Fugitive Suspect in Laytonville Homicide Surrenders to US Officials at Mexico Border Where He’d Been Hiding

Michael Andrew Kane

Michael Andrew Kane

This is a press release from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. The information has not been proven in a court of law and any individuals described should be presumed innocent until proven guilty:


On 11-11-2016 at 3:39 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were summoned to a reported man who had been murdered on a remote property located in the 49000 block of North Highway 101 in Laytonville, California.

The property was a rural parcel approximately 5 miles from Highway 101, on a dirt road that traveled in a westerly direction. Deputies responded to the scene confirming there was a male adult who was obviously deceased as a result of what appeared to be a violent assault.

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Detectives were summoned to the scene, along with Investigators from the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office and Criminalists from the California Department of Justice. During the investigation it was determined the deceased male adult, Jeffrey Quinn Settler, was operating a commercial marijuana growing operation on the property.

In the early morning hours of 11-11-2016 (Thursday), multiple subjects who had been recently employed by Settler as marijuana trimmers returned to the property in the middle of the night with the intent to commit robbery of processed marijuana. The investigation has revealed the subjects knew the marijuana was stored in the same structure where Settler slept and the subjects violently assaulted him during the robbery, causing his death. The subjects were believed to have fled the property in at least two vehicles and were believed to have stolen over 100 pounds of processed marijuana. The suspects were believed to have fled to Southern California or out of state.

In all seven suspects were identified and subsequent felony arrest warrants were sought. Three of the seven suspects have been arrested and are currently being prosecuted for homicide and robbery. On 01-16-17, Suspect Michael Andrew Kane of Pleasantville New York, surrendered to Customs and Border Patrol at the California Mexico Border on a felony warrant for homicide in this case. Kane had been a fugitive in Mexico, when he contacted his family and advised he was “tired of running” and wanted to surrender. His arrest was facilitated through the US Marshals Office and the US Border Patrol.

Mendocino County Sheriff’s Detectives responded to San Diego to interview Kane where he was being held. Currently three suspects are still at large and are believed to have fled the state of California. The remaining suspects are identified as Frederick Gaestel, 27, of Illinois,

Frederick Gaestel

Frederick Gaestel

Gary Blank III, 34, of Garberville,

Gary "Cricket" Blank

Gary “Cricket” Blank III

and Jesse Wells, 33, of Laytonville.

Jesse Wells

Jesse Wells

[UPDATE from MCSO: **CORRECTION**, Gary Lynn Fitzgerald, 23 years of age, out of Roanoke IL, is currently in custody.  He surrendered to custody on 11/23/2016 at the Mendocino County Jail.]

Any persons with information about the location of the outstanding suspects are encouraged to contact the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Services Unit at 707-463-4421 or the Sheriff’s Office Tip Line at 707-234-2100.

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  • Glad he turned himself in. Part of owning what went down out there in them hills. Very sad situation. Man lost his life over weed and greed. Maybe this young fella still has time to turn his life around. Who knows. A good start would be taking a bath and cutting that gangly shit hanging off his brain housing group. Just my opinion.

  • must be pretty shitty to be homeless in mexico if youd rather be in prison in the states.

    • Agreed. Dude doesn’t even have a tan. Must have been real rough. What a phone call that must have been.
      Guy:”mom, yeah, i killed a guy over a little bit of weed and I’m in Mexico.”
      Mom: ” oh my god son, that is so horrible”
      Guy” “I know, this place sucks. Can you get me out of here?”

      • Right? Life in prison better thank life in Mexico? Who’d a thought. He must of got kicked out of the drug house when he ran out of money otherwise you would think he would have some color to him

  • I thought it was reported that “Giggles” turned himself in weeks ago. ?

  • No Laughing Matter

    “Giggles” was arrested in Ukiah on Nov.25

  • So this guy ran out of stolen money and cannabis that they killed the victim for?
    Is that the real reason ? Broke in Tijuana?
    How on earth to turn that life around when your going to be surrounded by the same type of leasure class felons while doing life in prison,…

  • No turnaround is possible. He participated in a horrendous and dispicible act. He will be in prison for a long time and pay for the rest of his life.

    • As he should pos should never be able to enjoy freedom, grower or not they beat another human to death for pretty much nothing

  • That dude looks far more like a grower than any actual trimmer, to me.

    • only if he stepped out of a 2017 Denali truck, (or similar). He looks like the trash that walk the streets of garb in the summer time asking for a job or money

  • Let me guess…..They will all eventually turn on the last to get caught.

  • Honeydew Bridge Chump

    Looks like crappy green rush devil’s lettuce didn’t equal a tropical paradise.

    Money ran out…

    Devil’s lettuce chalks up another act of terrorism.

    Only complete focus on ridding the land of lettuce terrorism can we begin to rebuild wrecked communities afflicted by these terrorists.

    • I personally don’t like mustard greens. Maybe we can rid the land of that first and then focus on lettuce.

    • HBC,

      I know your feelings and views on our Marijuana problems. I would like to know your feelings and get some input on the meth problem here in Humboldt. You might say, “the devil’s chemicals!” Any ideas on how we can stop this terrible disease?

  • Kinda sounds like your the one partaking in the devils lettuce to me. Or maybe something stronger! But somewhere in your statement i do sense a concerned citizen.

  • Hdbc is just a lonely troll, let them be

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