Sentencing Set for October in Nugget Shooting Case

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RENO, NV - Sentencing is set for October 3 in the case of a man convicted Wednesday of shooting a man to death at John Ascuaga's Nugget during the 2011 Street Vibrations event.

Judge Connie Steinheimer excused the jury Thursday morning after an argument by defense attorney David Houston that there were inconsistencies in the verdict, and he asked the judge to take over sentencing. She agreed and set the hearing, which will include victim impact statements.

The jury reached its verdict Wednesday evening in the murder trial of Vagos motorcycle gang member Ernesto Gonzalez, who admitted killing a rival Hells Angels leader, Jeffrey Pettigrew, in a shootout at the Nugget in Sparks. He claimed he was defending his friends; the prosecution said it was premeditated.

The jury found Ernesto Gonzalez guilty of:

Count One, conspiracy
Count Two, challenge to fight resulting in death
Count Three, carrying a concealed weapon
Count Four, discharing a firearm
Count Five, murder in the second degree
Count Six, murder of the first degree with a deadly weapon and gang related
Count Seven, conspiracy to commit murder.

Gonzalez could face life in prison with no parole.