Trial in 2016 Nevada County murder bumped from May start date |

Trial in 2016 Nevada County murder bumped from May start date

The trial for murder suspect Christopher Lee Bancroft, which was set to start May 19 in Nevada County Superior Court, has been postponed to an unspecified date.

Bancroft, 30, is facing a felony count of murder in the death of Donald Ormsby, whose body was found on 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 the Nevada County Jail in May 2018 on the murder charge. He remained jailed Monday without bond, authorities said.

During the July 2018 preliminary hearing 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.

Gomez initially was charged as well, but was released after a judge determined not enough evidence existed against her.

On Thursday, Bancroft appeared in court by video while his attorney, Roberto Marquez, and Deputy District Attorney Ed Grubaugh appeared by phone.

Grubaugh told Judge Robert Tice-Raskin he expected a trial could last about nine days. But, he added, he is leaving the District Attorney’s Office and the case had not been reassigned yet. Marquez did not oppose a delay in the trial, telling Tice-Raskin he still was waiting for some evidence to be turned over.

The trial readiness conference was rescheduled for May 21.

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

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