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Local News

Final Fugitive Arrested In Laytonville Grower's Slaying

The seventh and final fugitive wanted on suspicion of killing Laytonville marijuana grower ­­ Jeffrey Settler was arrested in New Jersey on Friday.

According to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, Gary Blank the third was taken into custody by New Jersey State Police at around 9 p.m. in the neighborhood of red bank. Exact details on what led to the arrest weren’t released but officials did say law enforcement agencies in the state were helped by anonymous sources saying Blank had been given a ride from California to the northeast. 

The suspect was arrested without incident and awaits extradition to Mendocino County, where he will stand trial with the six other suspects in the case. There is no word on when such a transfer will occur. 

Investigators believe Blank and the six other men, who worked as marijuana trimmers on Settler’s property, killed the victim during a robbery attempt in the early hours of November 11.  The suspects are also accused of stealing more than 100 pounds of processed cannabis. 

Blank was being held without bail. 

In other news, a teenage boy was seriously injured in Potter Valley Friday when he was run over by the pickup truck which he held onto while riding his skateboard.  

According to a release from the California Highway Patrol, at around 1 p.m. the teen was holding onto the bed of the truck headed slowly west on Main Street. That’s when, officials say, he lost his balance and fell beneath the vehicle which instantly stuck him.

The boy suffered major injuries and was airlifted to Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital.  The driver of the vehicle was identified as 19-year-old Potter Valley resident Garret Pierachini.