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Wheatland Sun

Chico Man Ordered to Stand Trial For 2019 Marijuana Grow Murder

Apr 29, 2022 12:00AM ● By Butte County Press Release

Dylan Rice Mugshot

CHICO, CA (MPG) - A 2019 murder case involving a perceived employment compensation dispute over an illegal marijuana grow will proceed to trial after a Butte County Superior Court judge found sufficient evidence to hold a Chico man to answer today at his preliminary hearing.

Dylan Andrew Glen Rice, 27, of Chico, was held to answer on a murder charge arising from the killing of Jacob McArthur, who was 27 at the time of his death. Judge Michael Deems presided over the hearing and determined from the evidence that the case should proceed to trial.

Butte County District Attorney Mike Ramsey explained that a preliminary hearing is conducted in felony cases in order for a judge to decide whether there is enough evidence to order someone to stand trial.

Ramsey said the case began in December of 2019 when Butte County Sheriff’s detectives responded to McArthur’s rural residence on Craig Access Road east of Lake Oroville. McArthur was found to have been shot multiple times inside his residence. Over the course of the next year and a half, the detectives continued to gather evidence. Finally, in July of 2021, because of their investigation, detectives determined Rice was the gunman responsible for the death of McArthur, and he was arrested for the murder.

Ramsey said the evidence presented at the hearing showed that Rice, who had previously worked with McArthur cultivating marijuana at the Craig Access Road property as part of an illegal marijuana organization, felt he had been “short changed” over his work. Evidence showed Rice had lurked outside McArthur’s home for some time during the night before shooting through a living room window and hitting McArthur inside.

Ramsey said the lurking outside of the home before the intentional shooting made Rice subject to a potential prison term of life without the possibility of parole. Rice will next appear in court on May 5, 2022, to have his jury trial date set. Rice remains in Butte County Jail with no bail.