Fri
20
Apr
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Judges summon Twin Peaks bikers for case updates

With the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office in a state of flux, the county’s two felony court judges have summoned about 50 Twin Peaks biker shootout defendants to court in coming weeks to try to determine how the 128 or so remaining cases will proceed.

Judge Ralph Strother of 19th State District Court and Judge Matt Johnson of 54th State District Court have scheduled status conferences for many of the Twin Peaks defendants. Strother has summoned 27 defendants for April 27, while Johnson’s conference with about 25 defendants is set for May 4.

All of the defendants directed to be in court on those days are or were affiliated with the Cossacks motorcycle group. Nine bikers were killed and more than 20 were injured in the May 17, 2015, shootout between the Cossacks and Bandidos that played out before a lunch crowd at Twin Peaks in Waco.

Thu
19
Apr
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Biker testifies Bandidos beat him with a claw hammer

A member of the Cossacks Motorcycle Club testified Thursday at a racketeering trial in San Antonio federal court that several Bandidos beat him and gashed his head with a claw hammer in North Texas when he refused to take off his biker vest.

Arthur David Young, 39, survived the March 22, 2015, attack at the Bar-B truck stop in Gordon in Palo Pinto County, between Abilene and Fort Worth. Young, who worked in the oil fields, said he had to have 12 staples to close the gashes, and the beating left him with headaches and affects his equilibrium.

 

“It felt like hours, but it only took seconds,” Young said of the assault. “They ended up with my cut (vest).”

The government alleges the Bandidos’ then-vice president John Xavier Portillo, who is on trial with then-president Jeffrey Fay Pike, had declared war on the Cossacks shortly before the attack on Young.

Thu
19
Apr
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Judge allows indicted Hells Angels to attend fallen club member’s funeral

SONOMA — In an act of benevolence, a federal judge has temporarily suspended the bail conditions for five alleged Hells Angels members, so that they may attend the funeral of a member of the biker club recently killed in a car crash.

This week United States Magistrate Judge Sallie Kim signed an order permitted co-defendants Jonathan “Jon “Jon Nelson, Russell Lyles, Jr., Damien Cesena, Brian Burke, and David Diaz to attend the funeral of Jason Cliff, 50, a motorcycle shop owner who died April 8. Federal prosecutors did not object to the order.

The order permits only the defendants who had bailed out to attend Cliff’s funeral Saturday. It temporarily suspends bail conditions that barred the defendants from associating with other Hells Angels, but requires them to return to their homes by 5 p.m. the day of the funeral.

Fri
13
Apr
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Jurors hear recording of Bandidos leader declaring war on Cossacks

A post from “Cossack Doc” to a Facebook friend in July 2014 said the Cossacks Motorcycle Club had permission from the Bandidos to wear a patch saying “Texas,” a state the Bandidos consider their home and territory.

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Thu
12
Apr
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Outlaw motorcycle gang member assaults man in downtown Greeley bar, warrant states

A member of an outlaw motorcycle gang could face multiple criminal charges after police say he beat another man Sunday night in the bathroom of a downtown Greeley bar.

Peter Salem Brunk, 49, turned himself in to the Weld County Jail Thursday afternoon and remains there with no bond, according to Sgt. Joe Tymkowych of the Greeley Police Department. Brunk, a known outlaw motorcycle gang member, was wanted on suspicion of felony and misdemeanor assault charges, as well as false imprisonment.

The warrant for his arrest came after William Hanson said he had a run-in with Brunk Sunday night at the Tilted Kilt, 610 9th Ave. in Greeley. Hanson would later tell police he'd been drinking with coworkers at the bar that night. Other members of the group said Brunk approached them, telling them he was a "lieutenant" with the motorcycle gang. He wore a black vest dotted with patches, and had long brown hair, the warrant states. Brunk told the group the bar was "their bar."

Thu
12
Apr
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Scorpions Motorcycle Club break-in suspect misses court date; he was already in prison

A competency hearing for a man charged with breaking in to the Scorpions Motorcycle Club headquarters in Lyon Township on the night the building was heavily damaged by fire has been delayed because the defendant never made it to court.

Instead of being in 52-1 District Court in Novi on Wednesday,  Kinley Rae-John Kelm, 39, was being held at the Handlon Correctional Facility in Ionia. He was sent to the state facility for an alleged parole violation after being arraigned on the new charges.

"The defendant was inadvertently transported to the Department of Corrections (rather than the Oakland County Jail)," Judge Travis Reeds said before rescheduling the hearing to April 27. "That's the earliest date for all the parties."

Wed
11
Apr
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Former biker gang member sentenced in Springfield meth case

A former member of the Galloping Goose outlaw motorcycle gang was sentenced Wednesday in a large-scale Springfield meth case.

Timothy Hall, 56, was sentenced by Judge Doug Harpool to a little more than nine years in federal prison after Hall pleaded guilty to participating in a meth distribution conspiracy.

Hall's sister spoke at the sentencing Wednesday afternoon, telling the judge that Hall was a good man.

The judge said he did not believe Hall was a major player in the drug ring — which investigators tied to at least 77 pounds of meth and 6 pounds of heroin — but he was a willing participant.

"We can't stop these drug conspiracies if good people allow themselves to be used," Harpool said.

Hall faced a possible life sentence after admitting he sold meth about 30 times during the conspiracy.

Tue
10
Apr
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Lakeport motorcycle crash victim was Hells Angels indictment suspect

A man killed Sunday in a Lakeport motorcycle crash was awaiting trial as part of a sweeping racketeering and conspiracy case against several Sonoma County Hells Angels motorcycle gang members, according to authorities.

Jason Randall Cliff, 50, died Saturday night when his bike moved into the path of a pickup on a Lake County highway near Lakeport. Three witnesses told CHP officers the rider had been distracted and looked away from the roadway just before the crash, said CHP Officer Kory Reynolds.

Cliff’s 2008 Buell collided with a 2007 Dodge truck at 55-60 mph without braking, Reynolds said.

Two people were not injured.

A Lake County Coroner’s Office investigation showed Cliff was on federal supervision pending an indictment.

Sat
07
Apr
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Ex-Bandido says national president kicked predecessor out over TV interview

A former national ranking member of the Bandidos testified Friday that the group’s latest president kicked his predecessor out of the biker club for appearing on a television documentary.

William “Big G” Ojemann, a Bandidos member from 2008 until 2013, said George Wegers, who was the Bandidos’ president from 1998 until his arrest in 2005, had his Bandidos patches revoked by his successor, Jeffrey Fay Pike, because Wegers appeared in a report about the club.

Pike “was like, ‘(expletive) him. We don’t do interviews. We don’t do TV,’” Ojemann testified, recalling a conversation he said he had with Pike in 2012. “It was a patch-pull offense.”

Ojemann is the latest ex-insider to testify against his former Bandidos “brothers” at the racketeering trial in San Antonio of Pike and ex-national vice president John Xavier Portillo.

Fri
06
Apr
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Attorneys claim Mokena woman’s 2017 death a suicide, not murder

Will County sheriff deputy chief rejects suicide claim

JOLIET – Attorneys for the man accused of killing a 24-year-old Mokena woman believe they can prove she took her own life, according to recent court filings.

Neil Patel, attorney for Jeremy Boshears, 32, of Coal City, stated in a March 18 court motion that a “good-faith argument” exists that Kaitlyn Kearns “took her own life by raising a gun to her head,” contrary to an indictment that charged Boshears with killing her.

Patel seeks to use an expert to see if the crime scene could be reconstructed to support this defense, as well as medical records of Kearns’ alleged history of acute mental health issues.

“The records would be highly exculpatory and support the conclusion that the victim killed herself,” Patel argued.

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