Murder Suspect Refuses to Return to Nevada

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Updated: 10/06/2011 5:32 pm
Reno, NV-- The man wanted in connection with the fatal shooting of another man at the Sparks Nugget two weeks ago is refusing to return to Nevada to stand trial for murder.

Ernesto Manuel Gonzalez, 53, was arrested in San Francisco soon after the killing of Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew, the president of the San Jose Chapter of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang. Gonzalez is a member of the rival Vagos gang. Sparks Police say he shot Pettigrew four times in the back during Street Vibrations celebration September 23.

Gonzalez has refused to waive extradition back to Nevada to stand trial, however. Now, prosecutors will work with Governor Brian Sandoval's office to draw up a so-called "governor's warrant." In the warrant, authorities need to provide documentation that positively identifies Gonzalez as the suspect in a felony case. Authorities do not have to present evidence at the hearing, but simply prove that Gonzalez is the suspect, and that he is wanted for a felony crime. 

The warrant will be sent to California Governor Jerry Brown for consideration and signing. Nevada authorities will then attend Gonzalez's next court hearing on October 26, present the signed paperwork from Gov. Brown, and receive permission to bring him back to Nevada, even if it is against Gonzalez's will.

Once he returns to Nevada, authorities will schedule an arraignment-- during which Gonzalez will be read the charges against him and assigned an attorney-- and a preliminary hearing, where prosecutors will present evidence and ask a judge whether there is enough evidence to send Gonzalez to trial.
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