There was virtually no press coverage of the trial of Mongols Motorcycle Club member Christopher Bryan “Stoney” Ablett during the last month. Ablett was charged with four counts of racketeering for killing former Hells Angels Frisco charter President Mark “Papa” Guardado in a fight outside a San Francisco bar in Septmeber 2008.
There was, however, some noticeable reaction when Ablett was found guilty of four racketeering crimes last Wednesday.
Bay City News, a San Francisco news wire that employs about 20 freelance reporters, provided the most widely cited coverage of the verdict. The service quoted US Attorney Melinda Haag and provided the copy that appeared in the San Jose Mercury News
The Los Angeles Times reported that Ablett’s nickname is Stoney and summarized the three and a half week trial in two sentences. “Ablett’s claim that the killing was done out of self-defense did not convince the jury. Instead, jurors found he killed his rival to enhance his status with the Mongols.”
Henry K. Lee, the most well known crime reporter in the Bay Area summarized the trial and verdict for the San Francisco Chronicle in three sentences. “During the trial, Ablett testified that he had killed Guardado to protect himself and his friends. Prosecutors argued that Ablett had killed Guardado to boost his standing with the Mongols. Ablett faces three life terms in prison when he is sentenced May 15.”
NBC’s coverage of the verdict was minimal.
Erin Sherbort, a reporter for the SF Weekly who may have issues with “white dudes” reported: “Word got to Guardado that a member of his rival gang was not only in town, but wearing a Mongols t-shirt at a bar in the Mission. Needless to say, he didn’t take the news lightly. According to prosecutors, Guardado marched right over to the bar and confronted Ablett.
“Of course, the two got into a fight, which ended when Ablett stabbed Guardado four times and shot him twice.”
The Huffington Post whose coverage certainlky included the most writerly sentence added the news that, “Guardado was the president of the San Francisco chapter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club, and was an advisor for the television show ‘Sons of Anarchy,’ a popular series about outlaw motorcycle gangs. More than 1,000 people attended his funeral.”
The official FBI Press Release is here.