Testimony Again Underway in Gonzalez Murder Trial - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Testimony Again Underway in Gonzalez Murder Trial

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Ernesto Gonzalez, center Ernesto Gonzalez, center
Jeffrey ‘Jethro' Pettigrew Jeffrey ‘Jethro' Pettigrew

Testimony picked up again Monday morning in the murder trial of Ernesto Gonzalez who's accused of killing San Jose Hells Angel chapter president Jeffrey ‘Jethro' Pettigrew.

Gonzalez faces several charges, including first degree murder and discharging a firearm in a structure during a fight at Trader Dick's inside John Ascuaga's Nugget on September 23, 2011. Defense lawyer David Houston said Gonzalez shot Pettigrew because he feared Pettigrew was kicking another Vagos to death during the melee.

Six witnesses took the stand inside Washoe District Court on Monday including Richard Nickerson, who was close friends with Gonzalez.

Prosecutors say Pettigrew's death was planned because of the club's rivalry, but the defense says the fight happened spontaneously.

Houston: "You never attended a meeting where Mr. Gonzalez stepped up and said 'I'll shoot Mr. Pettigrew?'"

Nickerson: "Yeah, there was never a meeting like that."

Gregory Fearn is the president of the Lake County Vagos charter. He says he didn't even know there was a problem until Pettigrew punched Gary Rudnick starting the melee.

Fearn ended up getting pistol-whipped twice by Pettigrew -- who he says quote "looked like a wild coyote." "He fired two or three rounds, and then he came around to me and hit me in the face. I turned and he hit me a second time."

Another group was there as guests of the Hells Angels including Henry Tyrell and his brother.

The two are on video -- getting kicked by a group of Vagos, including Rudnick, shortly after the shooting.

He says he thinks the Vagos felt disprespected because the Hells Angels were at their hotel and that caused the fight. "Later on, before the incident, I found out that we weren't even supposed to be at that hotel. That was their hotel."

So far, all of the witnesses say they heard a lot of gunfire that night. But none of them say they saw Pettigrew get shot -- or who fired the fatal shots.

Written by Paul Nelson

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