11.

According to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat,

Some of the suspects had been evicted from the property days before the killing and there may have been a dispute over payment, authorities have said.

All the suspects fled the crime scene, taking with them a woman, initially thought to be a suspect, and her child.

They were later released.

For more on the story, follow the link to the Press Democrat above and this one to the Mendocino Voice. Each has information the other doesn’t.

Kane, Fitzgerald, Wuester

Kane, Fitzgerald, Wuester

Mohamed, Wells, Gaestel

Mohamed, Wells, Gaestel

Earlier Chapters:



  • Well they didn’t get paid,so they murder for it,still didn’t get paid and now you go to prison. Now you’ll get paid

  • Fireing squad would be a good start for these monsters

  • Thankfully they are being prosecuted by Mendocino County. In Humboldt they would not all be apprehended let alone prosecuted effectively. And that’s why the criminals love Humboldt!

    • That’s what I’ve thought this entire time! That’s why Mendo kicks ass, the majority of grows are kept small and the cops serve and protect and catch killers no matter how hard they try and hide!!! I love Mendo. But most importantly I’m so glad there will be justice in the Settler case.

      • “The grows are kept small” HAHAHAHAHA that’s a good one

        • Yep, the majority of Mendo grows are smaller than the majority of Humboldt grows, neighbors even regulate each other because they don’t want to get busted because their neighbors went to big. Sometimes facts are funny I guess.

          • I also like the size that Mendocino has kept stuff. Sure, some people blow it up but sometimes they get popped. Unlike Humboldt where any size mega-grow is looked on as wonderful and left alone, even when pumping directly from the river in a drought! It’s no wonder that the fat, lazy sheriff department of Humboldt is also slow to useless in catching violent criminals. And it’s also understandable that mom-n-pop growers elsewhere are disgusted by Humboldt’s growing culture- rewarding the greediest and biggest is punishing the smaller and responsible. But for some reason ($$$??) few people up here can get that! The coming economic destruction coupled with roving bands of violent criminals will be deserved…and it is coming soon.

            • Exactly!! That’s why I had to leave Humboldt for Mendo. There are still a lot of good people there but too much has changed in the past decade while Mendo has overall stayed Mom n Pop size grows. Each year Mendo makes stricter laws and follows through!

          • Who (even) needs stinkin’ facts? Sarcasm intended.

        • Sleepy Alligator

          “and the cops serve and protect” Double haha!

      • J- You’re delusional. This happened in mendo! Have you driven through laytonville last few years? It’s filled with people who look just like these guys. You think greed stops at the mendo border? Keep dreaming. You live in a bubble.

        • Yes, trimigrants do hang out in Laytonville, and sometimes I see them in my town too. His grow was bigger than I personally would do but considering he had a 100lbs and not 400, it’s still smaller than the shit shows I saw in Humboldt. Sometimes reading carefully helps, notice key words like “majority” indicating I don’t think Mendo is completely free of greed. Nice name calling though, it’s real classy and educational to call names:)

    • Humboldt county judges are likened to a public defender in a black robe.

  • These are some scary looking dudes! Great job of rounding them up.

  • Sad that someone who was helping others got killed for it.
    Let them go to prison and reflect on what they did that could have easily
    Been talked out.


      how is someone “helping others” by bringing this trash to our homes?

    • It is really sad to see, he trusted strangers and unfortunately in this day and age that’s not a good option. Heartbreaking that he paid this price, but I’m so happy that every last one is being brought to justice.

    • Sleepy Alligator

      If it turns out they trimmed for him and he didn’t pay them then I’d say the only person he was “helping” was himself.

  • …”suspects had been evicted from the property ” implies they paid rent. Did they pay rent or were they asked to leave, kindly or not?

  • Does it matter, Liz? Never heard of a grower charging rent to trimmers. Telling someone, renter or not, to leave private property isn’t grounds for murder.

  • honeydew gay bridge C.H.U.M.P

    I cant tell apart laytonville,redidents and,trimmigrants,.. All the same to me!

  • Hire locally. Stop giving the trimmergrints a reason to flood the county & expand our already ridiculous homeless population. Save the trim jobs for local folks who know that sometimes you gotta wait till the weed is sold to get paid & wont come back & rob the grower…

  • Yes, stefelony, i wholeheartedly agree with you there!! And hella glad theyre going to prison:-) as well as i know for a fact it was not a matter of him not paying them. They just got greedy and apparently thought they had a chance of getting away with his murder.:-(

  • Jeff gave them opertunity for work and shelter. In return they felt the right to take his life over a disagreement. One that a intellectual would have seen any other way out of. They had no right to take Jeff from his young babies. Prison is not right for them. I’m in favor of people like them being put in slave labor camps to earn money that will provide for the families of the victims of crimes like this. All 7 of them will be in the system for the rest of their lives. Those babies will not remember the father that would have loved & provided for them their whole lives.

  • What about bringing back chain gangs. Make them work hard everyday,they sit around watching t.v.maybe if crimanals had to work hard labor They’d not want to commit crimes. I watched my husband build pelican Bay and there’s nothing that would make me commit a crime to be there. It’s awful,I mean it gave me the Willie’s!!!

  • Any updates kym. I miss my friend today. Spent a lot of rainy morning with Jeff

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