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Vagos member arrested in death of Hells Angels member

A Vagos motorcycle gang member arrested in the slaying of a rival at a Sparks casino was transferred Monday to Reno from California to await a court appearance on a murder charge, authorities said.

Ernesto Manuel Gonzalez, 53, arrived at Washoe County jail for proceedings related to the Sept. 23 shooting of Jeffrey “Jethro” Pettigrew of the Hells Angels inside a hotel-casino, Sparks police said.

Pettigrew was president of the Hells Angels chapter in San Jose, Calif.

The extradition of Gonzalez came after Hells Angels member Cesar Villagrana, 36, was re-arrested Thursday in San Jose on a sealed indictment charging him with murder in the case, Sparks police Detective Rocky Triplett said.

Gonzalez’s lawyer, David Chesnoff, wasn’t immediately available for comment. Gonzalez was arrested Sept. 30 in San Francisco.

Villagrana, of Gilroy, Calif., was with Pettigrew when he was shot. Two Vagos members were wounded in the casino shootout, and another was shot in the stomach the next morning by a gunman in a passing car.

Triplett said Villagrana was charged with murder because he can be seen on casino security video drawing a gun and shooting at others.

Villagrana was arrested the night of the shooting with a 9mm Smith and Wesson semi-automatic handgun that had been reported stolen in Arizona in 1998, police said.

He was previously freed on $150,000 bail after being charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon, carrying a concealed weapon illegally and discharging a firearm in a structure.

Villagrana has not entered a plea to any of the charges. Richard Schonfeld, defense co-counsel, told Sparks Justice Court Judge Susan Deriso during a court appearance that Villagrana came from a stable family and had no felony convictions.

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