Special Memory Mistrial

August 1, 2012

All Posts, News

The state of Nevada’s case in the Special Memory Wedding Chapel case disintegrated this morning because the prosecutor refused to reveal all the evidence he held against the defendants. The process of revealing evidence against defendants in criminal trials is called “discovery” and it is supposed to be completed before trials begin.

“We filed the motion, the judge declared a mistrial then got up and left” one of the defense attorneys, Tom Pitaro, said. The judge who called off the trial was Michael Villani and the trial was midway through its third week

The eight defendants were Dominic Orlando, Frederick O’Dell, Brandon Young, James Sexey, John Dawson, Jeffrey Murray, John Merchant, and Armando Porras. They faced multiple felony counts including gang enhancements.

The Assault

The case began when 13 guests at a Hells Angels wedding spotted a wedding party of Mongols on a Sunday evening in December 2008. A member of the Angels wedding party punched a man wearing a Mongols cut and a minute long melee ensued. Two members of the Mongols party were stabbed. Two other people suffered minor injuries. The entire fight was captured on surveillance video and that video was the first evidence the jury saw.

The eight men on trial until today were guests at the Hells Angels wedding. Five more members of the Red and White wedding were scheduled to begin trial Monday but their names do not appear on the court docket. Those men are Charles Goldsmith, Brad Goldsmith, Joshua Ramos, Joseph Gennuso and Samuel Murray.

Pitaro did not speculate about whether he thought the case would be refilled. The case has been hanging over the defendant’s heads since they were charged in 2009.

The state had tried to show that the accused initiated the assault on behalf of their motorcycle club. The man who was most severely injured in the fight, Eugene Formica, left the Mongols soon after the incident. He is now suing the wedding chapel in a separate case. Pitaro said, “I think the credibility of the (prosecution) witnesses was severely impeached.”

The state called the fight unprovoked. Defense attorneys argued their clients acted in self-defense out of a reasonable fear for their safety.



7 Responses to “Special Memory Mistrial”

  1. DesertH-D Says:

    I have heard a rumor that the guys have been re-arrested and a new trial is going to begin. I have not been able to find any news reports. Anybody here know one way or the other?

  2. grd Says:

    none of this shit would ever happen if everybody just got along,i no thats alot to ask.what happened to enjoying life and just rideing our motorcycles and having fun,lifes just to short to worry about someone sticking a knife in you or shooting someone.well,i can dream cant i.

  3. Rebel Says:

    Dear neverwaz,

    There are several factors with discovery. The most important is what the local rules of procedure say prosecutors must do. Some districts maintain an open file so prosecutors are, basically, required to share all their evidence with defenders immediately. The Central District of California, on the other hand, does not require prosecutors to reveal their evidence until 10 days before trial. The longer the leash for prosecutors, the more unethical the games they play.

    There isn’t much happening in the Christie case, by the way.


  4. neverwaz Says:

    Withholding evidence and thwarting discovery got the Chino Valley 81 dissmissed too. And the persecution is doing the same thing in the Christie trial and has delayed it almost a year so far. The same rules of evidence should apply in all Districts but evidently the rules are different in Mr. Christies case and these type of abuses are acceptable in Central Calif.

  5. JIM666 Says:

    bout time a little justis is done, now howabout compensation for lost wages attny. fee,s and pay for incarceration time ? that would be justis

  6. Junior Says:

    Think these prosecutors gambled on whether the defense attorney would catch em or not. Fortunately they had a defense atty who caught it, some attys woulndnt have. Check behind your attorneys folks, get completely involved in your cases from the beginning. -Junior

  7. Phuquehed Says:

    Shit like this happening makes the whole justice system look like a fucking joke and *proves* that asshat ‘persecutors’ do everything they can, no matter how unethical or illegal it is, to burn someone. When this kind of crap happens as in todays farce, the whole thing should be thrown out and not allowed to be tried ever again. It’s turned into a fucking joke and a Colosseum for how much ‘persecutors’ can get away with!

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