Las Vegas Sun

October 21, 2017

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State Supreme Court ruling allows trial of 8 Hells Angels to proceed

The Nevada Supreme Court has denied a last-ditch attempt to delay the Las Vegas trial of members of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang accused in the beatings of rival gang members in a wedding chapel in December 2008.

Jury selection started Monday for eight members of the gang charged with attempted murder and assault and battery with a deadly weapon to promote the activities of a gang member.

The Angels are accused of attacking members of the Mongols biker gang in Special Memory Wedding Chapel in downtown Las Vegas. The grand jury indictment says Mongols members James Nalder and Eugene Formica were stabbed, beaten with fists and kicked.

Other members of the Mongols were also beaten.

Defense lawyers filed motions with the Supreme Court to disqualify the Clark County District Attorney's Office from prosecuting the case because of a conflict of interest.

The lawyers argued that District Attorney Steve Wolfson represented one of the original defendants, Charles Goldsmith, before Wolfson was selected. Goldsmith is represented by Patrick McDonald, a member with Wolfson in private practice.

They argued that Wolfson and McDonald meet in the morning to discuss strategy in criminal cases and that Wolfson had access to some of the defense material.

It is undisputed that Wolfson received confidential defense information when he was a defense lawyer, according to the motions the lawyers filed. Wolfson submitted a declaration that he did not remember the case and had no knowledge of it.

The Supreme Court ruling affirms the decision of District Judge Michael Villani to refuse to disqualify the DA's office. The court said the case against the Hells Angels had been pending for two years by the time of Wolfson's appointment.

Those on trial Monday were Dominic Orlando, Frederick O'Dell, Jeffrey Murray, Brandon Young, James Sexey, John Dawson, John Merchant and Armando Porras.

Authorities said the Hells Angels and Mongols had been at the chapel for separate weddings on the day the brawl erupted.

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