Bancroft murder trial set to start in May in Nevada County Superior Court |

Bancroft murder trial set to start in May in Nevada County Superior Court

A Nevada County judge denied a motion to dismiss charges and has scheduled the trial for murder suspect Christopher Lee Bancroft to start next May.

Bancroft, 30, is charged with the murder of Donald Ormsby, whose body was found in the 1600 block of Countrywood Lane in June 2016. Bancroft was a suspect at the time, but was not charged until after he served a sentence on an unrelated Placer County burglary. He was booked into Nevada County Jail in May 2018 on the murder charge.

During the preliminary hearing into the evidence held in July 2018, testimony was presented that Bancroft, Schennal Gomez and Ormsby planned to burglarize a Countrywood Lane home and that Gomez saw Bancroft slash at Ormsby’s head with a shovel.

The judge also heard testimony that Bancroft met a friend in Ormsby’s car the day after the slaying and that Bancroft tried unsuccessfully to use Ormsby’s bank card.

At Monday’s hearing in Superior Court, Bancroft’s defense attorney, Roberto Marquez, argued the prosecution’s case came down to three witnesses, none of whom were credible.

Judge Candace Heidelberger, however, noted the prior magistrate who held Bancroft to answer on the murder charge had reviewed the credibility issues very carefully and found corroborating evidence.

Heidelberger set the trial for May 19 with a two- to three-week estimate. Bancroft will return to court for a pre-trial conference on April 24 and remains in custody without bond.

Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at

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