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Fri, Jan. 17

Hearings set for men with ties to Hells Angels in Chino Valley shooting

Yavapai County Superior Court Judge Cele Hancock on Monday set three hearings for later this month for seven men with ties to the Hells Angels motorcycle gang, in connection with a shootout between Hells Angels and Vagos motorcycle gangs in an unincorporated area northwest of Chino Valley on Aug. 21.

Hancock set the next hearing in the case for Feb. 9 when she will consider a motion by Jeffrey McNeice, attorney for Bruce Andrew Schweigert Sr., to send the case off back to the grand jury.

At the following hearing on Feb. 11, Hancock will consider a motion filed by Richard Gaxiola, attorney for Michael Trevor Koepke, for a change of venue for the case.

And at a hearing on Feb. 22, Hancock will consider a motion filed by James O'Haver, attorney for Larry Dean Scott Jr., to drop charges in this case and Gaxiola's motion on behalf of his client, Koepke, to send the case back to the grand jury.

In Gaxiola's Dec. 29 motion to remand, he writes about how an instance where Vagos and Hells Angels met at a Circle K in Chino Valley before the shooting was characterized as the beginning of the conflict between the motorcycle gangs by a detective during grand jury testimony and that the detective told grand jury members that the defendants could have wiped their hands to get rid of gunshot residue.

Attorneys for fellow defendants John Anthony Bernard, Kiley Steven Hill, Kevin Eugene Christensen and Robert Edward Kittredge plan to be present at each hearing, since some of their clients have joined some of those motions as well.

Hancock said it had been her intent to rule on some of the motions during the hearing Monday, but she was unable to get the Circle K video to play on her computer. Prosecutor Dana Owens said the state would be willing to send over a computer the video would play on so Hancock could review it.

Also, Hancock granted a motion and ordered an investigator in the defendants' cases saying they are complex cases.

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