RENO, Nev. (Mynews4.com & KRNV) - There was an increased presence of law enforcement officials at Washoe County Courthouse today. Officials stood outside the courtroom, K9 units were used on the inside and RAVEN helicopter circled outside.
It is all part of additional security measures Washoe County Sheriff's Office has in place during a hearing involving Hells Angels member Cesar Villagrana and Vagos member Ernesto Manual Gonzalez. The men are charged in connection with the murder of Hells Angels President, Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew.
State prosecutors are trying to make a case that the two clubs are motorcycle gangs while Defense Attorneys argue that is not the case and believe it should not be used as evidence during the trial.
"Simply being part of Vagos motorcycle club is not a gang. You have freedom to associate in this country. That's what being an American is all about," said Biray Dogan Deputy Public Defender for Gonzalez.
The evidentiary hearing is set to continue on Wednesday. Gonzalez remains in jail while Villagrana is out on bail. Both Gonzalez and Villagrana have pleaded not guilty. A trial is set for March 4, 2013.