Apparently out of reflex, without a shred of evidence Garr Nielsen, the police chief of Eureka, California is attributing a shooting outside a bar last Friday night to the often sensationalized feud between the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club and the Mongols Motorcycle Club.
Forty-three-year old Robert Daniel Thompson of Merced, California was found lying in a pool of his own blood after being shot several times outside a bar called The Shanty at the corner of Third and C Streets about 11 pm. Reportedly, Thompson was wearing a Hells Angels tee-shirt. Thompson has also been identified in numerous news reports over the last two years as a member of the Hells Angels.
Thompson was transported to the University of California at Davis Medical Center. He is listed as being in serious but stable condition.
Within minutes of the shooting Eureka police arrested four men. Eric Gunner Lundin, 28, Dustin Christopher Liebes, 36, and Brad Lee Miller, 26, of Eureka and Eric Dean Garcia, 28, of Redding, California face charges of attempted murder. Police have not yet connected the four men to the Mongols.
Possible Other Motives
It is possible that Thompson might have more than one set of enemies.
Thompson spent the last two years in the Merced County Jail while he was tried twice for the murder of two girls, 12-year-old Jodi Ragsdale and 15-year-old Sheila Carter The girls were murdered during the early morning hours of Dec. 13, 1986. When the girl’s bodies were discovered the next morning they had been so badly beaten they were unrecognizable.
The girls were known to have been riding around after midnight and had spoken to Thompson outside a bowling alley. Thompson testified that he told the pair to go home and never saw them again. The victims were last seen alive at a 7-Eleven about 4 am. Their bodies were discovered about 9 am.
Ten days after the girls were killed, Thompson abducted a woman. He was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for kidnapping in 1987 and he served seven years.
Thompson was arrested for the twin killings on August 18, 2006. Police claimed to have found the murder weapon, a car jack, and claimed that they could connect it to Thompson.
Thompson was tried twice. During those trials his ex-girlfriend testified that she saw him covered with blood on the morning of the murders. The woman he was convicted of kidnapping in 1987, testified that Thompson had admitted murdering the two girls to her during her abduction.
Mistrial And Acquittal
Thompson’s first trial ended in a mistrial last February. The jury voted eight to four to convict but could not agree. Thompson was acquitted in a second trial and released last week.
At the time of his acquittal, Thompson wept and said he hoped the real killer or killers would eventually be brought to justice. He told the Merced Sun-Star that he thought he had been railroaded by the Merced County District Attorney. “It’s a shame they tried to do what they did,” Thompson said.
The victim’s families sobbed and wailed when the verdict was read. “It’s sad that two girls are dead and the murderer is going to walk free,” John Wetzel, Jodi Ragsdale’s uncle told the Sun-Star.
Police are still seeking witnesses to the shooting outside The Shanty.