Multiple sources in South Dakota and California are reporting that the charges of conspiracy to commit murder that were filed against Chad Wilson and John Midmore two years ago will be dismissed tomorrow.
Last November, the two men were tried for five counts of attempted first-degree murder. They were acquitted November 20th.
The Back Story
Wilson and Midmore were arrested and charged after a gun battle in a motel parking lot in Custer State Park about 70 miles south of Sturgis during the Black Hills Rally in 2006. The gunfight left five people wounded. The five victims were members or associates of the American Outlaws Association, a motorcycle club that is usually called the Outlaws Motorcycle Club.
Prosecutors alleged that Wilson and Midmore waited in a white pickup truck in the motel parking lot and ambushed the Outlaws. The defense argued that the two defendants were surrounded by Outlaws and fought to save their lives. The jury believed the defense.
Wilson, 33, is a Canadian citizen and a patched member of the Hells Angels San Diego charter. At the time of his arrest, Midmore, 35 was a prospect with the Hells Angels Haney charter near Vancouver, British Columbia. Midmore holds dual Australian and Canadian citizenship.
Feds and Terminator, Just Don’t Stop…Ever
Midmore, was released on bail hours after the acquittal last autumn but Wilson has been locked up for the last 29 months. Prosecutors have been attempting to retry the same case-murder-under a different charge-conspiracy-since the verdict. Defense attorneys have argued that retrying an acquitted person over and over for the same crime is unconstitutional.
But, prosecutors already have a slam dunk on another charge against Wilson-being a nonimmigrant alien in possession of a firearm. So, until both Midmore and Wilson plead guilty to something, the United States Government can keep Wilson in jail on an immigrant hold indefinitely.
A South Dakota judge was supposed to rule on a motion to dismiss the conspiracy charge six weeks ago. But that hearing was postponed and the two sides have been trying to negotiate a resolution to the defendants’ legal predicaments ever since.
A week ago, Prosecutor Mike Moore, told the Argus Leader, “We’re close to an agreement to resolve (the case.)”
Yesterday, another South Dakota prosecutor named Tracy Kelley said Midmore will plead guilty tomorrow to possession of cocaine. Midmore’s blood tested positive for metabolites of cocaine after his arrest. Possession of cocaine carries a maximum sentence of ten years imprisonment in South Dakota. Under the plea agreement, Midmore’s sentence will be suspended and he will be given credit for the 27 months he has already served while he awaited trial.
Whether he serves another day in jail or not, a guilty plea by Midmore would lead to his immediate deportation. He could then be barred from legally re-entering the United States.
Midmore may also be taking one for the club. Any mercy Wilson gets shown is probably contingent on Midmore’s acquiescence to the cocaine charge.
Wilson’s remaining charge for possessing a firearm also carries a maximum penalty of ten years in prison. He has two court dates tomorrow: One in Federal Court in Rapid City on the gun charge and another 320 miles away at the opposite end of the state in Sioux Falls on the conspiracy charge.
Any run of the mill imbecile should be able to see that one of the two hearings will have to be postponed. But, so far neither judge can see it. Wilson is in federal custody so he will probably attend the federal hearing. How the state judge reacts to Wilson’s absence from his court depends on how great a mockery South Dakota is prepared to make of the idea of the law.