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Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Robert Reynolds, Jason Gallo, Eric Franco and Derek Roy.Hells Angels accused of ambushing, beating and stabbing members of a rival motorcycle group

Four of the Hells Angels accused of ambushing, beating and stabbing members of a rival motorcycle group here on July 29, 2007, pleaded guilty to reduced felony charges Monday and received five-year suspended sentences and $4,000 fines.The out-of-state gang members who appeared in circuit court in somber black suits Monday were Robert Reynolds, Jason Gallo, Eric Franco and Derek Roy. Gallo and Roy may have been dressed like their lawyers, but they sported shaved heads.Christopher Sweeney is in federal prison and will appear Oct. 12. Manny Montiero has been deported to his native Portugal, but will face charges if he ever is found back in the United States, Prosecutor Tony Rogers said.Of the four Bandidos they attacked, two are dead. Rogers said one died in a motorcycle wreck in Beaumont, Texas. The other was murdered in Odessa, Texas, and police have “no good leads,” he said.Rogers told Circuit Judge Kent Crow that the case had been difficult from the beginning because the victims had refused to help the prosecution in any way.
Alan Epley, the circuit judge before Crow, had thrown out evidence and testimony, finding improper police handling. That left defense lawyers questioning whether the case could be brought to trial. But Rogers said in a press release Monday that Crow had overturned Epley’s ruling, prompting the plea bargaining.It ended with the four Hells Angels pleading guilty to a reduced felony battery charge Monday, while the prosecution dropped charges of aggravated assault with enhancement for violence in a criminal group activity.

Rogers said in a press release after court that without the cooperation of the victims, “obtaining felony convictions despite the obstacles is the best possible outcome for the citizens of Carroll County.”
Some 300 Hells Angels vacationed together in Eureka Springs in July of 2007 for a quiet weekend under heavy police observation. A spokesman said State Police “encouraged” rival Bandidos to keep away.But witnesses told police that six Bandidos were leaving the residence of a Eureka Springs Bandido at the end of the weekend to return to Texas when they met the Hells Angels on the highway.They turned around and pulled into the parking lot because they thought the Hells Angels wanted to talk to them, police were told.A red pickup pulled in front of them, attempting to block the parking lot exit, but two of the Bandidos were able to speed around the pickup, witnesses said.
Those two Bandidos saw the passenger get out of the truck with a baseball bat and begin beating the four remaining Bandidos, according to police reports.Police said at the time that an off-duty officer spotted several Hells Angels beating people on the ground of the parking lot of a vacated antique store on U. S. Highway 62.

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