Mendocino Marijuana Field Murder

Mendocino Marijuana Field Murder

Photo: Edgar Fidel Contreras, Isidro Lopez-Bernal, and Mario Alberto Godinez-Gonzalez booking photos

Yorkville is a small community in the hills of inland southern Mendocino County. Located along Highway 128, neither near the famous coastline or along the well traveled 101 Freeway, it is home to around 150 people, a couple of wineries, and farmland. And like many areas in California’s famed “Emerald Triangle”, there tend to be a lot of well hidden and unknown marijuana fields and gardens.

On Saturday night or early Sunday, September 27, four men were in one of these marijuana gardens in the hills just south of Yorktown. Only two came out, and one of the others did not survive.

Marcos Bautista, 43, was the oldest of the four men, and it appears that it was his marijuana garden. Though that is not entirely accurate, as the location of his crop was on someone else’s private property. But it was growing in a remote, wooded area, at least a quarter mile off Highway 128. Bautista lived in Cloverdale, south of Yorktown where Highway 128 meets up with the 101 Freeway.

The three other men, according to a report issued by the Mendocino Sheriff’s Department, appeared at the garden with the apparent intent to rob Bautista of his valuable crop. Mario Alberto Godinez-Gonzalez, 25, was also from Cloverdale. Isidro Lopez-Bernal, 26, came from Ukiah, north of Cloverdale, and Edgar Fidel Contreras, 25, was from Windsor, south of Cloverdale and near Santa Rosa.

Highway 128 through Yorkville. The road is sparsely populated with wooded terrain on either side.

Highway 128 through Yorkville. The road is sparsely populated with wooded terrain on either side.

The details of what happened that morning are not clear. But the result was that Marcos Bautista was dead from multiple gunshots. One of the younger men, Edgar Contreras, was also shot, possibly by Bautista, and was severely wounded. Mario Godinez and Isidro Lopez-Bernal fled the scene, apparently leaving Contreras behind, perhaps believing he was dead.

But as dawn was breaking, Contreras was able to reach his phone, and called a friend, telling them he had been shot and was in need of help. The friend called the sheriff’s office, and the responding deputies were able to contact Contreras by his cell phone, and he guided them to the location. Once they found him, he was given first aid, and paramedics sent him via air ambulance to a hospital for treatment of his wounds. Though the injuries were called life-threatening, he is expected to survive.

Detectives from the Sheriff’s office arrived on the scene as well, and located the hidden, 200 plant marijuana garden near where Contreras was found. They also found Marcos Bautista’s body, and the case became a homicide investigation. The case moved quickly, and the two missing suspects were soon identified. Isidro Lopez-Bernal was arrested in Cloverdale that night at 11:25, and Mario Godinez was found nearby and arrested at 2:40 am Monday. Both were charged with robbery and murder, with bail set at $500,000.00.

It was over a week later, however, that detectives were able to identify Bautista as the victim. And on Thursday, October 8, the Sheriff’s department identified Contreras as the wounded man, and announced that he would be booked on the same charges of murder and robbery as the other two, with his bail also set at half a million dollars.

Details of who did the shooting and killing of Bautista will likely be revealed as the investigation goes on, and as the district attorney prepares the case against the three young men.

Mendocino Marijuana Field Murder was last modified: February 22nd, 2019 by admin
Categories: Mendocino