Showing posts with label Murder. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Murder. Show all posts

Thursday, May 13, 2021

MC Member Wants Expert Witness Called

Joliet, Illinois, USA (May 13, 2021) - The Will County State's Attorney's Office filed a motion this week asking a judge to prevent first-degree murder defendant Jeremy Boshears from calling an expert witness with Larsen Forensic & Associates to testify that Katie Kearns took her own life and was not the victim of a homicide inside the Joliet Outlaws clubhouse.

Boshears, a member of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club, has remained in the Will County Jail since November 18, 2017, charged with first-degree murder in the death of Kearns. According to prosecutors, she was his new girlfriend at the time of her gunshot death inside the Outlaws Clubhouse in Joliet.

About three-and-a-half years ago, Kearns vanished after tending bar at the Woody's Bar in the 1000 block of East Washington Street. Kearns planned to visit the Outlaws clubhouse, just up the road, after tending bar on Joliet's east side. Her body was found four days later southeast of Joliet, in rural St. Anne, in Kankakee County. She was dead inside the Jeep with a single gunshot wound to her head, police said.

According to court records, the Will County Sheriff's Police suspected the bullet wound to Kearns' head occurred inside the Outlaws clubhouse and "they located a hole consistent with the size of a bullet in the ceiling. They entered the ceiling area/attic and found a bullet ricochet mark on a roof rafter. A search revealed a spent bullet among the ceiling rafters and insulation."

RELATED | Outlaws MC Clubhouse Tones Down Outside Image

In Monday's filing by Assistant Will County State's Attorney Steven Platek, the prosecutor asked Will County's judges to bar Boshears' criminal defense lawyers Neil Patel and Chuck Bretz from presenting opinions at trial from Arthur Borchers, who is employed by Larsen Forensics & Associated located in Glen Ellyn.

According to prosecutors: "Arthur Borchers concludes that the victim in this matter died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. That evidence from the scene when compared to the entrance and exit wounds to the victim were analyzed and allow reconstruction of bullet paths and angles."

The prosecution's motion goes on to state that Borchers determined "That there are no eyewitness statements or accounts as to what happened when the gunshot was fired."

"Arthur Borchers assumes body positions and angles of the victim's head without any basis," the prosecutor argued. "Additionally, he assumes that the defendant, if shooting, would have had a 'natural shooting position with a straight arm.' There is no basis for this assumption."

Lastly, the prosecution maintained that "concluding the gunshot was self-inflicted goes far beyond his expertise of forensic reconstruction and has no basis ... the people of the state of Illinois respectfully request this honorable court to grant people's motion for barring any testimony that this was a self-inflicted gunshot wound."

Monday's motion was submitted by Will County State's Attorney James Glasgow and assistant state's attorney Platek.

Will County's judges have previously authorized multiple payments of taxpayer funds to allow Bretz, Flynn & Associates to hire the expert witnesses with Larsen Forensic & Associates as they explored an alternative death scenario suggesting that Kearns, who had a history of severe depression and had been hospitalized for suicidal tendencies, took her own life at age 24.

According to Will County court records, Boshears will be back in court May 17 to set a hearing date on the prosecution's motion seeking to prevent Borchers from testifying to his alternative theory regarding the death of Kearns. At the May 17 hearing, a judge may also set a date for Boshears' jury trial.


Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Long Vagos MC trial continues in Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA (February 5, 2020) BTN — A federal prosecutor spent a second day Tuesday telling a jury in Las Vegas that eight accused Vagos motorcycle club members were members of a broad criminal racketeering enterprise responsible for crimes including the killing of a rival Hells Angels leader from California in a northern Nevada casino in 2011.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Schiess drew frequent objections from defense attorneys as he pointed jurors toward evidence that he said showed Vagos agreed according to “laws of the street, not laws of society” to commit years of acts of murder, robbery, extortion, kidnapping and drug dealing in addition to the shooting death of Jeffrey Pettigrew.

Vagos members “operate by violence and by silence,” Schiess said. “The silence is to protect the violence,” and crimes were committed “as a pattern in order to run the business.”

Related | Judge rules Vagos MC members will face charges
Related | Star witness in Vagos MC trial lied
Related | Jury selection begins in Vagos MC case

Closings were expected to continue this week, with defense attorneys poised for chances to describe a case they say the government has not proved.

The trial has had a bumpy history and narrowly avoided a mistrial after prosecutors asked U.S. District Judge Gloria Navarro to throw out testimony of a central witness to the shooting who acknowledged after more than three days on the witness stand that he lied.

The jury had been told during opening statements in August that they would hear from ousted Vagos member Gary “Jabbers” Rudnick about a “green light” go-ahead issued by Pastor Fausto Palafox, the Vagos international president, to kill Pettigrew at the Nugget casino in Sparks.

Rudnick admitted in September, after more than three days of testimony, that there was no “green light.”

The eight co-defendants - Palafox, Albert Lopez, Albert Perez, James Gillespie, Bradley Campos, Cesar Morales and Diego Garcia - each face up to life in prison if they are convicted.

When Schiess referred during closings to Rudnick’s testimony, defense attorney Mark Fleming objected and accused the prosecutor of vouching for his own disavowed witness.

Navarro said the jury will decide what and whom to believe.

“The decision about credibility of a witness is yours,” Schiess told the panel. “You get to decide whether he’s credible. That’s your call.”

SOURCE: Associated Press

Friday, November 22, 2019

Judge rules Vagos MC members will face charges

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA (November 22, 2019) BTN — A little more than two months after a major disruption in a federal trial against eight reputed members of the Vagos Motorcycle Club, a federal judge has ruled that the most serious charges of murder and conspiracy to participate in a racketeering enterprise will not be thrown out.

The motion to dismiss the charges surfaced after the government’s star witness — an ousted Vagos member who had been cooperating with authorities and agreed to testify against his former allies — admitted to repeatedly lying on the witness stand in September.

Gary “Jabbers” Rudnick had spent more than three days telling jurors that Vagos members had plotted to kill a rival biker in 2011 in Sparks.

“This was one of the worst witnesses ever put forth in a courtroom,” Jess Marchese, an attorney for one of the eight men on trial, said Thursday. He and attorneys for the remaining defendants had asked U.S. District Chief Judge Gloria Navarro to throw out the murder and racketeering charges due to a lack of sufficient evidence.

Related | Star witness in Vagos MC trial lied
Related | Jury selection begins in Vagos MC case

After more than four hours of arguments Thursday, Navarro agreed with the defense that the case was “a lot weaker than it was in the beginning” but said that she weighed the “totality of the circumstances” when making her decision.

The trial, which began in August and was expected to last through the end of the year, resumes Monday morning.

The charges stem from a racketeering indictment in 2017 against 23 Vagos members arrested in Nevada, Hawaii and California.

Vagos, the Spanish term for “lazy,” is a reference to a vagabond. According to the indictment, the biker gang was formed in San Bernardino, California, in the mid-1960s and has spread to at least seven countries. It is said to have 75 chapters in the United States, 54 of which are in Nevada and California, the states where authorities have said most of the criminal activity occurred.

The eight men on trial — Pastor Fausto Palafox, Albert Lopez, Albert Benjamin Perez, James Patrick Gillespie, Ernesto Manuel Gonzalez, Bradley Michael Campos, Cesar Vaquera Morales and Diego Chavez Garcia — also face one count of using a firearm to commit murder during and in retaliation to a crime of violence in addition to the murder and conspiracy charges.

The bikers are accused of a laundry list of violent crimes, including the 2011 fatal shooting of a rival Hells Angel club member at the Sparks Nugget hotel-casino — a crime described, at the time, as part of a broader criminal conspiracy that involved a coordinated cover-up and threats of retaliation against club members who cooperated with law enforcement.

Thirteen more defendants are awaiting trial in a case that prosecutors allege involves Vagos and crimes in Nevada, California, Arizona, Hawaii, Oregon and Utah.

SOURCE: U.S. News and World Report

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Sentencing in Outlaws MC Prez's murder

Tampa, Florida, USA (November 20, 2019) BTN – A federal judge will decide Wednesday if Christopher “Durty” Cosimano and Michael “Pumpkin” Mencher should spend the rest of their lives in prison for crimes related to their involvement in the 69′ers Motorcycle Club.

Both men were found guilty this summer in a trial that centered on the December 2017 assassination of Paul Anderson, president of the Pasco County chapter of the rival Outlaws Motorcycle Club. Anderson was shot repeatedly while his pickup truck was stopped in rush-hour traffic off the Suncoast Parkway.

Prosecutors said the killing was the culmination of a months-long campaign of violence that began with the beating of two 69′ers and the theft of their biker vests.

The story of the feud and the resulting criminal cases against five 69′ers has been widely told. Less discussed are the details of how such groups operate in the Tampa Bay area and elsewhere. Images and documents used as evidence in the trial offer a look at the inner workings of the 69′ers, a motorcycle club governed by strict rules, part of a subculture seldom glimpsed by outsiders.

In the hours after Anderson was murdered on Dec. 21, 2017, investigators from Pasco County and the federal government turned their attention to a modest house on Riverview Drive east of U.S. 41 in Hillsborough County. The home sits a few hundred feet north of the banks of the Alafia River.

Shaded by tall oaks, with a flagpole and mailbox out front, the house doesn’t appear much different from others in the working-class neighborhood near a large phosphate mine. But behind its walls investigators found biker vests, weapons, drugs and photographs of 69′er gatherings. A front garage housed a set of motorcycles.

A photograph used as evidence in the federal trial of Chrisopher Cosimano and Michael Mencher shows the bar area inside the clubhouse of the local chapter of the 69'ers Motorcycle Club. [U.S. District Court] [U.S. District Court]

A rear garage served as the 69′ers “clubhouse,” a headquarters for the local chapter they called “Killsborough.” Inside was a liquor bar with walls adorned with banners and posters featuring the menacing red-tongued wolf that is the centerpiece of the 69′ers logo. There are framed snapshots of members donning their vests, which bear the patches denoting their status as part of the “1%” — the small fraction of bikers who shirk society’s rules.

The men who pose in the photos are mostly white, though some appear to be people of color. Some make obscene hand gestures for the camera. In the trial, prosecutors showed a jury a nine-page constitution which outlines the national rules governing all local chapters of the 69′ers Motorcycle Club.

A photograph used as evidence in the federal trial of Christopher Cosimano and Michael Mencher shows the inside of the Hillsborough clubhouse of the 69'ers Motorcycle Club. [U.S. District Court] [U.S. District Court]

All chapters are overseen by a collection of officers known as “The Council,” according to the document. The Council meets twice a year. Their task is to maintain standards for all 69′er chapters.

The document details each chapter’s internal structure. It mandates four officers, including a president who must “rule with an iron fist,” vice president, sergeant at arms and treasurer. The constitution dictates that each chapter must be registered as a non-profit, and that a club accountant must file a tax return for the group each year.

“It is the responsibility of all officers to maintain their position with the highest level of respect for all members, property, family and employment,” the document reads.

Related Outlaws MC President was killed over club colors
The membership requirements: you must be at least 18 years old, own an American-made motorcycle, possess a valid motorcycle license, have never been a member of law enforcement, complete a one-year period as a “prospect” and meet the approval of all members. A member can retire from the club with the approval of the Council after five consecutive years of service to the club. The document forbids fighting among members.

“Any member caught stealing from the club or banging another member’s old lady will be ejected from the club,” it states. “Old ladies are off limits.”

“Members shall not discuss club business with citizens,” the document states in large letters. “What’s said in the house stays in the house.”

A total of five men were charged with federal crimes related to Anderson’s murder. Three of them, Allan Guinto, Erick Robinson, and Cody Wesling, signed plea agreements. Guinto and Wesling testified against Cosimano and Mencher.

They were accused of following Anderson on motorcycles through traffic on the Suncoast Parkway and shooting him through the windows of his pickup truck as he stopped at a traffic light at the end of an off-ramp at State Road 54.

Cosimano and Mencher were both found guilty in August on charges that included murder in aid of racketeering.

SOURCE: Tampa Bay Times

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Suspected Outlaws MC members sought in man's death

Davie, Florida, USA (September 21, 2019) BTN — Davie Police Department detectives are still searching for the suspected motorcycle club members responsible for a brutal beating that resulted in a 57-year-old man's death last year.

Detectives released surveillance video Friday showing several possible witnesses and a group of motorcyclists leaving the parking lot after the beating. Detectives suspect they were Outlaw Motorcycle Club members.

Michael Kline was beaten July 4, 2018, outside of the Road Dawgs Saloon at 13010 W. State Road 84. According to Lt. Mark Leone, they left Kline bleeding on the ground.

Davie Fire Rescue took Kline to Broward General Hospital. Officers said Kline suffered a fractured skull, a fractured orbital bone and a subdural hematoma. Kline died as a result of his injuries Nov. 14, 2018.

Kline's son Michael Kline Jr. told police officers that he had been at Road Dawgs earlier in the evening to have a few drinks with his father and decided to leave him there.

Kline's son also told police officers he remembers seeing several Outlaw Motorcycle Club members there, and his father had argued with one of them a few weeks earlier.

Before the beating, Kline left the bar to buy cigarettes at a nearby Exxon gas station. A witness there told police officers that a man with a long beard and long black hair asked Kline for a cigarette.

The witness said Kline gave it to him and walked back with him toward Road Dawgs, police said. Kline never made it back to the bar. Officers found him lying on the ground bleeding.


Saturday, August 31, 2019

Reward for murderer of Pagan's MC member

Spring Hill, Florida, USA (August 31, 2019) BTN — The Florida Sheriffs Association is offering a $5,000 enhanced reward for information leading to the killer of a member of the Pagan's Motorcycle Club in January. The reward will be combined with a $3,000 reward offer by Crime Stoppers of Tampa Bay.

At 6:52 on Jan. 16, Pasco County Fire Rescue received a call about a gunshot victim at 14838 Glenrock Road in Spring Hill. When they arrived, they found James William Earl, 32, dead in his driveway as his fiance, Stephanie Harper, stood over his body, inconsolable.

While Earl was a documented member of the Pagan's Motorcycle Club, he didn't fit the stereotypical profile. He grew up in Fairfield, Illinois, where he lettered in track and field at Fairfield High School. He joined the U.S. Navy and was stationed in Afghanistan, returning home with a collection of combat medals pinned to his uniform. The father of a young daughter, Earl had an associate's degree in nursing and was enrolled in the National Aviation Academy in Clearwater at the time of his death.

Related | Member of Pagan's MC found dead

But it was his affiliation with the motorcycle club that piqued the interest of the FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents and fueled speculation of an impending motorcycle clubwar. The day after his murder, the FBI arrived to search Earl's home. The agency has yet to say what they were searching for.

Earl is the second member of a motorcycle club to be murdered in Pasco County.

On Dec. 22, 2017, Paul Anderson, the president of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club, was murdered execution style during rush hour traffic near the Suncoast Parkway and State Road 54.

Three members of the rival motorcycle club, the 69ers, were arrested.


Wednesday, August 28, 2019

$1M bond set for Pagan's MC member

Fairmont, West Virginia, USA (August 28, 2019) BTN — Jason “Jay Bird” Edward Harris of Fairmont, is being held on a $1,000,012 bond on one count each of attempted murder and conspiracy to commit a felony. Harris was one of four men who carried out a pre-planned attack on a New York man on Aug. 3 outside of the BFS Foods convenience store in White Hall.

During the fight, the attackers struck Kenneth Murphy of Hilton, N.Y. with a baseball bat, as well as cut and stabbed Murphy with a knife.

“This is based upon a police investigation which is supported by physical evidence, surveillance video, witness statements, and personal observations,” states the complaint.

Harris, a member of the Pagan's Motorcycle Club, was arrested Friday night in Fairmont after staff with the U.S. Marshals Service in Clarksburg received a confidential tip. Witnesses at the scene the day of the attack said Murphy was wearing a Hells Angels Motorcycle Club jacket.

Murphy was transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital in Morgantown where he was placed in a medically-induced coma for treatment, according to the criminal complaint.

The U.S. Marshals Service began assisting the White Hall Police Department in locating Harris shortly after the incident occurred. Early Friday night, authorities received information that led investigators to a friend of Harris’ on Oregon Avenue in Fairmont.

Harris’ arrest is the third in the Aug. 3 melee.

Along with Harris, White Hall Police charged James Cody Biggie, 37, of 202 Skyline Dr., of Rivesville, and Bruce Evan Davis, 53, of 135 Pine Ln., of Fairmont, with attempted murder and conspiracy to commit a felony.

According to the original criminal complaint, Biggie and Davis, along with Harris and a fourth man, carried out what police called “a pre-planned physical confrontation with several male individuals in the parking lot of the BFS Foods in White Hall.”

The incident has been described as a fight between the Hells Angels and Pagan's motorcycle clubs. At 1:50 p.m. on Aug. 3., a Monongalia Emergency Centralized Communication Agency 911 report stated there was “a fight/stabbing in Fairmont between Hells Angels club and Pagan’s Motorcycle Club, and that one of the Hells Angels members was being transported to Ruby Memorial Hospital.”

Since their arrests, Davis and Biggie have appeared in court where their attorneys asked that their bail be reduced.

On Aug. 12 at his preliminary hearing, Davis’ bail was reduced from $750,00 to $450,000.

Then, on Aug. 13 at his preliminary hearing before Marion County Magistrate Todd Rundle, Biggie’s bail was reduced from $1,030,000 to $500,000. Biggie, who attended, waived the preliminary hearing and his case is now headed to Marion County Circuit Court.

Police are still searching for the fourth suspect in the case. That suspect’s name has not been released.

If found guilty of attempted murder, Harris could face 15 years in prison.

SOURCE: Time West Virginian

Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Alleged killers of Hells Angel member appear in court

Toronto, Ontario (August 6, 2019) BTN — Two young men charged with murdering Hardside Hells Angel Suminder “Ali” Grewal will appear in Surrey Provincial Court Tuesday morning.

Calvin Junior Powery-Hooker, 20, and Nathan James De Jong, 21, were arrested minutes after Grewal was shot to death in the drive-thru of a Starbucks in South Surrey about 9:20 a.m. Friday morning. Each faces one count of first-degree murder, Sgt. Frank Jang, of the Integrated Homicide Investigation Team, said late Saturday.

Members of the Hells Angels, including members of affiliated support clubs, attend the funeral for slain HA Hardside chapter member Chad Wilson, at the Maple Ridge Alliance Church. Photo: Jason Payne

He said IHIT and its partners have been working continuously since Grewal’s murder and “have forwarded their findings so far in the investigation for charge approval consideration to the B.C. Prosecution Service.”

“The two accused men are known to police and investigators are firm in their belief that this was a targeted incident,” he said. “We urge anyone who had recent contact with Calvin Powery-Hooker and/or Nathan De Jong to contact IHIT as soon as possible. IHIT is appealing to the public for dash cam video from drivers who were travelling along 152 Street between 32 Avenue and 96 Avenue around the time of the shooting.”

Neither Powery-Hooker or De Jong have any criminal history in B.C., according to the online court data base. But Powery-Hooker faced an aggravated assault and unlawful confinement charge in St. Albert, Alberta two years ago. The charges were then stayed in January 2018. He was referred to at the time as a resident of Edmonton.

De Jong also appears to be from the Edmonton area. Grewal, 43, was shot to death as he sat in his Dodge Viper in the 3000-block of 152 Street, surrounded by other vehicles and passers-by. Jang said earlier that Grewal died at the scene.

“Immediately following the shooting, members of the public phoned police with information regarding a suspect vehicle which was quickly passed on to all officers. Frontline officers of the Surrey RCMP, members of CFSEU’s Uniformed Gang Enforcement Team and Police Service Dog Garner of the Integrated Police Dog Services (IPDS) responded promptly and were able to intercept the suspect vehicle and subsequently arrest two men in connection with the earlier homicide,” Jang said.

He said investigators are doing a neighbourhood canvass searching for video surveillance footage and witnesses. “IHIT’s crime scene manager will be working with forensic specialists from the Integrated Forensic Identification Services to complete a fulsome forensic examination of the suspect vehicle and the physical evidence collected at the scene of the shooting,” he said.

“Mr. Grewal was a well-established member of an organized crime group and it is believed that his homicide was targeted. IHIT will be engaging with numerous gang enforcement units throughout the Lower Mainland region that will be working to mitigate any on-going violence.”

Personal property records show Grewal leased or purchased on credit a Dodge Viper from Langley’s Willowbrook Motors on Sept. 10, 2015. Last November, Chad Wilson, 43, another member of the Hells Angels Hardside chapter, was found murdered under the Golden Ears Bridge. IHIT continues to investigate that murder.

Grewal and Wilson were both former members of the club’s Haney chapter in Pitt Meadows before helping form the Surrey-based Hardside chapter in early 2017. Mounties in Surrey reviewed all legal means to block the setting up of a clubhouse, but had no legal authority to deny anyone from purchasing or renting a residence.

Police are still probing several theories in connection with the Nov. 18, 2018 slaying of Wilson. Grewal was the Hardside Hells Angel who created a formal link between his chapter and the volatile Brothers Keepers gang. That alliance meant that conflicts the Brothers had with other clubs or over specific incidents of violence could then become issues for Grewal, too.

The Brothers Keepers has had a more direct involvement in shootings and murders that have become part of what police describe as the Lower Mainland gang conflict. Dang said that despite the arrests made Grewal’s shooting, “there is much work ahead for our detectives and partners this long weekend.”

SOURCE: Vancouver Sun

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Defendants point fingers for killing Outlaws president

Tampa, Florida, USA (July 31, 2019) BTN – Two men this week will stand trial in the 2017 assassination of a rival motorcycle club leader who authorities said was shot and killed while sitting in his pickup truck in rush hour traffic in Pasco County.

The two defendants, Christopher “Durty” Cosimano, 31, and Michael “Pumpkin” Mencher, 52, are both alleged members of the Hillsborough County chapter of the 69’ers Motorcycle Club.

They sat together at the defense table as their murder trial started Tuesday. But their lawyers told jurors that someone else was to blame for the slaying of Paul Anderson, 44, president of the Cross Bayou chapter of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club:

Mencher’s attorney told the jury that Cosimano shot Anderson.

Cosimano’s attorney said someone else — he did not say who — was responsible.

But prosecutors said it was Cosimano who pulled the trigger, and if he missed then Mencher was there to finish the job.

Related Outlaws MC President was killed over club colors
Assistant U.S. Attorney Natalie Adams walked the 16-person jury through the Dec. 21, 2017 assassination and the violent feud that led to it. Cosimano and Mencher rode motorcycles behind Anderson, tracking him. Both carried loaded guns, prosecutors say, and wore masks to hide their faces.

When Anderson took an exit on the Suncoast Parkway and stopped at a red traffic light near State Road 54, Cosimano walked up to the truck’s window, tapped on the glass, then shot the Outlaws leader several times with a Glock 45 semiautomatic pistol, according to prosecutors. “He was dead with his foot on the brake, and a phone in his hand,” said Adams as Cosimano and Mencher looked on, quietly.

The state accused Mencher of being Cosimano’s backup, prepared to kill Anderson if the 69’ers’ president messed up the hit. Anderson, the Outlaw leader, was killed “to claim territory, to demand respect,” Adams said. But Cosimano and Mencher’s attorneys challenged the state’s account of what happened and what motivated the shooting.

Defense attorney Anne Borghetti said her client, Mencher, was told by Cosimano that he wanted to go riding on Dec. 17, 2017. That’s all.

Cosimano never mentioned anything about Anderson, she said, or any plan to execute him. She also tried to minimize Mencher’s ties to the 69’ers, saying the gang treated him poorly, even sometimes leaving him behind at club events. They called Mencher “the village idiot,” she said, and Cosimano’s plan “was to blame Michael Mencher” for the shooting.

Cosimano’s attorney, J. Jervis Wise, said someone else executed Anderson in 2017, but did not name that person. Instead, he described the incident as a “rogue act” that the leader didn’t know about. The attorney said prosecutors are relying on testimony from 69’ers members who will do anything they can to reduce their jail time for involvement in the case.

“They will tell the government what they think the government wants to hear,” Wise said.

Both Cosimano and Mencher faces charges of first-degree murder and a slew of related charges, including conspiracy to commit murder in aid of racketeering activity and use of a firearm in a crime of violence causing death. If convicted, each faces up to life in prison. Mencher also faces drug-related charges for his involvement in a cocaine, heroin and methamphetamine ring that prosecutors accuse the 69’ers of running.

Members of the 69’ers, including at least one who has already pleaded guilty to charges related to this case, are expected to testify on behalf of the government, the state told jurors. Three members of the 69’ers — Allan Burt “Big Beefy” Guinto, Erick Richard “Big E” Robinson and Cody James “Little Savage” Wesling — were indicted along with Cosimano and Mencher and accused of taking part in the plot to kill Anderson. They took plea deals earlier this year.

Authorities said the 2017 murder of Anderson was part of an escalating conflict between local chapters of two prominent and motorcycle clubs, the Outlaws and the 69’ers, whose Hillsborough branch called itself the “Killsborough” chapter.

The trial is expected to take three weeks.

SOURCE: Tampa Bay Times

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Outlaws MC member involved in double slaying

Clarksville, TN, USA (June 11, 2019) BTN — A man wanted in the motorcycle club slaying of two men in a restaurant parking lot on Wednesday was stopped after the shooting and released, only to be named the prime suspect days later.

Michael Clarence "Hulk" Craft, 36, turned himself in on Saturday after several days of investigation by police, according to police spokesman Jim Knoll.

He was booked on two counts of homicide.

At about 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, police found two Clarksville men with multiple gunshot wounds in the Longhorn Steakhouse parking lot, according to court records obtained by The Leaf-Chronicle.

James Ramsey, 37, died at the scene. John Allgood, 53, was taken to Tennova Healthcare, where he died from his wounds.

Related | Outlaws MC member charged with murder

Witnesses at the scene told police that the men were shot by several members of the Outlaws Motorcycle Club and that they had fled on motorcycles, the arrest warrant said.

Craft was pulled over shortly afterward about 5 miles from the scene, and he was wearing an Outlaws T-shirt turned inside-out. In his saddle bags were a folded Outlaw MC vest and a loaded 9 mm Taurus Millennium G2 pistol. The pistol was loaded with Luger rounds that matched shell casings found at the scene, the warrant said.

Craft first denied being in the area, but later said he might have driven through. He was released by police. Knoll said Monday that there was not enough evidence to hold him at the time.

Investigators later reviewed surveillance footage from the Tilted Kilt restaurant, about 100 yards from Longhorn, that showed Craft leaving Tilted Kilt about 12 minutes before the shooting, the warrant said.

During a subsequent autopsy, bullet fragments were found that were consistent with the Luger rounds in Craft's pistol, according to the warrant.

On Saturday morning, after a search in multiple locations for Craft, police secured a warrant for Craft's arrest and put out an alert to find him. Craft turned himself in Saturday night.

Mayor Joe Pitts was among many people inside the restaurant at the time. He called the incident a rival motorcycle gang shooting and said the shooter sought out his victims.

A Leaf-Chronicle review of court records shows the only violent criminal history for Craft involved a domestic assault charge in a February 2010 incident. That case was given a “nollie” dismissal.

His first court date will be June 17.

The investigation is ongoing, Knoll said, and police are following other leads in the case.

SOURCE: Leaf Chronicle

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Outlaws MC member charged with murder

Clarksville, TN, USA (June 9, 2019) BTN — A man known as "Hulk", identified by Clarksville Police as the person who shot and killed two people outside a Longhorn Steakhouse Wednesday night, turned himself in Saturday.

Michael Clarence Craft, 36, also known as "Hulk," turned himself into Clarksville police Saturday. He will be charged with two counts of criminal homicide once he is arrested.

Ames Ramsey, 37, and John Allgood, 53, were shot Wednesday night in the restaurant parking lot on Wilma Rudolph Boulevard. Officers were called to the area around 8:30 that night and when they arrived, officers say as many as 20 people were trying to help the victims.

Ramsey and Allgood were taken to the hospital where they later died.


Friday, May 31, 2019

Outlaws MC member gets 60 years

Alton Illinois, USA (May 31, 2019) — A judge Friday sentenced former Alton resident Brandon Chittum, 36, to 60 years in prison after hearing a video statement of the defendant giving a detailed description of how he helped dismember and dispose of the body of victim Courtney Coats of East Alton.

Associate Judge Neil Schroeder handed down the sentence after prosecutors introduced a taped statement that was excluded from the trial in which Chittum was found guilty of first-degree murder, dismembering a human body and concealing a homicidal death.

Brandon Chittum

On the video, Chittum is heard telling about “getting rid of the blood” holding bags for disposal of body parts and moving the body into a bathroom where co-defendant Patrick Chase ended her life by cutting her throat.

In the video, Chittum never told officers he was asleep when the murder happened. That contradicted trial testimony of Chase, who claimed his friend, Chittum, was asleep during the entire murder process.

Chittum was found guilty under the accountability theory, which holds that he helped participate in the act and was accountable for the acts of Chase, who admitted to carrying out the fatal violence.

Assistant Madison County State’s Attorney Crystal Uhe argued that Chittum deserved the same 70-year sentence as Chase received for the murder. She had argued during the trial that Chittum coached Chase in killing Coats, his then girlfriend.

“But for Brandon Chittum, this case does not happen. There is no way he was less culpable than Patrick Chase. He was the one calling the shots,” Uhe said.

Related | Victim's mother reacts to murder conviction
Related | Grisly allegations open Chittum trial

During the trial witnesses said Chittum was a member of the Outlaws motorcycle club, which had authority over The Black Pistons, Chase’s club.

Chittum made no statement on his own behalf. Uhe argued that, while Chase confessed and pleaded guilty, Chittum has never accepted responsibility.

Family members said they were torn apart by the November 2013 loss of Coats, who went missing for several weeks before her body parts were found in trash bags in the Mississippi River in Greene County.

“She was always full of life; she never knew a stranger,” said her uncle, Richard Beach. “What you did was evil, cold and heartless, She was not piece of trash to be thrown off a bridge.”

Coats’ aunt, Jody Lessman, said Chittum played the system, delaying the trial for five years.

“Every day I think about how evil, cold and heartless the crime was that Courtney endured and what these two men did to her,” Lessman said. “Not only did Brandon Chittum aid in taking her from us, he put myself and our family through complete hell while he played the system for five and a half years before going to trial.

The victim’s mother, Elizabeth, said she is happy with the outcome. Uhe said the case could never have been won had it not been for the work of the Alton Police Department.

“What started out as a missing persons investigation has finaly come to a conclusin with both murderers being brought to justice,” she said. “We hope this finally gives Courtney’s family some peace.”

She also thanked the Illinois State Police Crime Lab Crime Scene Investigation and Division of Forensic Sciences.

SOURCE: The Telegraph

Friday, April 19, 2019

Outlaws MC member killed in accident

Tampa, Florida (April 19, 2019) BTN —  Sunday night, a car turned into the path of motorcyclist Mike Tapp on Dale Mabry Highway. To avoid a collision, the biker braked hard and lost control, throwing him and his passenger to the pavement.

The biker died and the passenger, his longtime girlfriend, was seriously injured. The driver of the car didn't stop and the Florida Highway Patrol is looking for the person who was behind the wheel.

Mike Tapp, Boston Mike to his friends, hugs friend Gina Henry in December after buying the 2016 Harley Davidson Street Glide at left. Tapp, 49, was killed Sunday when a driver turned into his path while he was riding on Dale Mabry Highway. [Courtesy of Andrew Mora]

It's the kind of crash that would have angered Mike Tapp and spurred him to action.

A friend of the couple, Andrew Mora, is now offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to the identification of the driver. If Tapp were around, his friends say, he would light up Facebook with the reward offer, determined to do his part for members of his biker family. But the 49-year-old Tampa father was the motorcyclist killed in the crash, and his longtime partner, 46-year-old Kymberle Meade, is still in the hospital.

"He really was a pillar," said Mora, owner of Moramoto, the motorcycle dealership where Tapp bought the 2016 Harley-Davidson Street Glide he was riding Sunday. "If someone were in need, he would be the first to help."

Known as Boston Mike for his native city, Tapp had lived in Florida for many years. He and Meade had been together nearly three decades and had children together.

Tapp was a proud member of the American Outlaw Association, one of the biggest motorcycle clubs in the country, his friends said. Law enforcement considers the Outlaws a criminal gang, but Tapp was far from a menace to society, Mora said. For Tapp, the club was about camaraderie centered on a shared passion for riding.

When a friend needed a hand, Tapp would help spread the word, taking to Facebook and banging out public posts in all capital letters. Most days, he'd wake up early and send friends messages with irreverent memes and the latest news in the biker scene.

"He was the one of the funniest, most humble guys I've ever met," Mora said.

Tapp had worked a variety of jobs over the years, from fueling planes at a local airport to manning phones at corporate call centers, said friend Morley Henry, 35. Tapp and Meade often hosted cookouts where Tapp served up his signature chicken marsala.

"He was that personality who walks into a room and everything lights up," said Henry, a motorcycle technician at Moramoto. "It didn't matter was mood you were in, put a smile on your face. He went out of his way to make everybody happy."

In December, Tapp traded in his old Street Glide with 90,000 miles on the odometer and bought a 2016 model, Mora said. Within a couple of months, he put about 10,000 miles on that bike.

On the night of the crash, Tapp and Meade were riding north on Dale Mabry when the driver of a small, light-colored sedan heading south turned across their path to head east on West Idlewild Avenue, just north of Bill Currie Ford, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Troopers released footage of the crash caught by a surveillance camera at the Volvo dealership across Dale Mabry, but the camera is too far way to determine the make and model of the car.

"You can see clearly the action of that car caused the crash even though they didn't collide," said Sgt. Steve Gaskins, a spokesman for the Highway Patrol.

It's unclear what, if anything, the driver would be charged with if identified, however. Troopers would have to confer with the Hillsborough State Attorney's Office, Gaskins said.

Mora said the driver should come forward. Otherwise, he's hoping his reward will provide an incentive to someone who knows something.

"We'll never have closure," Mora said, "so the only thing we can possibly have is justice."

SOURCE: Tampa Bay Times

Friday, April 12, 2019

Victim's mother reacts to murder conviction

Edwardsville, Georgia, USA (April 12, 2019) BTN – Former Alton resident Brandon Chittum may spend the rest of his life in prison after a jury found him guilty of first-degree murder, but the victim’s mother has an additional punishment in mind.

“He will burn in hell,” said Elizabeth Kovach, the murder of victim Courtney Coats after the hearing. “It’s been a very long time, too long; I’m so happy he was convicted on all three counts.”

Chittum, 35, a former member of the Alton Outlaws motorcycle club, was found guilty Monday of dismembering a human body and concealment of a homicidal death, in addition to the murder charge. State’s Attorney Tom Gibbons said his office, including assistant state’s attorneys Crystal Uhe and Lauren Heischmidt have been fighting for the victim and her family.

Related | Grisly allegations open Chittum trial 

“After five long years fighting to get this case to trial, it is a great relief to know the remaining half of this murderous duo has finally been held fully accountable for this most gruesome crimes against this innocent young woman. This case is a most terrible example of the real-life destruction caused by an alcohol and methamphetamine-fueled life of violence.

He was charged after the Nov. 23, 2013, murder of Coats.

Her boyfriend, Patrick Chase, then violently choked her to unconsciousness, then slit her throat. Chase and Chittum, on a 12-hour bender of liquor and methamphetamine, then dismembered her remains, put them in trash bags and dumped the bags in the Illinois River near Hardin. The bags were found along the store in Greene County.

Chittum, who was charged on Dec. 20, 2013, finally faced trial after five years’ delay caused by an appeal, multiple defense continuances and changing of defense attorneys.

Police investigated the case for 27 days as a missing person. Chase eventually confessed and lead authorities to the spot at which the body was found.

In prison, Chase radically changed his appearance and testified in Court that Chittum was sleeping the entire time he, Chase, was choking, cutting and dismembering the victim.

Assistant State’s Attorney Crystal Uhe argued it is unlikely a man could sleep through such a horrific event. She also noted that Chase’s room mate, Brian Northcutt, was advised to leave the apartment, then returned to find Chittum awake, not wearing a shirt. The water was running in the bathroom, and Chittum told Northcutt to leave again.

“There are things going on here you don’t need to know about,” Chittum said, according to Northcutt’s testimony.

During his testimony, Chase was asked why Thursday was the first time he mentioned to Uhe that Chittum was not involved in the killing. “It slipped my mind,” Chase said.He admitted Chittum drove the body to the Joe Page Bridge, where it was dumped.

He claimed he liked when he detailed in a police interview the way Chittum “coached” him through the death process. Defense attorney Evelyn Lewis suggested the jury may find her client of concealment, which carries a much lighter sentence that murder or dismembering a human body.

She said the idea that the member wanted to “put her out of her misery” amounts to a “mercy killing,” which she termed “a crazy story.”

“Courtney’s death took a terrible toll on so many people around her and, indeed, on our entire community,” Gibbons said Monday in a press release. “I pray this verdict will grant some peace to everyone who knew and loved her and to the Citizens of Madison County.

We can all sleep much safer knowing he will never walk the streets of our community again.”

The murder charge carries a sentenced of between 20 and 60 years in prison. The dismembering charge carries a sentence of between six and 30 years in prison. He has a previous conviction for felony aggravated domestic battery and a misdemeanor conviction for battery and domestic battery.

SOURCE: The Neighbor

Gypsy Joker MC murder trial continues

Portland, OR (April 12, 2019) BTN – The star government witness in the torture-style killing of a former Gypsy Joker Motorcycle Club member is the man who wielded the fatal blow with a baseball bat strike to the head, a defense lawyer said in court Thursday.

The prosecution’s case largely rests on the words of the actual murderer, Tiler Evan Pribbernow, who has cooperated with the government, said attorney Matthew Schindler, who represents one of the co-defendants in the case.

Schindler called it “outrageous” that prosecutors would allow Pribbernow to plead guilty to only racketeering to leverage his testimony against others. The deal allows Pribbernow to avoid accountability for the killing and save his own life by avoiding a potential death sentence, the lawyer said.

Related | Gypsy Joker MC national president released
Related | Gypsy Joker MC members face charges

“Tiler Pribbernow did it because he’s a lunatic. That’s why,” Schindler said. “We’ve seen one witness statement, and that statement is the statement of the murderer. … He killed this guy.”

Racketeering, kidnapping and murder charges are pending against five others in the 2015 death of Robert “Bagger” Huggins, 56. Loggers found his battered body dumped in a Clark County field. He had a fractured skull, a broken rib, a broken leg, a removed nipple, nails driven through his boots, slash wounds to his back and face and many blows to his face, authorities said.

Schindler was arguing for the pretrial release of his client, Ryan Anthony Negrinelli, now 36. At the time of the killing, Negrinelli was a “prospect’’ to join the club. After the killing, he became a full member who went by the nickname “Striker” before splitting from the club in mid-2018, a prosecutor said.

Schindler said the government has no physical evidence placing Negrinelli at the scene. Negrinelli has no prior criminal record, he said. The lawyer also pointed to Negrinelli’s full custody of his 14-year-old daughter and ties to the community. U.S. District Judge Robert E. Jones ordered Negrinelli to remain in custody, citing the gravity of the alleged offense. But the judge said he wasn’t willing to let the defendants languish in county jail indefinitely while waiting for “some bureaucrat’’ at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., to “make up their mind” and decide whether to pursue the death penalty in the case.

He said he was told it could take up to a year for the decision, and that’s not acceptable. Schindler also urged the judge to discount Negrinelli’s statement to two Portland detectives after his arrest, saying it should be suppressed because the detectives failed to acknowledge Negrinelli’s repeated requests for a lawyer, placed him in a holding cell for eight hours without food and then plied him with leading information about the attack. Negrinelli also told the detectives he suffered from a childhood brain injury that impairs his memory.

The judge said he’d rule on a motion to suppress any statements at a later date.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Leah Bolstad said Negrinelli was involved in a “premeditated, planned hunt of someone who angered the group he was part of.” According to Pribbernow, Portland’s Gypsy Jokers president Mark Leroy Dencklau ordered the attack on Huggins and others helped. The June 30, 2015, kidnapping and subsequent killing was in retaliation for Huggins’ burglary and robbery at Dencklau’s Woodburn home earlier that month, the government alleges. Dencklau is also charged in the killing.

Huggins had targeted Dencklau’s home after getting kicked out of the club for stealing and breaking club rules, Bolstad said. Dencklau’s then-girlfriend was tied up and Huggins stole some of Dencklau’s property, including guns, the prosecutor said.

While Pribbernow is a key witness and has implicated co-defendants, he’s not the only witness, Bolstad said. Information Pribbernow shared with investigators has been corroborated, including use of a Chevy Tahoe by some of the defendants to carry Huggins’ body and dump him in Ridgefield, Wash., she said. DNA from blood found under carpet in the trunk of the Tahoe matched that of Huggins, she said.

According to Bolstad, Negrinelli helped grabbed Huggins in the driveway of a Portland home and put him into an SUV, where he and four others beat him and drove him to a shed in Woodlawn, Wash. Negrinelli helped place Huggins in the shed, where the defendants continued to torture Huggins, according to Bolstad. In his own words, Negrinelli told Portland detectives after his arrest that he “blasted,’’ or punched, Huggins a few times, Bolstad said.

Negrinelli also used water-boarding on Huggins, placing a scarf over his mouth and pouring water into it, triggering a choking response, Bolstad said. He also helped apply burning hot wire to Huggins’ body, she said. While others dumped Huggins’ body, Negrinelli and two co-defendants drove away in another car to discard weapons, throwing baseball bats into brush off the side of a road, Bolstad said.

Kenneth Earl Hause, the national president of the Gypsy Jokers Outlaw Motorcycle Club, is the only one of the defendants who has was released from jail this year to home detention with electric monitoring as he awaits trial. Hause’s circumstances are different, Bolstad argued, because Hause is charged only in the alleged racketeering conspiracy and not with murder.

SOURCE: Oregon Live

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Hells Angels annual ride honors slain member

Vancouver, B.C. (April 6, 2019) BTN — About 80 Hells Angels and associates gathered at the bikers East End clubhouse Saturday morning for their annual ride to pay tribute to fallen comrade Dave (Screwy) Swartz. Specialized police officers, who investigate so called motorcycle clubs, were also on hand to take photographs and videos as the riders arrived.

Police watching and taking photos club members

Vancouver police traffic enforcement officers checked vehicle registrations of several Hells Angels, prompting East End chapter president John Bryce to head out to talk to police. Some of the bikers muttered insults at officers, who were stationed across from the clubhouse, located at 3598 East Georgia St. VPD Sgt. Jason Robillard said police were out in force “to monitor and ensure that the rules of the road are followed.” “Public safety remains our top priority,” Robillard said.

Swartz was a full-patch member of the East End chapter when he was gunned down in Surrey on April 6,1988, by a friend after an all-night drinking party. The friend then killed himself with the same gun. Swartz’s son is now a member of the Vancouver chapter of the notorious biker gang. The Hells Angels were joined Saturday by “support clubs” from around B.C., including the Langford Savages, the Dirty Bikers, the Jesters, the Teamsters’ Horsemen, the Shadow Club and the Devil’s Army out of Campbell River.

Forfeiture case nears end

The East End clubhouse, assessed this year as being worth $1,275,000, is one of three that the B.C. director of civil forfeiture is fighting in court to seize because of alleged links to criminal activity. Just this week, lawyers for the Hells Angels were in B.C. Supreme Court arguing the director’s lawsuit, first launched in November 2007, should be thrown out. The Hells Angels’ latest petition alleges the RCMP violated the constitutional rights of the bikers by passing on information to the B.C. government’s civil forfeiture office. 

And it also says the section of the B.C. Civil Forfeiture Act that allows information sharing with police violates the Charter of Rights and Freedoms. “The director therefore has no lawful authority to collect information from the RCMP. As such he had no authority to initiate proceedings on the basis of such information,” the HA’s petition states. “In the circumstances, the petitioners seek orders quashing the decisions to initiate proceedings and prohibit the director from continuing, commencing or conducting proceedings on the basis of such information.” The director says in his response to the petition that it is merely a delay tactic and that the bikers have known about the sharing of police information since at least 2008.

The Hells Angels “could and should have brought this judicial review at least 11 years ago,” the court document says, adding the bikers have “offered no explanation for its extraordinary delay in seeking this relief.” The director also said it did not receive any “personal information” about the Hells Angels from the police. A lawyer representing the RCMP also argued before Justice Barry Davies Friday that Canada’s national police force had the power to share information with the director of civil forfeiture. Sitting in court was Hells Angels spokesman Rick Ciarniello, who spent part of the morning filing his fingernails.

The trial, which began last April but has been adjourned several times since, is scheduled to last another three weeks. So far, the government side has called a former Hells Angel and a police agent who infiltrated the East End Hells Angels, as well as a series of police officers. Last month, parts of an expert report by retired Ontario Provincial Police Det. Staff Sgt. Len Isnor were ruled inadmissible because Davies said they were full of biased, unsubstantiated claims about the biker club.

SOURCE: Vancouver Sun

Two bikers killed and five injured in Bar fights

Biker Trash Network: April 6-7, 2019 -- A bloody weekend for Bikers as two separate fights break out in two separate States leaving two dead and five injured as riding season gets underway in many areas. The first was in Killeen, Texas and the one ending in Indianapolis, Indiana resulted in two deaths.

Both stories are developing 

Killeen, Texas (April 6, 2019) BTN — Two people are hospitalized after a shooting between two rival motorcycle clubs outside of a Killeen bar Saturday morning, according to a Killeen Police Department press release. One victim remains in serious condition at AdventHealth Central Texas, and another is in serious condition at a Baylor Scott and White hospital, according to the press release.

The Killeen Police Department responded to a call around 1:40 a.m. Saturday about a "large" fight on the road outside of MJ's Bar and Grill at 1310 S. Fort Hood Road. As officials were on their way to the scene, two people were shot during the fight, according to the press release.


Indianapolis, Indiana (April 7, 2019) BTN — Two people are dead and another three are injured after an early morning shooting on Indy’s near northeast side. Police referred to the location as a “motorcycle club hangout.” According to the Indianapolis Metro Police Department, the shooting occurred shortly after 1 a.m. in the 3600 block of Roosevelt Avenue at a brown brick building that has no name, but is a known hangout for motorcycle clubs. Police believe at least two or three different motorcycle clubs were inside the building at the time the shooting occurred.

After police arrived on scene, they discovered one male and two females suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. One of the female victims was pronounced dead at the scene by Indianapolis EMS. The second female was transported to the hospital in serious but stable condition. The male victim was also transported, police said, but was pronounced dead at the hospital. According to police, two more victims that were suffering from gunshot wounds associated with the motorcycle club shooting later arrived at the hospital. One of them was listed as being in critical condition.

The severity of the fifth victim’s injury isn’t known at this time. Detectives with the Indianapolis Metro Police Department continue to investigate the shooting. IMPD stated a physical altercation may have lead up to the shooting, but they are still working to try and determine a motive. At least two IndyGo buses were loaded up with potential witnesses to be questioned by IMPD. The names of the deceased have not been released, as next of kin has not yet been notified.


Friday, April 5, 2019

Grisly allegations open Chittum trial

Edwardsville, Georgia, USA (April 5, 2019) BTN – Murder defendant Brandon Chittum was allegedly standing behind his best friend, Patrick Chase, coaching him on how to strangle Courtney Coats during her murder in 2013, a prosecutor said Tuesday.

“Do it harder; do it quick,” Chittum was allegedly telling Chase, as he was choking his girlfriend to “put her out of her misery,” Assistant State’s Attorney Lauren Heischmidt told the jury in her opening statement. “The defendant was behind Chase, coaching him, giving him tips.”

Brandon Chittum

Chittum, 35, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder, a count of dismembering a human body and concealment of a homicidal death. Coats went missing in late November 2013. Chase has since pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 60 years in prison.

Chittum, formerly of Alton and a former member of the Outlaws motorcycle club, has been in the Madison County Jail awaiting trial since December 2013. Testimony at trial was that Chase was a member of the Black Pistons motorcycle club , which was like a “farm club ” for the Outlaws. Chittum said during a recorded interview that the two became friends when they were members of an alcohol recovery group.

Heischmidt said Tuesday that Coats and Chase were in an argument at their home in the 2500 block of College Avenue, and Chase pushed her, causing her to hit and badly injure her head. Chase said he wanted to “put her out of her misery,” so he and Chittum allegedly dragged her into a bedroom, where the first attempt at strangling her failed.

The prosecutor said that Chittum felt for Coats’ pulse and told Chase she was not dead. They then dragged her into a bathroom, where Chase slit her throat. Chittum then allegedly said, “Now she’s gone,” Heischmidt told the jury. “They senselessly, violently and brutally murdered her,” the prosecutor said.

She then described how Chittum allegedly called his wife and asked to borrow her car. She then drove it to Alton and left, and the two suspects then cut up the body, placed it in bags and took the remains up to the Joe Page Bridge near Hardin. The remains were found near, and in, the Illinois River in Greene County.

When Coats’ mother, Elizabeth Kovach, began to notice her daughter was not contacting her, as she always did, she reported her missing. Police launched a 27-day search for Coats, but an investigation led the a confession by Chase, who led authorities to the remains. Crime scene specialists from Illinois State Police then performed a detailed search of the College Avenue apartment where the murder took place.

Investigators found blood in the bathroom. “Scratched into the soap scum in the bathtub was the word, ‘Help,’ Heischmidt said. The prosecutor said Chittum will say he left before the murder and returned to Collinsville, but phone records from Chittum’s phone showed he was in Alton, then in East Hardin, then in Alton.

Defense attorney Evelyn Lewis said her client went to sleep on the couch during the killing. “Brandon did not kill her. He wasn’t even aware of it.” She claimed Chase told police that Coats injured her neck, yet there is no evidence of a neck injury. She said Chittum never called police about the incident because “he was in the Outlaws, and he was afraid what was going to happen to him.”

Testimony in the trial began Tuesday. The trial may last into next week.

SOURCE: The Telegraph

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Hells Angels MC prospect murderer sentenced

Brussels, Belgium (March 28, 2019) BTN — A man convicted of killing a 23-year-old biker last year was sentenced this week to 25 years in jail by the Namur Assize Court. The jury deliberated for more than six hours before finding Francis Estorez (48) guilty of the murder of Marc Dascotte, a Hells Angels prospect.

Marc Dascotte, the victim, was prospecting for the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club

The incident took place on 27 August 2017 under a blistering summer sun in a shed decked out for a Hells Angel marriage. Estorez, who was on anti-depression medication and had consumed an enormous quantity of alcohol of various types, was so irked by what he saw as Dascotte’s puerile and exasperating behaviour that he threatened repeatedly to hand in his jacket, the symbol of his membership of the Hells Angels.

A final incident was the last straw for Estorez, who threw his jacket onto the table of his president, thus signifying his resignation from the club, before going to the bar, where he was attacked from behind, receiving multiple cuts on the head from bottles.

Partly blinded by blood, he first wounded a Hells Angel - who had nothing to do with the matter - on the leg, then fired three times at the victim, Marc Dascotte, killing him with a Browning 6.35, a discreet weapon. The trial lasted from 18 to 26 March.

The prosecution had asked for 30 years, along with a period of up to 15 years at the disposal of the sentence enforcement court. Estorez has 15 days to appeal.

SOURCE: The Brussels Times

Friday, March 15, 2019

Funeral for murdered Hells Angels member scheduled

Mississauga, Canada (March 15, 2019) BTN — A massive turnout is expected for the funeral of Michael (Diaz) Deabaitua-Schulde, 32, a full-patch Hells Angels member who was murdered in broad daylight at a Mississauga strip mall Monday. All of Ontario's roughly 200 Hells Angels members are required to attend and Hells Angels charters from across the country must also send members, a source said.

A Quebec man with Hells Angels ties is already in custody on first-degree murder charges and police have issued a Canada-wide first-degree murder warrant for another Montreal man who has a history of weapons possession, fraud and possession of false documents, and is awaiting trial for allegedly intimidating someone connected to the court system. The funeral of Deabaitua-Schulde, a father of two, is set for Saturday, March 23 at the Vescio Funeral Home in Woodbridge, according to the funeral home's website.

A GoFundMe page has also been set up in Deabaitua-Schulde's name. "God called Michael on Monday March 11, 2019, at the age of 32," his online obituary begins. "He will be forever missed by his loving spouse, Ashley and his children … He will be held dear in the hearts of his family, relatives, and many friends." As his funeral is being planned, police continue to hunt for Montreal fugitive Joseph Pallotta, 38. Deabaitua-Schulde was shot dead shortly before noon on Monday outside a gym in Mississauga at 700 Dundas St. E., near Cawthra Road. Peel Regional Police chief Chris McCord said that Deabaitua-Schulde was the victim of a targeted attack. Pallotta is considered armed and dangerous.

Related | Hells Angel MC member killed in shooting

Peel Regional Police announced on Thursday that they have arrested two Montreal men and that Pallotta is their third suspect. None of the three suspects are members of biker gangs but they are linked to organized crime, Peel Regional Police acting Supt. Martin Ottaway said at a press conference on Thursday. Marckens Vilme, 28, of Montreal was also charged with first-degree murder for Deabaitua-Schulde's death, Peel Regional police announced on Thursday. Vilme has a lengthy criminal record that shows a long-standing association with a Montreal street gang called the Ruffriders, and connections to Quebec Hells Angels.

The Ruffriders are considered by police to be associated with a larger Montreal street gang called les bleus, who in turn are close to the Quebec Hells Angels. Vilme's record includes convictions for violence and drug trafficking in Pierrefonds and in the west part of Montreal island. Vilme was sentenced to 21 months in jail for drug trafficking in June 2011 and eight months for conspiracy and extortion in February 2014. He also has an outstanding assault charge in Laval.

A third suspect Jonathan Martinez-Seyes, 27, was charged on Wednesday night with complicity after the fact. Deabaitua-Schulde was a member of the Niagara Region charter of the Hells Angels. One of his fellow Niagara Region members has been seen in Montreal several times recently, according to a Quebec source. Peel Regional police recovered a burned blue Honda Civic at the corner of Rymal Road and Tomken Road shortly after the murder on Monday.

SOURCE: The Hamilton Spectator