Four members of the Mongols Motorcycle Club who pled nolo contendere to charges resulting from the shooting a man outside a bar in Eureka, California last November were sentenced yesterday.
The victim was 43-year-old Robert Daniel Thompson, a reputed member of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club who had recently been released from jail. Thompson was wearing a Hells Angels tee-shirt when he was shot.
Nolo contendere is the name of the plea in which a defendant refuses to plead either guilty or innocent but instead chooses to stand silent before the law.
Police are still trying to pin a charge of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm against Thompson. Deputy District Attorney Ben McLaughlin said that police continue to investigate that case but so far no donut. A .22 caliber pistol which had been fired once was found next to Thompson when his body was discovered. How it got there nobody knows.
Dustin Liebes, 36 and Eric Garcia, 28 were both sentenced by Judge Dale Reinholtsen to one year in jail and five years probation for “participation in a criminal street gang.” The sentence is the maximum for that offense under California law. Prosecutor Ben McLaughlin accused Liebes of being the president of the Mongols’ Eureka Chapter. Both men were credited with time served and could be out of jail in less than six months.
In California, if you do your time in a county jail you can usually expect to be released after serving two-thirds of your sentence.
Brad Miller, 26, was sentenced to 180 days in jail for being an “accessory after the fact to felony assault.” He was credited with 110 days of time served and will probably be in jail for no more than another seven weeks.
Judge Reinholtsen also sentenced Eric Gunner Lundin, 28, to the maximum sentence allowed under California law for felony assault -which in some jurisdictions is called aggravated assault- and for being a member of a “criminal street gang.” Reinholtsen sentenced Lundin to three years in prison.
Lundin will join approximately a quarter of million other men and women who will be sent to prison in California as convicted felons this year.
Offenders sent to California prisons for violent crimes must complete 85 percent of their sentence before they are eligible for release. That would leave Lundin with about 820 more days to serve before he is set free. Felony assault also counts as a “strike” under California’s “three strikes law.”