Surprise Plea Deal for Hells-Angel Member

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Man Accused of Murder Strikes Unexpected Plea Deal
In July 2013, Cesar Villagrana, 38, entered two surprise pleas in Eno, Nevada’s Washoe District Court. Villagrana pled guilty to a charge of battery with a deadly weapon, and a charge of challenging to fight with a deadly weapon. Had he not accepted this plea bargain, Villagrana, a resident of Gilroy, Calif., and a member of the Hells Angels criminal motorcycle gang, would have gone on trial for second-degree murder and other charges, and he might have received a life sentence in prison.
The incident for which Villagrana was arrested took place on Friday, September 23, 2011, in a bar named Trader Dick’s, located inside John Ascuaga’s Nugget, a Sparks, Nev., casino. Villagrana and his friend Jeffrey “Jethro” Pettigrew, leader of the San Jose Hells Angels branch, were in town for a motorcycle festival called Street Vibrations.
At 11:30 p.m., a fight broke out between the Hells Angels and members of a rival motorcycle gang called Vagos. Video surveillance footage shows Villagrana removing a gun — later determined to be a stolen, semi-automatic Smith & Wesson — from his waistband and shooting into a crowd. Some of the people he shot at were not gang members and not even involved in the fight; many ducked beneath craps tables. After this shooting, Pettigrew lay bleeding from bullets and stab wounds in his torso. He later died in a local hospital. In addition, Leonard Ramirez and Diego Garcia, two Vagos members, suffered non-fatal gunshot injuries. Police were dispatched to the scene, and a supervisor ordered Villagrana to drop his gun, which he did.
Villagrana was the only person arrested at the scene, although police later arrested San Francisco’s Ernesto Gonzalez, a Vagos member. Gonzalez, incidentally, went to trial and was found guilty of murder in August 2013. Following the shootout, the city of Sparks cancelled the 2011 Street Vibrations; authorities also declared a state of emergency for a 24-hour period.
Villagrana’s sentencing will take place on September 4, 2013. He could receive a maximum of 15 years in prison, as well as a $15,000 fine.
Man Accused of Murder Strikes Unexpected Plea Deal
In July 2013, Cesar Villagrana, 38, entered two surprise pleas in Eno, Nevada’s Washoe District Court. Villagrana pled guilty to a charge of battery with a deadly weapon, and a charge of challenging to fight with a deadly weapon. Had he not accepted this plea bargain, Villagrana, a resident of Gilroy, Calif., and a member of the Hells Angels criminal motorcycle gang, would have gone on trial for second-degree murder and other charges, and he might have received a life sentence in prison.
The incident for which Villagrana was arrested took place on Friday, September 23, 2011, in a bar named Trader Dick’s, located inside John Ascuaga’s Nugget, a Sparks, Nev., casino. Villagrana and his friend Jeffrey “Jethro” Pettigrew, leader of the San Jose Hells Angels branch, were in town for a motorcycle festival called Street Vibrations.
At 11:30 p.m., a fight broke out between the Hells Angels and members of a rival motorcycle gang called Vagos. Video surveillance footage shows Villagrana removing a gun — later determined to be a stolen, semi-automatic Smith & Wesson — from his waistband and shooting into a crowd. Some of the people he shot at were not gang members and not even involved in the fight; many ducked beneath craps tables. After this shooting, Pettigrew lay bleeding from bullets and stab wounds in his torso. He later died in a local hospital. In addition, Leonard Ramirez and Diego Garcia, two Vagos members, suffered non-fatal gunshot injuries. Police were dispatched to the scene, and a supervisor ordered Villagrana to drop his gun, which he did.
Villagrana was the only person arrested at the scene, although police later arrested San Francisco’s Ernesto Gonzalez, a Vagos member. Gonzalez, incidentally, went to trial and was found guilty of murder in August 2013. Following the shootout, the city of Sparks cancelled the 2011 Street Vibrations; authorities also declared a state of emergency for a 24-hour period.
Villagrana’s sentencing will take place on September 4, 2013. He could receive a maximum of 15 years in prison, as well as a $15,000 fine.

 

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