Grover Beach man arrested for murder, conspiracy

September 28, 2020


Deputies arrested a 33-year-old Grover Beach man for murder on Monday, at the same golf course his alleged victim’s dismembered body was discovered last week.

Shortly after 5 p.m. on Monday, Santa Barbara County deputies arrested Benjamin Mersai at the Blacklake Golf Resort in Nipomo. Mersai is the third suspect arrested in connection with the 2018 murder of Joseph Martin Govey.

On Sept. 21, deputies discovered Govey’s dismembered remains in a lake at the Nipomo golf course. Govey was reported missing in Dec. 2018.

A day later, detectives arrested Donald Anderson, 37, and Kimberly Machleit, 35, both of Santa Maria. Deputies booked Machleit into the Main Jail on charges of murder and conspiracy, with her bail set at $2 million. Anderson was booked into jail on a charge of accessory to murder, with his bail set at $1 million.

Investigators believe the suspects murdered and dismembered Govey’s body in Santa Maria before they disposed of the body in Nipomo.

Deputies booked Mersai in the Santa Barbara County Main Jail on charges of murder, conspiracy and accessory to murder, on a no-bail hold.