The Ablett-Guardado Fight

February 15, 2012

All Posts

Details of the fight that killed Hells Angels Frisco charter President Mark “Papa” Guardado on September 2, 2008 have finally been entered into the public record. Guardado died in the street outside a bar called Dirty Thieves at the corner of 24th Street and Treat Avenue in San Francisco at the hands of Christopher Ablett, a member of the Modesto chapter of the Mongols Motorcycle Club.

This account of that fight may offend some readers. Those details are based on public statements made by Ablett in testimony at his trial for racketeering and murder. That testimony is supplemented by additional testimony and other statements made by witnesses and other informed sources.

As is usually the case, the altercation lasted less than a minute.

The Calm Before The Storm

That night Ablett was enjoying the company of two women named Amie Marvel and Joyce Yu. The women had suggested that the three of them go to the Dirty Thieves which is about a mile from the Frisco Angels clubhouse. Ablett left his Mongols cut at Marvel’s apartment but he was wearing a set of Virginia Mongols soft colors under a black leather jacket.

Ablett rode his three-year-old Electra Glide to the bar. The women were in a Toyota pickup truck. Ablett took off his jacket when they entered the bar. The trio spent the evening drinking moderately and playing pool.

Ablett went outside multiple times to smoke Marlboros and check on his bike which was parked about 100 feet away. Cigarette butts with Ablett’s DNA on them and the empty cigarette packet with Ablett’s fingerprints were later recovered by police.

The Messengers

While Ablett smoked in his Mongols tee-shirt he was observed by a motorcycle mechanic and friend of the Hells Angels named George Jimenez. When Ablett and the women left the bar, Jimenez saw Ablett drop his bike after a near collision with the back of Marvel’s truck.

The Electra Glide was equipped with an electronic fuel injection and a tip over sensor that shut off the fuel when the bike leaned more than 45 degrees. Harley-Davidson calls the device a Base Angle Sensor or BAS.

Jimenez helped Ablett lift the bike which then would not start until the BAS was reset. All Ablett had to do to reset the sensor was turn the ignition off then on again. Instead he turned off the ignition and waited.

He sweet talked Marvel for at least ten minutes while Yu remained in the truck. While Ablett flirted, Jimenez called another friend of the San Francisco Angels named Samuel Thunder Sun Watso. Watso has testified that he called Mark Guardado at the Angels clubhouse and told him “There are Mongols down on Treat.”

The Fight

Guardado approached Ablett on foot after both women were back in Marvel’s truck. A confrontation quickly ensued. Marvel got out of the truck and ordered both men to “Stop it.” An unidentified witness told Marvel to “Get the fuck out of here.”

According to Ablett, Guardado, who was about two inches shorter and 80 pounds heavier than the Mongol, attacked him. Three men in a green Sport Utility Vehicle observed the fight from a distance. One of the men in the truck, according to multiple witnesses, weighed about 300 pounds and had full tattoo sleeves on both arms.

As Guardado wrestled Ablett to the ground, Ablett produced a knife and stabbed Guardado in the forearm, upper arm and back. At the same time, according to Ablett, he observed a second man running toward them from less than a block away. As Ablett struggled to his feet he stabbed Guardado a fourth time in Guardado’s left armpit. It was a potentially life threatening wound but Guardado probably would have survived it if he hadn’t been shot.

As the second assailant arrived, according to Ablett, Guardado called out to him “He keeps sticking me.” In his testimony, Ablett said the second assailant raised his shirt, and Ablett feared that man was about to pull a gun concealed in the small of his back. Ablett then drew a .357 magnum revolver from inside his jacket. As Ablett drew, just after the second assailant arrived, the green SUV pulled up to the scene. The men inside were cursing and shouting.

The Shooting

Ablett fired five shots panning from left to right and back again. He fired the first shot in Guardado’s chest and Guardado, who had already been stabbed four times, dropped. The shot was probably fatal but not instantly fatal.

Ablett fired his second shot at the second assailant. The shot may have hit that man in the leg. A witness has described someone at the scene limping away.

Ablett fired the third and fourth shots at the green SUV. At least one of the shots broke glass. Another shot may have broken the windshield. The occupants of the SUV probably fired three shots at Ablett from an unknown gun before they sped off. Ablett testified that there was a gun battle and witnesses have been uncertain about how many shots were fired in all. Some witnesses have said they heard four shots and others have said they heard eight.

Ablett testified that after the SUV drove away he turned back and saw the second assailant was gone. He turned to the prone Guardado and fired again. That would have been the shot that hit Guardado in the back of the head. It would have been instantly fatal.

Ablett started his motorcycle and fled. The two women fled. A witness stood over the body and called 911 at 10:29:25 p.m. A man who knew Guardado is heard sobbing on that call. The first police arrived at 10:31.

Now a jury must decide whether Ablett’s use of a gun was self defense or murder and whether Ablett’s testimony was credible or self-serving.

Ablett was on the witness stand this morning for another two hours before he returned to the defendant’s table.


, , ,

25 Responses to “The Ablett-Guardado Fight”

  1. NoOneImportant Says:

    Just curious, how many people have to attack you before you can call it self defense? Did this guy need to wait until one or two more men tried to kill him? I thought California law said “…a reasonable person would fear for his life…” Are outlaw bikers automatically unreasonable?

    As far as the racketeering, I don’t think it’s in the best interest of the public for that charge to be tacked on to any specific case. The charge negates the presumption of innocents. If this guys club is or is not a criminal organization has nothing to do with ANY individual case until a conviction is rendered by a jury. Res ipsa loquitor, the prosecution seems hell bent on manipulating the jury into ignoring, or at least being distracted from the facts of the incident in question.

    In a normal murder case, Ablett’s defense may not find it beneficial to place their defendant on the stand, (it rarely helps in a murder case) but it seems more prudent when the government tacks on charges which can have merit only after a conviction.

    Also, Law Enforcement is never accused of racketeering when they fabricate evidence or lie to exonerate one of their fellow officers/agents and the record shows that officers in these cases often have some portion of their defense funded by their union. Why the double standard when it’s a question of a club kicking in for one of theirs?

    “Fair trial,” is a null concept.

    Ablett is guilty in the eyes of the government before he goes to the bar. He’s guilty before he stabs his attacker. He’s guilty before he pulls the trigger. He’s guilty before his trial. He’s guilty even if the jury says he’s “not guilty.”

    The Bill of Rights is dead! Long live the Bill of Rights!

  2. Glenn S. Says:

    I’m just making observations here, and not offering opinions as to whether Ablett or Guardado was right or wrong, but unless I misunderstood, Ablett hurt himself by testifying. That last shot (and more importantly, his testifying to it) might cause him to be convicted. Also, is Ablett a convicted felon? If so, did I understand cortrectly that he was carrying a pistol and admitted to it? I find it difficult to believe his lawyer did not explain that if you’ve neutralized the threat, (Guardado on the ground dying; his backup having exited the scene), and then you shoot the guy in the back of the head,you’re no longer defending yourself because the reasonable fear of your life no longer exists. The jury might buy the fog of battle theory and still acquit if they are symphathetic to begin with. They might also acquit because this obviously was not racketeering on the part of Ablett. But if they are looking for a reason to convict, the defense just gave them one on a silver platter. Further, if Ablett is acquited of the federal charges, the state will likely charge him with murder and, possibly, gun law violations. After a lengthy period in pre-trial detention, a state jury will likely find him guilty of murder or manslaughter. By then, he might have maxed out his possible sentence.

    The defense might have done better to leave questions unanswered about who brought the gun to the scene, and who shot Guardado in the back of the head. Just sayin’.

  3. Philo Says:

    “He turned to the prone Guardado and fired again.”

    Regardless of what happened, THAT is the sentence that will send this guy to prison.


  4. Annonymous Says:

    Glenn S:

    I couldn’t agree more. Before he testified there seemed to be so many things working in his favor, at least as far as reasonable doubt goes. Now he is relying solely on self-defense.

    However, I am no attorney, so hopefully this one knows that he is doing.

  5. Philo Says:

    I think you’re right Glenn. It’s hard to argue self-defense with a coup de grace to the back of the head on a prone subject. His attorney had to have known this.

    I personally have only heard of one case where the shooter got off in that kind of situation, (as was related to me an Iraq- vet turned ccw instructor relative.), but that was a home owner in his basement.

    The homeowner caught a guy who broke into his basement with a large screwdriver. The thief advanced on the homeowner in a menacing fashion was confronted and shot, and tried to crawl away, (where he was crawling to in the basement is anyone guess:). With phone in hand, and 9-11 on the line listening, the homeowner told him to stop moving or he would shoot again. The thief kept crawling and caught another slug to the back of the head, killing him. Said homeowner was charged, but ended winning a jury trial.

    My instructor related this story to his classes because he believed the homeowner, by letter of the law, should have gone to prison and was only vindicated by luck of having a reasonable jury. The moral of the story being, ‘there’s ways you can legally shoot someone, and ways you can’t. know them so you don’t have to put your ass in the hands of twelve strangers.’

    Things look bad for Ablett now. He needs a new lawyer on the grounds that his current one s a fucking idiot.


  6. Rebel Says:

    Dear Philo,

    There is a fine line in reporting a story like this. On the one hand, I try hard to tell the truth and on the other the last thing I ever want to do is screw up any guy’s defense. I sure hope that the way I phrased something isn’t responsibile for anybody’s conviction.


  7. RVN69 Says:

    Disclaimer: I do not know either Ablett or Guardado, I have neither an affinty for nor enmity towards either club.

    It appears that most have come to the same conclusion, Ablett’s attorney seems to have made a serious miscalculation in allowing this testimony into the trial. My understanding of general self defense is that

    A.) If you introduce a weapon into what had been a fist fight, you have to be able to convince the jury that the other person had such superior fighting skills or other advantage that you were in fear for your life.

    B.) If you shoot a prone, wounded, defensless person who presents no further threat to you, then you will be unable to successfully claim self defense as you are no longer “defending” yourself. The admission that any other possible assailants had already fled further complicates the issue.

    While it appeared that the defense was getting the best of the professional federal liars, this will possibly be Ablett’s undoing.

    Hopefully Shyster will give us a professional opinion.

    Potius Mori Quam Foedare

  8. sled tramp Says:

    Shooting someone in one’s basement? I’m sure waiting till dark,a quick cash only trip to Home Dumpo then quietly backing up the family van and driving at the speed limit drive to your neighborhood dumping ground is more in order than a jury trial.I’m only theorizing here you understand,my wife and her boyfriend say my body will never be found so…..I was just thinkin’
    Why needlessly bother those nice men in blue? After all, they have far more important things to do like chase them nasty ol’ bikers off people’s lawns.

  9. Philo Says:


    I know bud, it can’t be easy. If that’s what he said though, that’s what he said. I probably could have wrote that better myself; didn’t mean to imply that your sentence was what would convict him. Should have commented that ‘his statement’ was what would do him in. If you think it will cause some grief you can delete what I posted; I for one don’t doubt the accuracy of what you wrote though. Truth is the truth, for better or worse.

    @Sled Tramp: I know right? Guy took a BIG risk with that, which was the point. There’s a right way and a wrong way. Must be why everyone in the class had to repeat in tandem, repeatedly:

    “Officer, I know you’re just trying to do your job, but I have nothing more to say than I was in fear for my life and I only fired until I felt the threat was neutralized. I want to talk to my lawyer.”


  10. rollinnorth Says:

    I don’t think you screwed up anyone’s defense. Keep up the good work.

    I make the same disclaimer as RVN69.

    Keep in mind it is Ablett’s right to testify in his own defense. No judge or lawyer can deny him that right. It is usually not a good idea, and better to exercise your right to not be forced to testify.
    Once he made that decision, though, it’s up to his lawyers to prep him to do as little harm as possible. The fact of five shots was, I think, already out there. Likely better for the jury to hear the circumstances of the fifth shot up front from Ablett, than in response to a question from the prosecutor.
    “As is usually the case, the altercation lasted less than a minute.”
    If the defense gets the jury to focus on that fact, then who knows. It takes all twelve to convict.
    This incident and its aftermath are a tragedy, plain and simple.

  11. BigV Says:

    Philo, experience dictates I advise you say nothing, other than I want my lawyer.

    No disrespect meant.

  12. Danny Gatton Says:

    Dear Glenn and RVN, your neutralities are driving me batshit. Disclaimer: I have affinity and harbor enmity for both clubs. Rebel, you got it right. Your report is accurate. I agree with everyone that Mazer is out of his mind if the testimony was his idea. The defense had the prosecution beat down to sawdust. Better yet, there just was not any evidence and there was no case. Solid word is that the prosecution has greatly alienated the good folks on the jury. Now, God only knows. To rollinnorth: you are the one guy who has voiced the big question: was it Mr. Ablett’s insistence to testify? More will be revealed. Danny

  13. sherides Says:

    I read this article last night. I believe it was shortly after Rebel posted it. I think Rebel did an excellent job in relaying the facts as they were testified to.

    Honestly, it was a tough read for me.

    My first thought was “WTF” in regards to the Self-Defense position taken by the Defendant and the testimony given.

    I agree with Rollinnorth:
    “This incident and its aftermath are a tragedy, plain and simple”

    The outcome is in the hands of the jury.

  14. Shyster Says:

    Philo and Glenn S,

    From a defense lawyer’s perspective, I do NOT like this testimony being presented by the defendant under oath. If what was just reported was in fact what was stated by Ablett on the stand then …..

    The one thing the majority of defense attorney’s would agree to is that you never have the defendant testify. Now, I understand the theory is self defense. I get that. I understand that it is “easier” to present that theory when the defendant testifies as to his fear, etc. The jurors WILL want to hear his side of what happened for sure, but if he stated that this started out as a fist fight or Quasi MMA/wrestling bout and HE pulled out a knife and started sticking then HE was the first “deadly” aggressor! Period. I get it that there were others present who may have been with Guardado but I read this post to state the fight was one-on-one. Self defense don’t apply if Johnny is about to take me off my feet using his hands, feet and body only and I take out my blade and slice his neck.

    And now the jury knows that (1) he was strapped and (2) he fired the fatal shot into the back of the head of a prone man?!

    Again, strictly from a defense attorney’s perspective, this is really bad for the accused.


  15. FXR Nation Says:

    i dont understand why he went up now to with lack of evidence

  16. The Who!!!!! Says:

    Wow, he should of taken the 5th….. On everything….

  17. Rebel Says:

    Dear The Who!!!!!,

    Ablett did scrupulously remain silent until he testified. I will write something about the defense and prosecution cases and what I think the jury will consider after the closing arguments.


  18. Rebel Says:

    Dear FXR Nation,

    His defense is self-defense. There may be a couple of holes in that defense, like the gun shot to the back of the head, so Ablett went on the stand. His job when he testified was to convince the jury of his honesty when he says “It was self defense.” I have no idea what the jury will make of it. In hindsight, I think his attorneys were way ahead of me in their comprehension of the case so I am not going to second guess them.


  19. Rebel Says:

    Dear Shyster,

    Your reservations may stem more from my limited coverage of the case than Mazer’s decision to put Ablett on the stand.

    Ablett’s attorneys took pains to portray the HAMC as really, really scary. Ablett was confronted with multiple opponents coming at him from different directions. And there is forensic evidence that Ablett was shot at, by one or more .380 cartridges fired from a 9mm pistol. Also, they did have to put on a defense and they had to call somebody in case the motion for a directed verdict of not guilty fails.

    It has always looked like a manslaughter case or maybe 2nd degree murder to me. The government made it a multi-count racketeering case. The defense was limited in how vigorously they could fight the racketeering stuff so they simplified it. Two witnesses died before the trial began so there was really only one witness to the actual fight. That witness was Ablett.

    Ablett told his story. Much will be made about reasonable doubt. I think Ablett’s attorneys thought Ablett’s testimony would be cogent enough to at least raise reasonable doubt.

    The prosecution had made a pretty good case that Chris Ablett stabbed Mark Guardado four times and shot him twice with a big bore handgun. It was a one shot drop gun. They didn’t have the gun but the ATF is very good at gun forensics and there were strong circumstantial links between Ablett and some .357.

    So why did Ablett shoot Guarado twice after he had already stabbed him four times? So why did he shoot Guardado in the back of the head? I think only Ablett could say. I am not sure what choice the defense had but to put Ablett on the stand.

    I think the racketeering part of the government’s case was weak. The little I know sugests to me that the jury will not belief that Ablett killed Guardado as a racketeering act. I don’t know how sympathetic the jury found Ablett to be. Maybe they hated him. Maybe they hated Ciccone and Kozlowski more.

    Personally, I suspect Ablett will be found not guilty. Coup de grace and all. I am just guessing. Everybody will find out soon — except people who get their news from newspapers and TV.


  20. FXR Nation Says:

    I hope you are right Rebel that would be great news….

  21. anon Says:

    i agree that would be great news

  22. Glenn S. Says:


    In a federal racketeering trial, does the government have to prove racketeering to win a conviction of the underlying crime? In other words, can Ablett be convicted of anything in federal court if murder is proven but doing so in aid of racketeering is not? In California, is self defense an affirmative defense where the preponderance of evidence standard applies, of must the state prove it was not self defense beyond a reasonable doubt? (Here in SC, self defense is an affirmative defense and the burdan of proof is on the defendant, although juries are often sympathetic in these cases.) I’m guessing that if Ablett is acquited in federal court, he will face murder or manslaughter charges in state court.


    I think you’ve protected Ablett’s interests in securing an acquital while reporting this story. I’m sure you’ve had to use good judgement in choosing which facts to reveal now and which to withhold for later. Your reporting of his own testimony could not affect the verdict. He’s already let that cat out of the bag by testifying about the coup de grace and the fact that he was carrying. I’m a little disappointed that the defense strategy seems to be “their violent racketeering motorcycle gang is a whole lot bigger and badder than ours, so our members must necessarily defend themselves with deadly force”. Win or lose, the government can spin that one to serve its goals. The questions posed by the trial will end up as 81 v. Mongels, rather than government v. bikers. But I get that the defense attorneys’ job is to secure an acquital, not to take a stand on larger issues. In a more perfect world, the government agents would have to slink out the back door of the courthouse to avoid the press and angry taxpayers. In the real world, they are the only “gang” and the trial is taking place in their clubhouse with their supporters asking the questions the citizens will hear answered. It is what it is. I look forward to reading your eventual take on the closing arguements and verdict.


    I display neutrality here because I prefer to discuss the issues of government v. bikers, and leave disputes between clubs to the patchholders. I’m sure they are here, this site is more for them than for me. I prefer to behave as a guest, and respect and courtesy demands that I not show up as a guest and then stir up shit between those who are already here. I might support one particular club, and have friends and/or be friendly with its members. I might not know any of them and might not support either club. This is not the place for me to address that. This topic illustrates what can happen when supporters stir up shit.

  23. Shyster Says:

    Good morning Glenn S.

    Pursuant to California State Law the Govt./DA, has the burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt to prove the defendant did NOT act in self defense or defense of others. If the Prosecutor does not meet that burden then the jury is instructed that they MUST vote the defendant not guilty. The Govt does not have to prove racketeering to prove the underlying charge of murder. I only practice in State Court so my answers are with respect to and in compliance with State law. I believe Federal Criminal Law is the same. Take care. I’m going back to incubating this damn flu virus.


  24. Danny Gatton Says:

    Dear Glenn, in your clause in quotation marks beginning with”their violent” and ending with” deadly force” you have summed up the situation with 100% pure accuracy. Like it or not, that is reality. The whole thing is borne of 81 vs. 13. That’s it, period. There were no federal agents anywhere near this scene. They had absolutely nothing to do with it. The gov just jumped on the aftermath as a good chance to get one more bird, sorta’ like the old “two birds with one stone” except that one bird had just killed another.You know, if you slip, your opponent is gonna’ pounce.
    As far as supporters stirring up shit, that didn’t really happen. Jimenez and Ratso felt it was their duty to report intelligence( oxymoron/total morons) back to headquarters. It does seem that Ratso has admitted to saying Mongols,plural, so perhaps that was stirring but Papa was heading down there either way once he got the report. I think both men meant well, for their home team only.They would have probably been in trouble if it ever came out that they had failed to report.
    I guess neutrality is good here, although I suspect it is most often a veil.It is somewhat assumed and/or implied anyway, so why do people feel such a need to announce it?
    As for the charges, from my weakly informed position, it sounds like the gov must prove their predicate racketeering charges or the entire rig of cards collapses, a la full walk. I am also feebly informed that the state charges are incorporated into this donnybrook<(Rebel!), once again spelling the old full walk. Who knows?
    Mr. Ablett has stated that he did not aim at the prone president's head. It all happened very fast. I don't know if the supporters were firing at the moment that the second shot rang in to the pres. I would guess it was a blur at that point.
    I do not believe your statement that this site is for patch holders, and that we are merely their guests.. I think it is for everyone of similar ilk. Please weigh in Rebel. Thanks, Danny G.

  25. Glenn S. Says:

    Hope you feel better, Shyster.

Leave a Reply