Bandidos leader gets 45 years in prison for murder at Fort Worth bar

FORT WORTH

The leader of the Fort Worth Bandidos was sentenced Tuesday to 45 years in prison for the murder a rival motorcycle gang member.

According to prosecutors, Howard Baker, the 62-year-old president of the Fort Worth chapter of the Bandidos, directed and participated in the Dec. 12, 2014, slaying of Geoffrey Brady at Gator’s Jam Inn, a Riverside-area bar that closed about a month after the shooting, according to testimony. Two other men were wounded.

A witness testified that when the Bandidos stormed the bar, the “shooting started” and 911 calls shared similar details.

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One man told the 911 call taker that they needed to send ambulances — quickly.

“There’s been 15 shots so far and they’re still shooting,” another 911 caller said.

Baker, who had faced life in prison, was sentenced to 40 years for murder, 40 years for engaging in organized crime and 45 years for directing the activities of a street gang. State District Judge George Gallagher ordered the sentences to run concurrently.

Baker, who elected to have his sentence assessed by a judge, has been in jail since his guilty verdict was decided by a jury Friday.

Baker, who was also accused of shooting Brady, was booked into jail two days later and released the same day after posting $100,000 bail, according to court records. Brady died from multiple gunshot wounds.

Allenna Bangs, a Tarrant County prosecutor who presented the state’s case, said the motorcycle gang members have no respect for civilized behavior, law enforcement or human life.

“There is an entire group of individuals who operate alongside you who follow their own set of rules,” she said. Bandidos “consider Texas their territory as far as motorcycle gangs go. If you are a motorcycle gang in Texas, you have to pay homage to, money to the Bandidos.”

Two other suspected Bandidos — Robert Stover and Nicholas Povendo — were arrested in connection with Brady’s slaying. Stover, who has been charged with engaging in organized crime and in an unrelated assault case, has a court date June 19, but no trial date has been set on the organized crime charge.

Povendo had his case dismissed by the Tarrant County district attorney’s office, according to an order signed Aug. 13, 2015. The case was filed under a charge of suspicion of unlawful possession of a firearm by a concealed handgun license holder, court documents show.

The Bandidos were described in testimony as a gang of outlaws that operates internationally, with more than 3,600 members in 210 chapters in 22 countries, according to Doug Pearson, a motorcycle gang expert with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, who is based in Aurora, Colo.

 
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