The point of the Vagos trial in Vegas is not to determine whether the defendants, are Pastor Palafox, Albert Lopez, Albert Perez, James Gillespie, Ernesto Gonzalez, Bradley Campos, Cesar Morales, and Diego Garcia are guilty or innocent of conspiring to murder and then murdering Hells Angel Jeffrey “Jethro” Pettigrew in a sensationalized, tragic brawl in Sparks, Nevada near Reno in 2011. Everybody, including a couple of sets, state and federal, of corrupt prosecutors already knows they are innocent.
The point of this trial, like most biker trials, is to inflict as much pain, distress, and expense on the defendants, everybody who cares about them and the Vagos Motorcycle Club as a corrupt system with a $20 trillion Gross Domestic Product, trillion with a “T,” burning holes in its pockets can possibly inflict. That is why, for example, all the defendants are from California but they are being tried in Nevada. It is harder for the defendants that way.
The latest atrocity came last Thursday when Judge Gloria Navarro ruled that it ain’t no thing that key prosecution witness Gary “Jabbers” Rudnick provably lied the deadly brawl he started and the misery he has sown. Rudnick is solely responsible for the fight in which Pettigrew died. He was expelled from the Vagos in less than a day. He recited a story a corrupt prosecutor in Reno named Carl Hall told him to recite. The story was that Pettigrew’s death was a planned assassination by the leaders of the Vagos. He told that tale because it got him out of decades in prison. He recanted the story after he got out of prison. He recanted the story last September in this federal trial.
Days after Rudnick admitted lying an Assistant United States Attorney named John Han immediately moved to strike all of Rudnick’s testimony. Navarro denied the motion because, in America, people accused of a crime have the right to confront their accusers. Four days after asking Navarro to strike Rudnick’s testimony, Han changed his mind and withdrew his motion.
Rudnick’s tale is unsubstantiated. It isn’t what happened. The tale is what state prosecutor Carl Hall told Rudnick to say happened – or else. Defense attorneys asked the judge to dismiss the most serious charges against the eight defendants – murder and racketeering conspiracy – be dismissed.
Last week Navarro finally decided not to do that. She said the government’s case is now “a lot weaker than it was in the beginning.” Then she said the “totality of the circumstances” compelled her to allow this ordeal by federal trial to continue.