John Price, 37, was sentenced yesterday to 35 years in prison for the alleged “biker murder” of Donald Jessup, 60, on Dec. 16, 2004.
No forensic evidence was ever found that Jessup had actually been murdered but last November a jury believed the testimony of three witnesses who professed knowledge of the crime and found Price guilty of first-degree murder. The severity of the murder was legally enhanced because it was alleged to have been committed with a firearm. The firearm was never recovered.
The alleged crime was generally played as a “biker murder” because Price rode with the Ghost Riders Motorcycle Club and Jessup rode with the Gypsy Jokers. The prosecution theorized that Jessup had stolen Price’s motorcycle then, over dinner one evening, offered to sell it back to him. Price became so enraged by the attempted shakedown that he beat Jessup to the floor with an axe handle then shot the older man in the face.
Then, with the meticulous attention to housekeeping details for which biker homes have long been famous, Price scrubbed away all evidence that a crime had ever been committed.
No one would suspected that a crime had been committed let along that Price had committed were it not for the public-spirited citizenship of a drug dealer named Jason Rebman. While being detained for possession of a significant amount of methamphetamine Rebman found an opportunity to volunteer to police that Jessup was dead and that Price had killed him.
After giving authorities the names of two women who would corroborate his information police concluded, as has been known to happen with snitches, that Rebman wasn’t really a bad man. He had just made a mistake was all.
One of the two women Rebman told police to call was Chanel Ridley. Ridley was Price’s estranged lover and the 23-year-old mother of Price’s three children. Ridley told police the details of the crime. She also testified that Price had disposed of Jessup’s body “up north.”
That was enough to convict Price and send him away forever and a day. Additionally, both judge and jury in the case seemed unamused by the light-hearted irony of Price’s nickname-Nazi John.