Charges pending against Grass Valley man in 2016 homicide |

Charges pending against Grass Valley man in 2016 homicide

A Grass Valley man who has been serving a state prison sentence for robbery was booked into Wayne Brown Correctional Facility Friday on a murder charge.

Christopher Lee Bancroft, 28, has been a “person of interest” all along in the 2016 homicide of Donald Mark Ormsby, whose body was found in late June of that year in the front yard of a Countrywood Lane home.

The residents discovered Ormsby’s decomposed body on their property, partially covered by dirt and leaves. He had an apparent injury that led investigators to believe his death was a homicide. Authorities were able to identify Ormsby, 51, by his tattoos.

Bancroft was linked to the homicide after he was located in Ormsby’s vehicle, which had been reported as missing.

He was questioned and subsequently transported to Placer County Jail to be booked on an unrelated robbery in Auburn. Bancroft reportedly had been seen on video surveillance footage driving Ormsby’s vehicle during the robbery.

Bancroft was prosecuted in Placer County and pleaded no contest to the robbery charge in October 2016, in return for a two-year sentence to state prison. With credit for time served and good behavior, he was slated to be released soon, said Nevada County Assistant District Attorney Chris Walsh.

On Friday afternoon, Walsh said he has not yet filed a formal complaint against Bancroft, but expects to do so on Monday. According to the jail records, Bancroft is being held without bail on a warrant for first-degree murder,

Bancroft’s criminal history in Nevada County dates back to a felony arrest in 2008, according to court records. Between 2008 and 2016, he had racked up 18 misdemeanor cases, for petty theft, trespassing, loitering, vandalism and minor drug offenses, and five felony cases that included charges of possession and sales of a controlled substance, battery on a peace officer and resisting arrest, and first-degree burglary.

To contact reporter Liz Kellar, email or call 530-477-4236.

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