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Hells Angels, Vagos May Be Prohibited From Wearing Colors to Support Member Accused in Casino Killing

Washoe Chief District Judge Connie Steinheimer said she plans to meet with law enforcement officials to determine if she should impose a “no colors” ban for future court hearings at trials surrounding the death of motorcycle club member Jeffrey “Jethro” Pettigrew in Nevada.

Steinheimer said that preventing rival motorcycle club members from wearing identifying clothing while during the trial would serve to defuse any potential violence between members of the Vagos and the Hells Angels during trials.

The “colors ban” discussion arose as Hells Angels member Cesar Villagrana, 36, entered a plea of not guilty to charges ranging from second-degree murder to carrying a concealed weapon.

Villagrana, of Gilroy, California, is free on $300,000 bail and is currently charged with inciting the fracas which led to the shooting death of Jeffrey “Jethro” Pettigrew on Sept. 23 during a violent outburst of fighting and gunplay at a Casino in Sparks, Nevada.

Villagrana allegedly touched off the showdown when he squared up for a fight with rival gang members, and then allegedly began firing on a crowded casino dance floor as Pettigrew and Vagos member, Stuart Gary Rudnick, scrapped.

Pettigrew was the San Jose Hells Angels chapter president, and yet another death occurred during his funeral.

Villagrana is currently accused of wounding two members of rival gang, the Vagos.

Rudnick is being held in California on indictments of conspiracy to engage in an affray and challenge to a fight resulting in death with the use of a deadly weapon. Chief Deputy District Attorney Karl Hall said Rudnick will be brought from California to Reno next week for arraignment for his part in the fight and shootoout.

The accused shooter who allegedly killed Pettigrew, Ernesto Manuel Gonzalez, 53, of San Francisco, also entered a not guilty plea to murder with a deadly weapon and conspiracy. Gonzalez is being held without bail and is being represented by the public attorney’s office in Reno. The Gonzalez trial is set to start Jan. 17.

Grand jury transcripts indicated that Rudnick, who is known by the alias “Jabbers,” started the fracas when he confronted Pettigrew on the dance floor. Witnesses said Pettigrew punched Rudnick in the face which led to the fatal gunfire that put the city of Sparks under a 24-hour state of emergency and led to the cancellation of the Street Vibrations motorcycle event there.

“All hell broke loose,” a witness testified to the Grand Jury. “Just bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam, bam. There were so many shots, shots going off through this whole melee. I’m surprised a citizen didn’t get shot because anyone could have walked around the corner or walked out of the bathroom and got shot.”

“Jabbers has a big mouth. He’s always had a big mouth,” added the witness, who described himself as being a high-ranking member of the Vagos.

The medical examiner’s office said Pettigrew suffered multiple gunshot wounds and was stabbed in the face, an attack which nearly severed the biker’s nose.


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