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Special Memory Gang Enhancements

Thu, Dec 12, 2013

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Special Memory Gang Enhancements

Kenneth Cory, the judge in the Special Memory Wedding Chapel stabbing case, agreed to hold a hearing to determine whether Nevada’s Gang Crime Enhancement statute should apply to members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club.

The judge’s ruling in the case will apply to the sentencing of four men named John Dawson, Dominic Orlando, Armando Porras and Brandon Young. The four men each pled guilty last summer to one count of battery resulting in substantial bodily harm. They each face up to five years in prison.

The hearing will feature the testimony of “outlaw motorcycle gang” investigators who will offer practiced testimony about “Characteristics of persons who are members of criminal gangs; Specific rivalries between criminal gangs; Common practices and operations of criminal gangs and the members of those gangs; Social customs and behavior of members of criminal gangs; Terminology used by members of criminal gangs; Codes of conduct, including criminal conduct, of particular criminal gangs; and The types of crimes that are likely to be committed by a particular criminal gang or by criminal gangs in general.”

Criminal “gang enhancements” are common and have never been Constitutionally challenged.

NRS 193.168

The relevant law is Nevada Revised Statute 193.168. It defines a “criminal gang” as “any combination of persons, organized formally or informally, so constructed that the organization will continue its operation even if individual members enter or leave the organization, and which: (a) Has a common name or identifying symbol; (b) Has particular conduct, status and customs indicative of it; and (c) Has as one of its common activities engaging in criminal activity punishable as a felony, other than the conduct which constitutes the primary offense.”

The law also states that “the court shall not grant probation to or suspend the sentence of any person convicted of a felony committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in affiliation with, a criminal gang if an additional term of imprisonment may be imposed for that primary offense pursuant to this section. The court may, upon the receipt of an appropriate motion, reduce or suspend the sentence imposed for the primary offense if it finds that the defendant rendered substantial assistance in the arrest or conviction of any other principals, accomplices, accessories or coconspirators to the crime, or of any other persons involved in the commission of a felony which was committed for the benefit of, at the direction of, or in affiliation with, a criminal gang. The agency which arrested the defendant must be given an opportunity to support or oppose such a motion before it is granted or denied. If good cause is shown, the motion may be heard in camera.”

Special Memory Stabbings

The case began on December 20, 2008 when about a dozen guests at a Hells Angels wedding at the Special memory Wedding Chapel in Las Vegas attacked members of a Mongols wedding party. The brawl lasted about a minute and was captured on surveillance video. Two members of the Mongols wedding party were stabbed and two others suffered minor injuries. Prosecutors have described the fight as unprovoked. Tensions were particularly strained between the two clubs at the time and defense attorneys have argued that the Hells Angels acted in self defense.

Ten defendants have pled guilty. Former Hells Angel James Murray was sentenced to serve two to ten years in prison last October. Three defendants will be sentenced next month. The Hells Angels groom, Brad Goldsmith, and his father, Charles “Peewee” Goldsmith, are scheduled to be sentenced March 18. Neither of the Goldsmiths is currently of member of the motorcycle club.

Dawson, Orlando, Porras and Young will be sentenced February 28.

Two defendants, James Sexey and John Merchant, are scheduled for trial next April.

 

 

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19 Comments For This Post

  1. jj solari Says:

    everything is a gang except congress and muslims.

  2. CN Says:

    I wonder if there’s actual data on how many surveillance cameras there are in Las Vegas. I’ve heard that London has the most but Las Vegas has to be in the top 10 if you count those in both the public and private sector. The notion that “What Happens In Vegas Stays In Vegas” might hold true for convention attendees when asked by their spouses but where the law is concerned, it appears that they can more or less walk into any commercial establishment from the high end casinos to convenience stores and just demand the tapes. Given that most smart phones, iPads and tablets can now not only be compromised but actually start broadcasting audio & video to the government this may be a dead issue, still, I wonder if that kind of data exists and if the Chamber of Commerce is making it available in any meaningful way. Although none of us are ever 100% safe in our privacy, I am truly grateful for the rural area in which I live. I fail to see the appeal of Las Vegas or why folks are so eager to leave their hard earned money there.

  3. Budweiser Says:

    CN- Live a little

  4. jj solari Says:

    “I fail to see the appeal of Las Vegas or why folks are so eager to leave their hard earned money there.” I will be blinking in amazement at that sentence probly for the rest of the day.

  5. BMW Says:

    Gang Enhancement? Get real! Fans/members of two clubs get into a fight when they meet. Should we now use “Gang Enhancement” every time two ball teams fight on the field, or their fans fight after the game? It seems the same thing to me. After all, these sort of crimes occur every year…

    I don’t know of ANY MOTORCYCLE club which requires felonies to become or remain a member — and that seems to be the sort of thing a “Gang Enhancement” is supposed to redress — in STREET GANGS. It has been said that some groups require such activity, but only by misinformed pseudo-journalists or government agents engaged in deliberate dissemination of false information, a la “CO-INTELPRO”. In fact, most clubs even forbid members from asking other members to do something illegal. Many clubs even expel members or “suggest” they resign when the member is convicted for committing a serious crime.

    What would happen if one of these fans/members who attended the wedding was drunk and killed four people that night with his big red truck? I am sure one of these fake “anti-gang units” would be asking for the death penalty AND gang enhancement penalties, probably to be served concurrently.

    Let us compare this “Memory Gang Enhancement” case to the “Affluenza Defense case”
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/blogs-echochambers-25374458
    which has been going on at the same time. The two cases are comparable because the “Affluenza Defense” case defendant also faced an enhanced penalty — because his blood-alcohol level was in excess of .15%. Texas considers a 16 year old to be impaired at .02%! “Intoxicated Manslaughter” in Texas is punishable by a minimum sentence of TWO years
    or a maximum sentence of TWENTY years — and that is for killing ONE person…

    The “Affluenza Defense”, is one in which a young driver from a VERY affluent Texas family was convicted of actually KILLING four people. BTW, the defendant in this case had a blood-alcohol level THREE TIMES the legal drunk driving level! If this crime was committed by a motorcycle club member, we would probably see a thirty or sixty year sentence.

    Instead of enhancements or even the minimum actual jail time, the judge felt that the perpetrator of a quadruple homicide should be sentenced to be “rehabbed” in a private resort/rehab center in California — the almost-half million dollars a year bill to be covered by his rich parents.

    The defense in this “Affluenza Defense” case successfully argued that growing up rich and pampered with absentee parents caused the defendant to have a diminished sense of responsibility. Thus he should not face any real punishment. Want to try THAT defense?

    Too bad the defendants in the “Memory Gang Enhancement” case did not grow up very rich — if they had, perhaps they could also get away with killing four people in cold blood! Since the defendants did not grow up extremely wealthy, they can serve YEARS in jail for a two-minute fight while a person who actually KILLS four people does no time whatsoever!

    Is America a great place or what?

  6. sherides Says:

    BMW,

    I saw something about this on the news. It disgusts me.

    Four people are killed and he gets rehab and 10 years probation?

    Maybe this kids parents should be doing the time for what their son did?

    America is a great place only if you are rich.

    sherides

  7. Paladin Says:

    BMW & sherides,

    By having parents in abstention, that kid was raised a sociopath. No amount of rehab is ever going to fix that.

    Hopefully; that kid’s plug will get pulled, before he can harm anyone else.

    Long May You Ride (to those that deserve to),

    Paladin

  8. Roy Says:

    Fuck that kid, and everyone else too. This article is not about him. He deserves absolutely no mention here.

  9. CN Says:

    jj: With all due respect, and I’m sure you meant none as well, I apologize if my view point didn’t jive with the universal appeal Las Vegas and other such shit holes attempt to have as they sparkle to the upper middle class while keeping us “undesireables” far far away using creative legal slight of hand. NYC, my hometown of 40 plus years has become similar, ask the 3rd St Crew. Lately, they’ve been targeted too. So, yeah I’ve been living the dream in rural Dixie since ’99. And yeah, still can’t see the real good in all the flash anymore. Las Vegas is a trap for most people’s money and a rap sheet for some folks as well. “Come on vacation, leave on probation, return on revocation”. A good running bike on a lonely stretch of a two lane black top leading to a cinder block juke joint or road house with real folks who could care less about the pay day, the con and the rip off and above all, keeping us white trash “in line” with new & improved “laws”, seems like a no brainer to me. But then what would you expect from a knuckle dragger?

    Bud: Die a little more. Actually, a lot more and painfully. There, you got your attention fix for today.

  10. Austin Says:

    I’m with CN. I’ve been through mostly, occasionally to – Las Vegas. My first solo trip in 1980 – I had come from San Francisco-Reno-Phoenix-Flagstaff with a backpack, and about $6. I waited at the Sahara on-ramp for about 36 hours with my sign “Cedar City Please”. An older guy in a pickup “saw you here yesterday young’un” took me to The Mint, bought me a $2 (??? I was hallucinating by then) steak dinner and then took me north to an exit with a truck stop. Made Cedar City that evening. Lessons learned – still useful today.
    One Day Budweiser – You could become educated too.

  11. Shyster Says:

    Rebel,

    What date will the hearing be held on? I’d like to be present.

    Shyster

  12. Panhead Says:

    @CN
    As a fellow “knuckle dragger” (I guess) I agree with you about the Vegas lack of appeal to some. I too live in the South and out in the ‘sticks.’ I’ve built a couple of the gambling boats that ply their trade along the MS River. I realize that these boats in no way resemble the gaudy, loud, fast paced Vegas but still it is hard to ignore their obnoxious presence.
    I’ve never been comfortable around the loud noises and bright lights of manufactured mayhem. All done to scam the patron.
    Give me the sounds of a pack of beagles on the trail of a rabbit or the baying of a heeler on a deer trail. Ducks ‘flaring’ in at daybreak.
    I’ll take that cinder block Juke Joint (warm yellow light and good Blues spilling out into the gravel lot) and two lane to and from anytime over the hustle and bustle of the big con.
    I travel and have been to the big Cities. Stayed in some for a little while. Been a few places overseas too. I’m a Hick by choice. Personally, I blink in amazement that anyone would want to go to Vegas.
    Always glad to get back home to the bayou and the Cicadas.
    Come see us JJ. You might not want to leave.

    Respects,

    Panhead
    STP FB

  13. Rebel Says:

    Dear Shyster,

    I don’t know yet.

    Rebel

  14. swampy Says:

    @ Panhead
    I’m hung out in the D’Arbonne “system”(Lake, Bayou, Swamp), North La., with no public road even in sight. I’ve got a 30′x80′ “single sided” metal roofed barn in my pasture. I figure a big FTF painted along the top is well over due. LOL!
    Highest regards and respect to the “93″, swampy

  15. VINCE 1%er Says:

    I’ve been reading & digesting many posts here lately. It seems MANY Individuals and occasional responders/replys have gone WAY WAY off topic as to the initial subject.
    There also seems to be alotta “Cliques” here as well-more than before.
    Be that as it may Heres My Reply to the Post/Topic & Article;
    The intitial 4 named in the opening paragraph are close associates OF,friends With and highly respected in many realms as far as the Club Mentioned ( Armondo most notably since his shop is well known and he’s been on Biker Build-off on the Discovery Channel ).
    The “Gang Enhancement” scenario unfolding as towards the defendants is being well defended,Argued and debated- & probably wont fly as I’m understanding with the latest developments from a few close people familiar with the latest goings on & proceedings.But that isn’t written in stone (yet)
    Ive seen ALOT of Transgression here lately going WELL Off-Topic as to the subject @ hand.
    This is all demeaning in general (To Those replying and to those who are subject to such childish & dumb remarks)l-and greatly beneath all the so-called “Those In The Know” and PH’s here that claim to be as such while adding fuel to sqabbles,innuendo and just plain internet commando arguing.It’s become a circle jerk of Ego,Innuendo,Internet Conjecture,Rumor,So-Called experts and assclowns alike.

    Stick to the topic People-forget your arguments and Innuendo fueled Gibberish.
    This is in NO Way an affront to the Replys ON Topic-Just the Immature and Squabbling Sissys that veer OFF Topic to attack and Villify despite the Argument at hand and what we Read and wanna Digest as posted from REBEL and On Topic.
    Yeah I’m certain I’m gonna catch a few Assinne replys to My Post-But I’m Not Gonna sweat or argue with AssHoles.And theres only a Few Here to bother with replying to My post anyways.

    MERRY CHRISTMAS,AND HAPPY NEW YEARS TO ALL THAT DESERVE SUCH ACCOLADES & RECOGNITION.PRAISE THE LORD & PASS THE AMMUNTION,SMOKE IF YA GOT EM AND : “OVER THAT HILL I THINK THEY ARE ALL FRIENDLY INDIANS”.

    Vince 1%ER

  16. Panhead Says:

    @ Swampy

    Best to you too.

    Respects,

    Panhead

    STP FTW FTF

  17. OC VAGO 1%er Says:

    @ Vince 1%er
    Well stated.

  18. VINCE 1%er Says:

    @ OC VAGO

    Thank You & have a MERRY CHRISTMAS.

    Vince 1%ER

  19. VINCE 1%er Says:

    This “INCIDENT” that happened is just a dwindling Witchunt for the LVMPD and they are hoping for total convictions as a whole to Hurt the HAMC (which isn’t going to happen).
    Many people are going to get *light* time and maybe just paper – just to satisfy the D.A.
    who knows that the total case isn’t the joyful Victory that the Pigs were hoping for.

    Again: RESPECT & BEST WISHES To All Involved and the HAMC for any type of Victory over these Scumbags who want to lump each & everyone into a simple “Fight” and Altercation.
    Theres NO JUSTICE…..Theres JUST US.

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