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Jury Has Ablett Case

Tue, Feb 21, 2012

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Jury Has Ablett Case

The racketeering murder trial of Mongols Motorcycle Club patch holder Christopher “Stoney” Ablett was scheduled to go to the jury late today.

Ablett was tried for killing Hells Angels San Francisco charter President Mark “Papa” Guardado in a street fight in San Francisco in September 2008. There is no doubt that Ablett killed Guardado.

Ablett has testified that he stabbed Guardado four times and shot him twice. One of the stab wounds was potentially fatal. One of the gunshots, fired into Guardado’s chest, was probably fatal. A second gun shot wound to the head was undoubtedly fatal.

Self Defense Or Racketeering

Ablett’s lawyers argued that he acted in self defense. Prosecutors took the position that Ablett had committed four racketeering offenses: Murder in aid of racketeering; use of a firearm in a murder; and use of a firearm in furtherance of a racketeering crime of violence; and assault with a deadly weapon.

The government’s aim was to prove that the Mongols Motorcycle Club was a criminal racket at the time of Guardado’s death. It took until July 2009 for prosecutors to federalize the case. The same prosecutors took another 30 months to prepare for the trial. It hindsight it looks like they were stalling. The Assistant U.S. Attorney probably doubted his case from the start.

Two of the government’s witnesses, professional agents provocateur John Ciccone and Darrin Kozlowski have a track record of convincing grand juries and federal magistrates. Ciccone’s search warrant affidavits are practically literary in their creativity and doublespeak. But neither man appeared to do well in this trial under cross examination.

Ablett’s Story

Ablett, however was candid. His story was that he was enjoying an evening out with two women friends. He would never have had the opportunity to kill Guardado if his motorcycle had not shut down at a critical moment and if two eager bystanders had not complained to Guardado about “Mongols down on Treat (street).”

Guardado, who weighed 80 pounds more than Ablett, knocked the defendant down. Ablett testified that he saw a second assailant running toward him and he stabbed Guardado so he would have a chance to confront this second threat. Ablett testified that he was in fear for his life and that he was shot at by three more assailants in a Sport Utility Vehicle. Ablett said he shot Guardado because he was confronted by multiple threats and because Guardado didn’t stop attacking after Ablett punched and stabbed him. Ablett said he did not intend to shoot Guardado in the head and that he left a round in the cylinder of his revolver.

Much of Ablett’s story was substantiated by other witnesses and the prosecution probably lost because although they badgered Ablett on the stand they had trouble discrediting him.

Discrediting Ablett

The final prosecution witness, called to tarnish Ablett’s testimony was a Bartlesville, Oklahoma cop named Eric Peterson. Ablett talked to Peterson at 5:30 p.m. the day he turned himself in. Peterson wrote Ablett’s words down on a single sheet of paper two minutes before Ablett was Mirandized at 5:32 p.m.

“I’d rather not talk about it. I’ll take the Fifth,” Ablett told Peterson as he turned himself in.

“Why did you turn yourself in,” Peterson asked.

To which Ablett replied according to the handwritten notes, “I didn’t kill him.”

Last week prosecutors gloated over Ablett changing his story. First, according to the Oklahoma cop, Ablett denied killing Guardado. Then years later Ablett admitted he had. This inconsistency in Ablett’s official statements may have swayed the jury but it probably did not. Probably the jury saw the prosecution as mean spirited. And, watching the video of Ablett walking into the police station also allowed jurors to see Ablett wearing a “Jesus Saves” tee shirt.

The Motorcycle Gang Menace

The defense hammered the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club throughout the trial and the prosecution did not argue in defense of Guardado’s reputation. None of the members of Guardado’s entourage the night he died were identified. Instead jurors heard that Guardado was dangerous and that the Hells Angels are dangerous. The jury also learned that as Ablett began his month long flight in his father’s truck he found what appeared to be a cell phone bomb under the floor boards.

In its closing argument today, the prosecution relied heavily on the testimony of Ciccone and Kozlowski about the criminality of the Mongols. The jury may be swayed by that or they may decide that the racketeering charges are preposterous.

Ablett may also be found guilty of a lesser charge like manslaughter or second degree murder. But to prove either the prosecutors would also have to prove that Ablett acted recklessly or with malice. By his own admission, Ablett was there with a gun and a knife and he did shoot Guardado in the head while the dying man was lying on the ground. However, the jury may simply decide that Ablett acted “passionately” in that moment.

In A Nutshell

In the end the case boils down to a simple decision: Did Ablett act in self defense or did he see and seize an opportunity to kill a member of a “rival motorcycle gang.”

The government has been trying to prove the Gangland version of this story for weeks. Prosecutors have argued that motorcycle clubs are mafias, that the undercover agents who infiltrate those mafias are very moral and brave, and that average people are just too naïve to even begin to understand how immoral members of the Hells Angels and Mongols truly are. The government’s argument is well worn. It will not be the first time the jurors have heard it. They may even believe it.

The speed with which a jury returns a verdict usually indicates the thoroughness with which it is deliberating and the amount of evidence it is reviewing. Ablett’s attorneys offered a straightforward defense in this case so if the jury sgrees with the defense Ablett could be free in days. The prosecution’s case is more difficult to summarize quickly. So the longer the jury deliberates the more likely it will be to find Christopher Ablett guilty.

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23 Comments For This Post

  1. SKUNK Says:

    LETS GO BROTHER STONEY!!!!!……..NICE SHIRT “JESUS SAVE.” HE DOES SAVE. GREAT SHIRT BROTHER. GOOD LUCK AND MAT GOD BLESS YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. LET JUSTICE BE DONE. NOT GUILTY

  2. Dave-O Says:

    Murder in aid of racketeering, not guilty. The defendant stood to gain nothing monetarily by killing Guardado. Use of a firearm in a murder, not guilty. Guardado was on the ground face down and Ablett shot him in the back of the head which would normally make me say guilty however this was a random fist fight/ambush on the part of Guardado and Ablett may very well have fired on Guardado in fear of his life, although its in the air considering Ablett shot Guardado in the back of the head while he was face down on the pavement. Hitmen do the same thing.

    Use of a firearm in furtherance of a racketeering crime of violence? I don’t even really understand what that means but if it means he used a gun to kill Guardado to further his criminal enterprise by using violent force, I say not guilty as he was not attempting to further his criminal enterprise. On top of this based on what I’ve read the prosecution hasn’t proven the Mongols MC are indeed a criminal enterprise. Assault with a deadly weapon? On the fence to tell you the truth, but I’m leaning towards guilty. This decision would go back to the fact the Ablett shot Guardado in the back of the head while he was on the ground stabbed and shot in the chest already. The fight was over, Guardado was done, and whoever was shooting at Ablett was either gone or no longer shooting at him. He had no reason to pop Guardado in the back of the head.

    Some might argue Ablett hoped to further himself in the “criminal enterprise” known as the Mongols MC by killing a high ranking member of the Hells Angels MC, however I return to my original point that the government hasn’t proven the Mongols MC is a criminal enterprise and Ablett was not in a premeditated situation and was obviously acting under duress. Basically this wasn’t Carlo Gambino killing Albert Anastasia in order to gain control of the Gambino crime family so he could control the Five Families of New York. But what do I know.

  3. EPA Says:

    GOD BLESS TO MY BROTHER AND TO THE REST OF THE MONGOLS MC. HOPEFULLY, THERE WILL BE A WELCOME HOME PARTY! KEEP THE FAITH BROTHERS. “NOT GUILTY” IF IT WASN’T FOR THOSE 2 FUCKEN PROVOCATEURS A MAN WOULD STILL BE ALIVE TODAY!
    JIMENEZ, MAY GOD HAVE MERCY ON YOU!

  4. Glenn S. Says:

    Whether the jury thinks the Mongols are a criminal enterprise, it doesn’t sound like the government in any way linked this situation with anything but wrong place, wrong time, whilst trying to get laid. Sadly, that doesn’t mean shit in a nation ruled by fear of anything other than fine upstanding Christian yuppies that drive 4 door sedans and SUVs (although it might be a little different outside of the bible belt, where I live). My guess is that if the judge allowed for manslaughter in his instructions to the jury, the jury will at least consider it, perhaps as a compromise verdict.

    Rebel, I disagree with your prediction that a quick verdict would bode well for Ablett. With any 12 random citizens, there will be some that take the position that if the cops say a thing, it must be true, and if the government asks for a conviction, they should get it. There are probably none who will actually apply the “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard. Juries would rather be characterized as having carefully considered all evidence before acquiting, but are generally willing to bring back quick convictions. They are aware that their friends, colleagues, and family members are more likely to criticise them for what they see as “letting a criminal walk” than for a possible false conviction.

    Remember the Casey Anthony verdict? The jurors got death threats from the fine, upstanding American citizens. This was a topic of discussion at my workplace break room and I asked: “Which would you prefer, a system where, occasionally, a jury lets a guilty person go or one where, occasionally, an innocent person is convicted and executed?” Nobody could answer that question.

    American juries are predisposed to convict. Even when, in a vacuum, they might acquit. Most jurors are not aging rebels, but lifetime conformists.

  5. hardknox Says:

    Self Defense not hard to see that….Wake Up jury!

  6. Dave-O Says:

    Based off EPA’s comment regarding the Jimenez individual, I have to ask the question of whether or not the “authorities” have attempted to arrest or charge Jiminez for instigating the fight in the first place. According to all accounts, Jiminez was a motorcycle mechanic who was aware Ablett’s bike could be reset and started if he simply turned off the ignition, then turned it back on.

    He helped Ablett pick up his bike, yet did not inform him of the fact and then called the SF Hells Angels to inform them there were “Mongols down on treat.” He was like the little bastard on the school yard telling kid 1 that kid 2 is talking shit while telling kid 2 that kid 1 was talking shit just so he could sit back and laugh while they tear each other apart. Only this time a man lost his life and another went on trial for murder for defending himself. Since we’re in the habit of blowing tax dollars on bullshit trials, while not spend some on someone worth prosecuting? But what do I know.

  7. thump Says:

    Dave O,
    Jimenez is dead of cancer. So digin him to put him on trial would hardly be a prudent use of taxpayer money. But thanks for playing.

  8. 1%ER Says:

    Just in!!! Guilty on all chargers fuck feds FREE STONEY!! . This is a travesty! Justice was not served and our government has failed us again.

  9. Roy Buchanan Says:

    Jury came back at noon with verdict, guilty on all counts.

  10. Roy Buchanan Says:

    Dave-o, it was Watso who called Papa, after Jimenez called Watso to tell him there was a Mongol member at the Dirty Thieves bar. It was more Watso’s fault than Jimenez’ but either could have prevented it by shutting their mouths. Apparently Jimenez was very proud of both writing down the license plate and then providing it to the police. I have to wonder aloud, would a club associate really make that move independently, without first getting someone’s tacit, albeit secret approval? I sure don’t know, but I don’t need to guess too hard on it. It’s pretty obvious, don’t you think? Oh well, it’s done.. Guilty. The verdict was returned after only a couple of hours of deliberation, so it looks like Glenn S. hit the nail square on the head. Roy

  11. WTF Says:

    This is BS

  12. anon Says:

    How the fuck do the racketeering charges stick? I can understand how a jury could (incorrectly) convict on some other counts, but the racketeering charges were clear bullshit. A guy attacked on the street without warning is not in any way, shape, or form attempting to further a criminal enterprise or his own standing within said supposed enterprise.

    Any chance the judge can still rule (if he hasn’t yet) on the defense motion to dismiss? Seems like he could still dismiss even after a guilty verdict if it is clear that the jurors did not adhere to the relevant legal standards.

  13. things that make you go hmm Says:

    THIS IS THE REASON MANY MEN DO NOT WANT TO BE IN A 1 PERCENTER CLUB.RIDING, BROTHERHOOD,PARTIES WOMEN ECT GREAT, ERRRRRR,NOPE THE FEDS CAME IN THE FUN WENT OUT,ANYWAYS MUCH RESPECT TO ALL.

  14. rollinnorth Says:

    Thanks for the update. Just a real shame. One man dead, one man convicted. Meanwhile, a bunch of s***heads, who many could think were truly responsible, are walking the streets.
    Respect.

  15. Shyster Says:

    As in the many trials I have lost, I wonder out loud if the defense lawyer made a mistake that could have been avoided. After reading what was reported regarding the accused’s statements on the stand, I am unfortunately not surprised with the verdict.

    May God Bless you Stoney.

    Shyster

  16. Glenn S. Says:

    Shyster, I’m not surprised that they convicted on something regarding the killing itself, but I’m surprised that they convicted on racketeering. Rather than questioning whether or not Ablett’s motives were to further his standing with his club (and was there ANY evidence pointing that way?), or just one of those things that, sadly, happens in the real world, the jury probably just said: “Fuck it. As citizens, we have a duty to give the government what it wants.”

    Things that make you go hmmmm, its things like this that make me want to join a 1%er club. Better on my feet than on my knees. Been trying to decide whether to seek membership in a club, and whether to seek membership in a smaller “support club” or the big one. Hell, I’m 53, got Hep C (which robs me of my energy some days and might get worse), gainfully employed in a technical field in a world that no longer hires ex-convicts for the good jobs. I’ve only been riding for 2 years. My wife said she’d divorce me the day I come home with a bottom rocker (but I suspect she will anyways. She does not like the fact that I’ve “become a biker” and would much prefer that I settle into brain dead middle age complacency and stay at home more. She did her damndest to convince me not to get a bike, and complains every time I get on it. “You’re leaving AGAIN?”). Damn near any offense will be my third strike, and I’m the kind of guy that if there’s any shit and my friends are threatened, I jump right in and try to hurt the other people, fuck the consequences. I’m an ex-junkie and have been in Narcotics Anonymous for the past 15 years (but have found that the club hereabouts is supportive of that sort of thing). Those are the cons. The pros are that I like, respect, and relate to every club member I’ve met and enjoy their company more than I enjoy most. Having never had a viable family, the brotherhood aspect really appeals to me. I feel more at home at their events than at, say, the bike nights at the yuppie bars. But the number one pro is that I’d like to be a part of something bigger than myself that I could believe in, regardless of whether or not doing so would mean putting a target on my back for the assholes of the world to aim at. I’d rather be hated by those I despise than loved by them.

  17. sled tramp Says:

    Glenn S.-
    SPOILER ALERT:OFF SUBJECT FOR A MINUTE-
    Wimins*I’m a cheap date,lousy in bed and my girlfriend finally deflated for the last time and gave up the ghost.(In all honesty though,if there was ever a physically abusive relationship…)
    For the reasons you mentioned,I’m a patchholder.While life in clubs very much differs from years ago,like any other group life guides us to, there’s a spectrum of places to explore and fit in.Go fer it.I’m guy that couldn’t find north if someone held my shoulders and pointed me but I found a niche.It has it’s ups and downs,pros and cons but it suits me.When the meds wear off and I realize I’m on my sled at 85 flying my patch,it’s allllllllllll good…..

  18. things that make you go hmm Says:

    AGAIN MUCH RESPECT TO ALL,STAY FREE AND HEALTHY IN THE WIND GOD BLESS…

  19. Glenn S. Says:

    Thanks, Sled Tramp

  20. DocB Says:

    Dear Glen S

    There is a new treatment for Hep C. It’s faster and easier on a person than the old treatment and has a better success rate. Check with your local medic. I know two guys that tried it and one that will start the routine next month.
    Good luck
    Doc

  21. Glenn S. Says:

    Thanks, Doc, I’ll check it out. So far, I’ve had one doctor tell me I needed to start interferon yesterday, and then a gastroent…whatever told me he couldn’t say one way or the other (but told me to check and see if my insurance company would pay for it and that most plans do not, and that a working man cannot afford it), and then another general practicioner told me not to start interferon, it could do more harm than good at this point (and this particular doctor has an impressive resume, professor at a med school, etc.). Viral load is high, but liver enzymes are okay. Hoping not to have to do interferon. People I know who have done it told me its like being dope sick for a year and it only works half the time. People who have done it and it worked on them told me they wouldn’t do it again. I’m an industrial electrician/mechanic/fabricator/machinist and I have to either be able to function or go back to dealing dope for a living.

    Sorry for the digression, y’all. I might be gone for a week or two starting tomorrow. I’m moving and haven’t set up internet access yet. Enjoying the discussions here and hope to see y’all soon.

  22. Rebel Says:

    Dear Glenn S.,

    Get well. I’ll talk to you soon.

    Rebel

  23. Glenn S. Says:

    Well, my problems are not shit compared to the two men referenced in your story. Condolances to the brothers and other loved ones of Mark Guardado. Condolances also to Stoney Ablett, his brothers, and his other loved ones, and to all of those departed in the wars, either to prison or somewhere else. Fuck the feds, fuck the po-lice, fuck ‘em all. Hopefully, one day, we’ll all decide we’re not gonna let them do this shit no more. Hopefully, one day, the government will be afraid of us again.

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