Bikers to plead guilty in deadly riot


Three of six Mongols charged in the deadly 2002 Laughlin River Run riot with the Hells Angels rival biker gang are expected to accept plea deals Monday in District Court.

Alexander Alcantar, who is accused of killing two Hells Angels, and Roger Pinney and Victor Ramirez have agreed to plead guilty in exchange for lesser sentences, according to their attorneys.

Prosecutor Chris Owens declined to speak about the charges the Mongols will plead to until after the hearing.

He said the three other Mongol defendants -- Benjamin Leyva, Pedro Martinez and Kenneth Dysart -- are contemplating whether to accept plea agreements or go to trial Nov. 26 before District Judge Michelle Leavitt.

The men are accused of taking part in a deadly riot at a Laughlin casino. When the violence broke out, multiple members of the gangs brandished weapons and shot, stabbed and bludgeoned one another.

When the fighting ended, three people were dead: Hells Angels Robert Emmet Tumelty, 50, of Stockton, Calif., and Jeramie Dean Bell, 27, of Hughson, Calif., and Mongol Anthony Salvador Barrera, 43, of Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.

Alcantar's defense attorney, Dominic Gentile, said his client will plead guilty to two counts of voluntary manslaughter if the judge will agree to sentence him to 18 to 45 months in prison.

Owens has called Alcantar, 34, the most culpable of all the defendants in the case because he is accused of killing two people. Gentile has argued the killings were self-defense.

But Gentile said Friday that Alcantar did not want to take that argument to a jury, where he might face multiple prejudices because the riot occurred in a casino and he "happens to be a motorcycle enthusiast."

"If we're wrong, we're looking at four consecutive life sentences, which means he'd definitely spend the rest of his life in prison," Gentile said. "This way, he'll be home in two years."

If Leavitt does not agree to the sentence, Gentile said, Alcantar will proceed to trial.

He would then be accompanied by at least Leyva, whose attorney, Amy Chelini, said will not accept a plea deal.

The group is facing 12 charges, including two counts of murder with use of a deadly weapon with the intent to promote a gang.

The men had been facing more than 70 charges, but in March 2006, the Nevada Supreme Court stole much of prosecutors' thunder when justices threw out most of the conspiracy charges filed against the bikers.

"The Nevada Supreme Court changed 130 years of Nevada law in liability, which being applied retroactively resulted in the dismissal of a number of charges," Owens said.

He said the plea deals offered were similar to the plea deals the district attorney's office reached with Hells Angels members, who received little or no prison time.

Many other biker gang members involved in the Laughlin melee already have been sentenced in both state and federal courts on a variety of charges.

K.C. Howard can be reached at khoward@reviewjournal.com or (702) 380-1039.

 

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