Former strip club owner arrested
February 15, 2008 - 10:00 pm
Authorities arrested the former owner of the Palomino strip club and are charging him with murder in connection with the killing of a former club employee more than two years ago.
Luis Hidalgo Jr. was arrested last week and booked into the county jail on charges of murder and conspiracy to commit murder in connection with the death of Timothy Hadland, who was shot and killed May 19, 2005. A grand jury indicted him on Wednesday in the killing.
On Thursday, Hidalgo, 57, appeared in court wearing a blue prison jumper and shackles. He sat next to his attorney, Dominic Gentile.
Hidalgo’s son, Luis Hidalgo III, 27, also sat at the defense table. The younger Hidalgo also faces murder charges in Hadland’s killing.
Gentile declined to comment in depth about the case.
After Hadland’s slaying, authorities arrested and charged Hidalgo III, Kenneth Counts, Jayson Taoipu, Anabel Espindola and Deangelo Carroll in connection with his death. Authorities said Hadland was killed because he was talking badly about the club to taxi drivers, costing the club revenue.
The elder Hidalgo was named a co-conspirator but wasn’t formally charged until Wednesday.
County prosecutor Giancarlo Pesci declined to say why it took more than two years for authorities to bring charges against Hidalgo Jr. However, one defendant in the case recently entered a plea deal.
Several days before authorities arrested Hidalgo Jr., prosecutors filed a document in District Court indicating Espindola had pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter with a deadly weapon in Hadland’s slaying. She hasn’t been sentenced, but could receive probation or serve two to 20 years for the offense.
Espindola, who has been described as the longtime girlfriend of the elder Hidalgo, had been facing murder and conspiracy to commit murder charges.
Last week, a jury found Counts, 33, guilty of conspiracy to commit murder but acquitted him on murder charges.
In June, Taoipu, 20, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter with a deadly weapon and conspiracy to commit murder. He named Counts as the shooter.
A stay has been issued in Carroll’s case. Hidalgo III is still scheduled to go to trial.
Contact reporter David Kihara at email@example.com or (702) 380-1039.