The Las Vegas District Court released eight members of the Vagos rock club from all charges against them on Monday. Among other things, the rockers are said to have been involved in a shootout at the Nugget Casino in Sparks, Nevada in 2011, in which a high-ranking member of the Hells Angels was killed.
Tricks and liars?
The jury of the Las Vegas court reached a clear verdict on Monday after more than five months of trial: it was “not guilty” for each of the eight defendants.
The men, aged between 36 and 70, had been suspected of having committed serious crimes together since 2005. Daniel Hill, the defense lawyer for one of the accused, was extremely satisfied after the verdict was pronounced:
This happens when the government tries to lock people away with tricks and liars.
As members of the Rockergang Vagos, the men are said to have been active on a large scale in drug trafficking and committed violent crimes, the accusation is. The prosecutor’s office had accused them of several cases of robbery, extortion, and kidnapping. Her crimes are said to have extended to the states of California, Arizona, Hawaii, Oregon, Utah, and Nevada.
Murder or Self Defense?
However, the trial focused on the violent death of Hells Angels Jeffrey Pettigrew. The then-president of a California chapter died on the night of September 24, 2011, at the Nugget Casino in Sparks. Camera recordings showed how the now acquitted Vagos member Ernesto Gonzalez (61) shot the rock boss.
The Vagos Motorcycle Club was founded in California in 1965. Today, around 4,000 members are said to be organized in 200 chapters in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and Europe.
Gonzalez had already been sentenced to life imprisonment for murdering Pettigrew in 2013. A former member of the Vagos said the shootout was an orchestrated killing of Hell’s Angel Bosses.
The 2015 judgment was withdrawn due to procedural errors. Gonzalez was now on trial with seven other defendants. The jury followed the defense’s statements that the shots fired were self-defense. So Pettigrew struck first and then shot in the casino. This version was also confirmed by the former main charge witness of the indictment from 2013. Like other witnesses, he had significantly changed his previous statements in favor of the accused in the process that has now ended.