Jeremiah Barrett and Leon Grammer, brothers accused of the murder of three intruders
CALAVERAS COUNTY – Three men were killed in the Sierra foothills above Jackson after they had invaded a rural marijuana grow in the morning hours of Tuesday, October 20.
The three men, who were only identified as being Caucasian and from Stanislaus County, had entered a property on foot along South Railroad Flat Road, where a parcel of marijuana plants was being grown. The man who was living there, at least for the time being, was identified as Leon Michael Grammer, 38. According to the Calaveras County Sheriff’s office, he has a medical marijuana certification, and was growing the crop legally.
When Grammer spotted the three taking his marijuana, he did not call for law enforcement to help, but instead dialed up his brother. According to Sheriff Gary Kuntz, calling the sheriff’s office is the correct thing to do when faced with trespassers or thieves. Though there is no penal code for stealing marijuana, and the legal status may vary between federal, state, and local laws, trespassing is certainly against the law.
But Grammer and his younger brother, Jeremiah Lee Barrett, 30, instead took the law into their own hands. The Sheriff in a press conference, and Sergeant Anthony Eberhardt in a press release, stated that Barrett was coming from Jackson, about 20 minutes away. But according to the booking records, both brothers reside in Volcano, another community in the foothills east of Jackson, and a 30 to 40 minute drive from Railroad Flat.
While waiting for his brother to arrive, Grammer armed himself with a gun. Just before Barrett arrived, he shot at the trespassers, who responded by running up the road away from the property. It was there that they were met by Barrett, armed with a shotgun. He fired three rounds, hitting each of them.
The gunfire alarmed a neighbor, who contacted the Sheriff’s department. Deputies responding to the scene at 9:20 am found the three men dead, two on the roadway and one lying just off the road. Emergency medical personnel were also called to the scene, and confirmed they were all deceased.
Barrett and Grammer were detained and interviewed by detectives. Based on the evidence and their statements, Barrett was arrested and booked for murder and conspiracy to commit murder, and Grammer was charged with conspiracy and being an accessory to murder. According to Sheriff Kuntz, there is no known past connection between the suspects and victims.
Leon Grammer was released on $30,000 bail, while Jeremiah Barrett is being held on $2,500,000 bail.
The victims’ identities are being withheld pending notification of the next of kin, with autopsies scheduled for this week. Anyone with information about this incident is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s office anonymous tip line at 209-754-6030.