Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Hells Angel MC member pleads guilty

Staunton, Virginia (January 29, 2019) BTN – In a surprising development, three members of the Hells Angels motorcycle club and a prospect pleaded guilty Tuesday in connection with a September ambush at the Hometown Inn that saw a rival motorcycle club member shot and another beaten.

Both men survived the attack.

In Augusta County Circuit Court on Tuesday, one of the alleged shooters, Anthony Milan, 28, of East Elmhurst, New York, a Hells Angel prospect at the time of his arrest, pleaded guilty to malicious wounding by a mob and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.

"He was a triggerman," Augusta County prosecutor Tim Martin said.

Milan was sentenced to eight years in prison.

Three other defendants, none of them one of the two shooters, were sentenced to four years in prison. Nathaniel A. Villaman, 28, of East Brunswick, New Jersey; Joseph Anthony Paturzo, 52, of the Bronx, New York; and Richard E. West, 53, of Baldwin, New York, all pleaded guilty to malicious wounding by a mob.

The second shooter is alleged to be Dominick J. Eadicicco, 48, of Staten Island, New York. He is scheduled for trial March 18.

Martin said he was pleased with the guilty verdicts, and noted: The shooting victim was not cooperating with authorities and wouldn't be a witness at trial.

Motions in the case were scheduled to be heard Tuesday before the plea deals were reached.

Two other Hells Angels members who were not charged in the attack face drug and gun charges.

Earlier evidence showed ambush

Motel video surveillance viewed at an earlier bond hearing in October showed five Hells Angels were lying in wait after two members of the rival Pagans Motorcycle Club were spotted across the street at the Pilot Travel Center during the early-morning hours of Sept. 10.

Roughly 90 minutes later, shortly before 3 a.m. as the two Pagans pulled into the motel parking lot on their motorcycles, an ambush was unleashed, video evidence showed.

One of the Pagans was shot, the other knocked off his motorcycle and beaten with a hammer.

Prior to the shooting, after the two Pagans were seen at the travel center, one of the motorcycle club members rousted four others from their rooms at the Hometown Inn, which is near Greenville.

After the men took off their Hells Angels gear and changed into different clothing, one of the Hells Angels kept close tabs on the Pagans across the street with binoculars. Another was seen holding an iPad in their direction as he presumably filmed them, video evidence showed. Other Hells Angels club members were nearby.

When the Pagans went to the Hometown Inn, the clerk, unaware there were now rival gang members registered at the motel, gave them a room next to one of three rooms rented by the Hells Angels, according to evidence.

As the Pagans pulled up to their room, one following the other, the second rider was knocked off his motorcycle as it was still moving. The rider in front wiped out as he attempted to escape the ambush, skidding his bike to the ground. As he ran, two Hells Angels opened fire on him, video showed. An investigator testified four to five gunshots were fired.

The victim was struck once in the lower left side of his back. He survived the shooting and was released from the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville after a week-long stay, according to testimony.

The beating victim was not seriously injured.

Both victims were members of the Pagans Motorcycle Club out of southern Virginia, the sheriff's office said.

Seven suspects were arrested at the scene. Two guns and a shell casing were recovered at the motel by investigators.

At a press conference held after the shooting, Augusta County Sheriff Donald Smith said both groups were passing through the area following an unidentified convention.

SOURCE: News Leader