George Christie, the retired President of the Ventura Charter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club was assigned a trial date last week.
The trial is now scheduled to begin on January 31, 2012 at 8:30 a.m. in room 790 of the Roybal Federal Building in Los Angeles. His case is scheduled to be heard by the Honorable Jacqueline H. Nguyen.
In the meantime, Christie remains under house arrest on $200,000 bail. He was imprisoned for a year in 1986 on a conspiracy to murder charge for which he was acquitted. In 2001, Christie, his wife and his son were all charged with selling prescription drugs and he spent another year in jail.
Other than being a Hells Angel, Christie has mostly appeared to be a model citizen for the last 30 years. He was one of many people who carried the Olympic flame before the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. He has worked with the Easter Seals and the Special Olympics.
His judge is a former federal prosecutor who was appointed as a US District Judge by President Barack Obama in the summer of 2009 to replace the retiring Florence Marie Cooper. Nguyen’s appointment was confirmed by the United States Senate in December 2009. Four days after Christie’s trial date was set, Obama appointed Judge Nguyen to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
A hearing on all pretrial motions is scheduled in Judge Nguyen’s court for 9 a.m. December 5.
Try To Follow This
Christie, who owns a tattoo parlor in Ventura, is charged with being at the pinnacle of a convoluted conspiracy to bomb two rival tattoo parlors called Twisted Ink and Scratch the Surface. Someone threw Molotov cocktails into both businesses on July 6, 2007. Not even the government accuses Christie of doing it.
The alleged connection between Christie and the fire bombings, as outlined in the indictment, goes as follows:
1. Christie “would solicit a known co-conspirator (hereinafter co-conspirator #1) to confront the owners of Scratch the Surface and Twisted Ink.”
2. Christie then “would contact a known co-conspirator (hereinafter co-conspirator #2) about damaging or completely destroying” his two competitors.
3. “Co-conspirator #2 would then meet with another known co-conspirator (hereinafter co-conspirator #3) and tell him that co-conspirator #2 would pay co-conspirator #3 to burn down” the competing tattoo businesses.
4. “Co-conspirator #3 would then meet with another known co-conspirator (hereinafter co-conspirator #4) and together” those two guys drove to the other tattoo parlors in a Chevy Suburban and threw fire bombs through the windows.
5. “Co-conspirator #3 and co-conspirator #4 would then meet with co-conspirator #2 to receive payment for their work.”
Expect this trial, if it ever gets that far, to be very heavy on biker atmosphere and very thin on facts other than that Christie apparently opened his mouth and complained about his business competitors.