Gonzalez Guilty in Street Vibrations Murder Trial - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Gonzalez Guilty in Street Vibrations Murder Trial

Posted: Updated:
Jeffrey ‘Jethro' Pettigrew Jeffrey ‘Jethro' Pettigrew

A Reno jury has found Ernesto Gonzalez guilty of murdering San Jose Hells Angels chapter president Jeffrey ‘Jethro' Pettigrew.

The five-man, seven-woman jury began deliberating shortly before noon on Wednesday inside Washoe District Court.

The jury found that Gonzalez was not defending another person when he shot and killed Pettigrew at John Ascuaga's Nugget nearly two years ago.

Jurors found him guilty of conspiracy to engage, challenged to fight resulting in death, carrying a concealed weapon, discharging a firearm in a structure, second degree murder with use of a deadly weapon, first degree murder with a deadly weapon and conspiracy to commit murder.

Former Vagos member Gary Rudnick testified that Gonzalez volunteered to kill Pettigrew as part of a hit. Gonzalez says there was no such plan and he shot Pettigrew to defend a fellow Vago who was being kicked by two Hells Angels that he says were holding guns.

In the end the jury believed Rudnick.

"Obviously we are very disappointed, very surprised. You have to respect the jury's verdict but we keep wondering what evidence this was based on. But frankly in theses types of cases you're fighting not only the charge but the image as well and there is a consequence of course, we'll deal with it and do what we can in the penalty phase," says Gonzalez's attorney David Houston.

He stood silently as the verdicts were read. The next day, he waived his right to be sentenced by a jury. That is scheduled for Thursday, October 3.

Gonzalez is the former leader of the Vagos motorcycle club in Nicaragua.

Defense lawyers maintained Gonzalez shot Pettigrew because he feared Pettigrew was kicking another Vagos member to death during the melee - while prosecutors said Pettigrew's death was planned because of the club's rivalry.

  • Today's Top StoriesMore>>

  • Aces Rally Past Cubs 11-4

    Aces Rally Past Cubs 11-4

    Thursday, August 21 2014 2:01 AM EDT2014-08-21 06:01:54 GMT
    The Reno Aces used a four-run sixth, and six-run eighth to score an 11-4 win over the Iowa Cubs on Wednesday night at Aces Ballpark. More >>
    The Reno Aces used a four-run sixth, and six-run eighth to score an 11-4 win over the Iowa Cubs on Wednesday night at Aces Ballpark. More >>
  • Expert Says Ebola Threat is Low in Nevada

    Expert Says Ebola Threat is Low in Nevada

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:50 PM EDT2014-08-21 01:50:37 GMT
    A local expert on infectious diseases says the likelihood of Ebola spreading in Nevada or other parts of America are very low.More >>
    A local expert on infectious diseases says the likelihood of Ebola spreading in Nevada or other parts of America are very low.More >>
  • UPS Says 51 Retail Stores Breached by Malware; Reno Store Affected

    UPS Says 51 Retail Stores Breached by Malware; Reno Store Affected

    Wednesday, August 20 2014 9:48 PM EDT2014-08-21 01:48:22 GMT
    Some customers of The UPS Store may have had their credit and debit card information exposed by a computer virus found on systems at 51 stores in 24 states including the Keystone Avenue location in Reno.More >>
    Some customers of The UPS Store may have had their credit and debit card information exposed by a computer virus found on systems at 51 stores in 24 states including the Keystone Avenue location in Reno.
    More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Sarkes Tarzian, Inc. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.