Saturday, November 19, 2005

Hells Angels in court

Dozens of Hells Angel's bikers showed up in federal court Friday to face charges of racketeering, attempted murder and gun violations. The appearance comes one day after attorneys for some of the men asked the State of Nevada Supreme Court to throw out state charges against them. The two different cases stem from the murder-melee at the Harrah's Laughlin Casino on April 27, 2002.

Prosecutors say three gang members died as a result of the shooting and stabbing among rival Hells Angels and Mongols. They are now facing charges in both district and federal court. Two Hells Angels and one Mongol were killed in the brawl inside the Harrah's Laughlin Casino more than three years ago.

Twelve men were charged with murder in district court based on a conspiracy theory that the rival gangs acted as a group and are all responsible for the deaths. Defense attorneys argued that theory in front of the State Supreme Court on Nov. 17. A ruling is pending. But those attorneys, plus dozens more of their Hells Angels clients, were back in court Nov. 18 this time facing federal gun, attempted murder and racketeering charges.

Defense attorney David Chesnoff says, "The government takes the position that this is a criminal organization, when in reality it is a motorcycle club. The government has forgotten the presumption of innocence. But fortunately, we have juries and we are looking forward to a trial."

The federal case involves 32 counts against 44 Hells Angels members only.

Defense attorney Bret Whipple says, "I don't understand that at all. There are two separate groups of people who got into a fight. There were some weapons used, not by my client. I don't understand how the prosecution chose to prosecute one group and not that with another?"

The theory is because the Mongols were allegedly staying at the Harrah's Laughlin casino, authorities believe the Hells Angels were looking to pick a fight. The Mongols could be called to testify against their enemies at the federal case.

The first group of defendants are expected in court at the end of January 2006. That means that the district court case of murder may never be heard because the federal case supercedes the state case. It would ultimately be up to the district court judge to decide whether to proceed with the case. But everything is also dependent on the State Supreme Court ruling, which could take months.

Each was accused of 19 counts of federal violence in the aid of racketeering, racketeering-attempted murder and racketeering-assault, plus 13 counts of using and carrying a firearm during and in relation to a crime of violence.

Two others named Oct. 25 in a superseding indictment remained fugitives: Frederick Donahue, 40, of Rodeo, Calif., and Jorrg Maykopf of Germany.

Arraignments were rescheduled next month for Jeffrey Carney, 44, of Kirkland, Wash.; George Walters, 48, of Kingman, Ariz.; Brian Wendt, 28, of Tulare, Calif.; and Rick Fabel, 48, of Spokane, Wash.

Patrick Kalabolas, 57, of Las Vegas, waived arraignment Friday. A lawyer for William Spearman, 63, of Anchorage, Alaska, entered Spearman's not guilty plea.

Most defendants remained free on bond pending trial:

Charles Acosta, 30, Oakland, Calif.

Robert Anello, 51, Petaluma, Calif.

Ron Arnone, 41, Tacoma, Wash.

Matthew Carlock, 31, San Pablo, Calif.

Matt Comach, 40, Novato, Calif.

Rodney Cox, 43, Phoenix, in custody.

Steve Eades, 41, Martinez, Calif.

Montgomery David Elliott, 52, Anchorage, Alaska.

Maurice "Pete" Eunice, 54, Lakeside, Calif.

Raymond Foakes, 42, Petaluma, Calif.

Shawn Frazer, 35, Pinole, Calif.

James Hannigan, 38, Mountain View, Calif.

Justin Harrah , 35, Watsonville, Calif.

Keith Hixon, 31, Auburn, Calif.

Wayne Hodges, 54, San Francisco.

Eiland Hogan, 24, Roseville, Calif.

Michael Hurn, 55, Anchorage, Alaska .

Charlie Hyde, 51, Simi Valley, Calif.

Ricky Jenks, 28, no address given.

Edward Laigo, 57, Atwater, Calif., in custody.

Daniel LaJocies, 42, Modesto, Calif, in custody.

Dale Leedom, 43, Two Rivers, Alaska.

Jesse Mahon, 26, Carmichael, Calif.

Michael Mills, 47, Wenatchee, Wash.

Jeff Morales, 47, Corona, Calif.

Steven Pearce, 51, Silverdale, Wash.

Jason Peterson, 31, San Francisco.

Sohn Regas, 38, Reno.

Daniel Roay, 47, San Pablo, Calif.

Calvin Schaefer, 36, Chandler, Ariz.

Donald Smith, 55, Bullhead City, Ariz.

Michael Smullen, 48, Pinole, Calif.

David Steely, 38, Concord, Calif.

John Ward, 44, Phoenix.

Brian Wolff,42, Spokane, Wash.

Jeff Zarate, 54, Los Angeles.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Lost and Found

LAS VEGAS A woman feared missing has been located, and her estranged husband has been arrested on felony charges in a break-in at the woman's Las Vegas home.
Police say today (Monday) that 33-year-old Alinda Miller was found safe Friday at a friend's home in the Las Vegas area.

26-year-old Ronald "Joe" Nelson was found and arrested Saturday at a low-cost motel just west of the Las Vegas Strip.

The couple had been the focus of a regional search -- with police saying they thought Miller had been abducted and was in danger.

Nelson's being held on a probation violation -- and is due Wednesday in court on felony burglary and home invasion charges.

He was sought in a November seventh break-in at Miller's home near the Las Vegas Beltway and Charleston Boulevard.

Police say Nelson was supposed to be under house arrest in another battery case.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Another 1 bites the dust

LAS VEGAS A pretrial hearing is set today in Las Vegas for a former Louisiana fugitive accused of trying to kill Las Vegas police during a high-speed chase earlier this year.
32-year-old Kentro Taylor will be getting a new trial after a Clark County District Court judge ruled in August that a prosecutor shouldn't have told jurors that Taylor was wanted in Louisiana on a murder warrant at the time of the chase.

Taylor had been convicted of 11 felonies in July.

He's again facing multiple felony charges of attempted murder, conspiracy, evading a police officer and possession of stolen property.

Taylor and his girlfriend -- 23-year-old April Jones -- were accused of shooting at police during the pursuit in February.

Jones pleaded guilty to 11 felonies in a plea deal.

Both Taylor and Jones were sentenced to 14 to 40 years in prison.

Friday, November 11, 2005

2 more fine human beings in our city

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A judge labeled two admitted killers "immoral, menacing, malicious, wicked" in sentencing each to decades in Nevada state prison for the slaying of a good Samaritan tourist during an armed robbery.

"This is a case of good and evil," Clark County District Court Judge Joseph Bonaventure said Wednesday.

Charles Walker, 26, was sentenced to life in prison without parole, and Shawn White, 21, got 30 years to life for the Jan. 21 slaying of Thomas Latimer.

Latimer, 49, of Maitland, Fla., was shot while trying to stop an armed robbery at a McDonald's just east of the Las Vegas Strip. He died the next day.

Testifying about her grief, Latimer's widow, Duane Latimer, looked directly at Walker and White.

"Charles Walker and Shawn White, in the nicest version, shame on you," she said. "You took something that can never be replaced."

Walker and White each pleaded guilty in August to separate charges in a plea deal that spared them the possibility of the death penalty.

Walker, the shooter, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder with use of a deadly weapon, conspiracy and multiple charges of robbery.

White pleaded guilty to second-degree murder, conspiracy and robbery.

Walker apologized Wednesday to Latimer's family, saying he didn't expect anyone to give chase after the robbery.

"He had heart," Walker said of Latimer. "I apologize."

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Thursday, November 10, 2005

Ceack for crack

LAS VEGAS (AP) - A man found guilty of bludgeoning a Utah tourist to death in one of the city's roughest neighborhoods could face 20 years to life in prison at sentencing in January, a prosecutor said Thursday.

Shod Walker, 28, was convicted Wednesday of second-degree murder with a deadly weapon in the slaying of Simone Hirst, a former model from Park City, Utah.

Authorities said Hirst quarreled with her boyfriend while celebrating her 39th birthday and took a taxi alone from the posh Bellagio hotel-casino on the Las Vegas Strip to a run-down section of downtown. Prosecutors said she was killed at a low-budget motel after trading sex with strangers for crack cocaine.

Walker's first trial ended in mistrial in February after a juror went home and used a rock and a coconut to simulate the slaying described in court.

A new jury began hearing the case Nov. 2. Jurors deliberated about seven hours Wednesday before returning a verdict.

Hirst's father, Terry Hirst, said Wednesday he felt as if his daughter was with him when the verdict was read in Clark County District Court.

Walker remained in custody Thursday at the Clark County jail in Las Vegas pending sentencing Jan. 4.

DNA evidence showed Walker had sex with Hirst, prosecutors said, and a witness saw the two together in the motel courtyard where prosecutors said she was killed with a 44-pound rock.

Walker's defense lawyer, Greg Denue, argued that Hirst suffered fatal injuries when she fell out a first-story laundry room window.

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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Great politicians we have here!!

A Las Vegas lobbyist who conspired with a strip club owner and two San Diego city councilmen to repeal a “no-touch” dancing law in exchange for campaign contributions is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday.Federal prosecutors are recommending 57 months in prison for Lance Malone.Malone’s attorney Dominic Gentile claims in court documents that Malone’s convictions should be set aside or a new trial granted because recent San Diego political scandals wrongly influenced the jury.Malone was convicted July 18 of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 33 counts of wire fraud and three counts of extortion.Two councilmen, Ralph Inzunza and Michael Zucchet, were also convicted and resigned shortly afterward. They are set to be sentenced Thursday.Another councilman, Charles Lewis, died in 2004 shortly after being indicted.City council aide David Cowan was acquitted of making a false statement to the FBI.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

New Blog

If you all the weird shit that goes on in vegas, this is the blog you need!!!!