Was The Mafia Behind the Killing of the San Jose Hells Angels President In Reno

Was the Mafia behind the killing of a high-ranking Hells Angel member at a Nevada casino?

Ernesto Manuel Gonzalez, accused in the killing of Jeffery “Jethro” Pettigrew as a member of the rival Vagos motorcycle gang from San Francisco, says yes.

Gonazalez stands accused of murdering the president of the Hells Angels’ San Jose chapter during a shootout on Sept. 23, 2011, and he pointed the finger at the mob.

Gonzalez’ attorney asked a judge at a hearing in Reno to order prosecutors to release the name of another Vagos member who testified before the grand jury that indicted Gonzalez.

Prosecutors say that request is a no-go as the man fears for his life and is on his way into the witness protection program.

An investigator testified that another Vago wounded in the shootout was in contact with a member of the Mafia back in October and gave the wise guy documents related to search warrants issued for members of the Hells Angels, and that those documents may have touched off the ill-will that led to Pettigrew’s murder.

Three other men charged in the casino shooting death are due back in court in Reno, and prosecutors and public defenders will argue now about the ground rules for the murder trial scheduled to begin this fall.

Washoe District Judge Connie Steinheimer added that she’s considering whether or not to ban clothing or symbols with references to the motorcycle gangs inside the courtroom in an attempt to avoid any further violence between members of the rival motorcycle gangs.

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