Progress made in Brandon Dawson murder case

Stanley Scott Grundy, 45

By Larry Judkins

Glenn County Observer

The disturbing case of Brandon Dawson has taken another dramatic turn, but this time it is a turn that may eventually bring some closure for his family and loved ones.

Dawson was kidnapped, tortured, and murdered on or around March 8, 2019. On July 28, 2021, two people alleged to have been involved in these crimes were arrested and booked into the Glenn County Jail, and two days later a third person was taken into custody.

Dawson had his share of troubles, legal and otherwise, since he was 19 years old, probably earlier. But his problems seemed to accelerate at the start of 2019.

On Jan. 14, 2019, he was the suspected driver of a vehicle involved in a highspeed chase in Corning. During the pursuit, Dawson reportedly jumped from the moving vehicle and fled on foot, getting away.

The passenger in the vehicle, Alexander M. Lemire, then 29, was taken into custody. Several pounds of marijuana and a meth pipe were allegedly found in the car.

(In September of 2019, Lemire was again arrested, this time in Butte County on charges that included allegedly evading a law enforcement officer with wanton disregard for safety, a felony. On Nov. 4, 2020, he failed to appear in court and on Nov. 10, his bail was forfeited. An arrest warrant was issued on Nov. 16, 2020.)

Dawson managed to make it to Oregon, where he had a relative. Then, on Thursday, Feb. 7, 2019, while a man was waiting in a parking lot in Coos Bay to buy a Canadian gold coin from someone, another man approached the would-be gold buyer’s vehicle, pulled out a gun, and tried to get in.

Fortunately, the vehicle was locked. The gold buyer put his vehicle in drive and sped away, calling 911 at 2:11 p.m.

The suspect was identified about a week later as Brandon Dawson. Law enforcement officers in both Oregon and California stepped up their search for him.

Apparently, he returned more or less immediately to Glenn County. In the early evening of Wednesday, Feb. 13, an anonymous person called the Glenn County Sheriff’s Office to report seeing him at 6511 County Road 33, Artois, the property of the late Paul Heyrend.

Deputies searched the area but were unable to find Dawson.

He may have come closest to getting caught on the night of Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2019. At about 10 p.m., Orland police officers, CHP officers, and Glenn County Sheriff’s deputies attempted to stop Dawson in the area of 221 East Shasta Street.

Dawson fled first in a vehicle, then on foot. He jumped several fences of private residences, successfully evading law enforcement officers again.

This was most unfortunate. Had he been caught, he might – just might – still be alive.

On Thursday, Feb. 28, Dawson’s mother, Kelli Skidmore, came into the office of The Valley Mirror, where this reporter was writing at the time. As she paid for a subscription, this reporter encouraged her, if she heard from her son, to have him surrender to authorities.

Skidmore said that Brandon Dawson had been very upset ever since his father, John Dawson, was murdered in Chico at about 4:30 a.m. on August 16, 2018, as the elder Dawson stood on the street in the 600 block of West First Avenue.

On Sunday, March 10, 2019, Kelli Skidmore reported Brandon Dawson as a missing person. At the end of the month, Ashley Talk-Kellison, who called Dawson “a friend,” posted a plea for information regarding Dawson on the Butte County Fires, Accidents, Crimes Facebook page, and probably elsewhere.

She commented that Dawson was last seen on March 8, 2019, and the last person to see him was “Michael Paul.” She also wrote that “Michael Paul’s” girlfriend, Brittany Douglas, had “Brandon’s car last” in “Yuba City”.

John Cornelis Poldervaart, 52

Apparently starting on April 10, 2019, Kelli Skidmore began posting on Facebook that her son had been murdered. Then, late in the afternoon of Wednesday, April 17, 2019, a body was found in the mountains of western Colusa County.

The body was found with the help of Glenn and Colusa County Sheriffs’ deputies, U.S. Forest Service officers, the FBI, and scent-detecting dogs. Dawson had been shot in the head and his hands were cut off.

Rumors quickly began flying throughout Glenn County that the body was that of Brandon Dawson. Glenn County Sheriff Rich Warren would neither confirm nor deny this, however.

Eventually, it was determined that the body was indeed that of Dawson. Recent court documents indicate he was murdered on March 8, 2019.

The next major turn of events occurred on July 29, 2019. Very early that morning, Michael Paul Oliveira, 45, of Orland, was shot to death as he sat in the living room of 617 North Shasta Street, Willows, the home of convicted felon Jamie Barbeiro, who had gone to prison for involuntary manslaughter.

Oliveira had reportedly arrived at the Barbeiro residence unexpectedly, something she said was not unusual. However, she and her roommate, Nikki Marquez, invited him to stay for dinner.

After both women left Oliveira alone in the living room, Barbeiro heard multiple gunshots. She went out from the kitchen to the living room and found that Oliveira had been shot.

He was lying on the floor on his left side with the back of his head resting against the brick fireplace hearth and a baby bassinette on top of him. He had an apparent gunshot wound to his head and several spent shell casings were found in the room.

The baby bassinette may be one of the keys in understanding the motives behind the murder of Oliveira. As one Facebook user posted not long after the killing:

“Karma is a bitch. Now his [Michael Oliveira’s] girl who was THERE [by which the Facebook poster apparently means the location where Dawson was murdered] who KNEW he was killing my daughter’s dad and the love of my life [that is, Brandon Dawson] is PREGNANT and has to bring a baby into the world without a father….”

In a brief telephone interview with Glenn County Sheriff’s Lt. Brandy McDonald on August 4, 2021, she confirmed that Oliveira was involved in the murder of Dawson. In the same post as the one above, the person made these even more interesting comments, given the recent events in which three men were arrested in connection with the Dawson murder:

“Justice still isn’t served. There’s still three men who should and I believe WILL be charged. But thank God the mastermind and main POS [piece of shit] is in HELL….”

About a month before he was shot to death, Michael Oliveira was booked into the Glenn County Jail for vehicle (motorcycle) theft, forging or altering a vehicle registration, and driving with a license suspended for driving while under the influence. His home address was given as 4584 County Road G, Orland.

On many occasions in the past, Oliveira’s girlfriend, Brittany Douglas, was also booked into the Glenn County Jail. Her home address was also given as 4584 County Road G, Orland.

Law enforcement officers reportedly went to the Road G property more than once between March 10, 2019, when Kelli Skidmore filed the missing person report, and April 17, 2019, when Dawson’s body was found in Colusa County.

Clayton Shane Humphrey, 39

The next turns occurred about 15 months later. On Wednesday, July 28 of this year, at about 11:15 a.m., Clayton Shane Humphrey, 39, a ranch hand who lives at 1022 Kirkwood Road, Corning, was booked into the Glenn County Jail on a warrant alleging being an accessory to a felony, first degree murder (a felony), and altering, concealing or moving physical evidence (a misdemeanor).

His bail was set at $10,000, but he was also held without bail at the time on charges alleging violation of parole (a felony).

He was taken into custody at 10 Gilmore Road, Red Bluff, by a California Highway Patrol officer. This Gilmore Road address is a strip mall where Antelope Blvd. and Interstate 5 meet.

At about 2:45 p.m. the same day, Stanley Scott Grundy, 45, a laborer who lives at 17400 Paskenta Road, Corning, was booked into the jail without bail on a warrant alleging kidnapping, torture, and first degree murder (all felonies). He was taken into custody at 1340 Walnut Drive, Red Bluff, by a California Highway Patrol officer.

This address is in a residential area of Red Bluff, north of the Red Bluff Municipal Airport and east of the Sacramento River.

At about 11:35 a.m. on Friday, July 30, John Cornelis Poldervaart, 52, a logger who lives in the Capay District, was booked into the jail on a warrant alleging kidnapping, and torture (both felonies).

His bail was set at $600,000. Poldervaart was taken into custody on Forest Road M2, Tehama County, by a Glenn County Sheriff’s deputy.

Poldervaart’s preliminary hearing was initially set for Wednesday, August 11. It was rescheduled for Wednesday, August 18.

Grundy’s preliminary hearing was also initially set for Wednesday, August 11. It, too, was rescheduled, in this case for Wednesday, Sept. 8.

In addition to the charges listed when he was booked into the jail, he has also been charged with two special allegations and faces a sentence enhancement. If convicted, PC190.2(a)(17)(b) means that Grundy would be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole because the murder occurred during a kidnapping.

Likewise, special allegation PC190.2(a)(18) means that Grundy would be sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole because the murder involved torture. The sentence enhancement consists of an additional and consecutive term of imprisonment in state prison of 25 years to life for causing great bodily injury (in Dawson’s case, death) through the discharge of a firearm.

Humphrey made his $10,000 bail through McMain’s Bail Bonds. His arraignment is set for Sept. 10.

The date given for his falsifying evidence is March 19, 2019, 11 days after the murder.

John R. Vacek is the lead prosecuting attorney in all three cases. The judge for the preliminary hearings in the Grundy and Poldervaart cases is Alicia Ekland.

The judge in the scheduled arraignment of Humphrey is set to be Donald Cole Byrd.

In the August 4 telephone conversation mentioned earlier, Glenn County Sheriff’s Lt. McDonald was asked, “Are more arrests expected?”

Yes, she answered.

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