RENO, NV - A former Vagos member testified Wednesday one of his club members shot and killed a Hells Angels chapter president on the night of September 23, 2011 during Street Vibrations.
The jury heard it was at the direction of an international Vagos leader. Gary Rudnick's testimony had been anticipated, as he would disclose what led up to the murder of Jeffrey Pettigrew. But defense attorney David Houston pressed Rudnick--was it the truth, or an attempt to get out of a prison sentence.
Second witness on Wednesday, former Vagos member and witness for the prosecution Gary Rudnick, told the jury he was displeased the minute he arrived at John Ascuaga's Nugget for Street Vibrations 2011.
That's because he noticed Hells Angels checking in to what had traditionally been a Vagos property.
It all upset him.
“The tension we had going on with them,” explained Rudnick
Rudnick would be one of the few to admit to the rivalry between the Vagos and the Hells Angels while on the stand.
So disgusted with the situation and perceived disrespect, he says the international leader of the Vagos, Ta Ta set down an edict that night at a meeting.
“Ta Ta put a green light on Pettigrew,” said Rudnick
“What does that mean?” asked prosecutor Carl Hall
“He's fair game to take out,” answered Rudnick.
The target would be Jeffrey Pettigrew, the President of the San Jose Hells Angels, and the man Rudnick says touched him on the back and didn't apologize for it the night of the melee.
He's also the man Rudnick claimed Ernesto Gonzalez agreed to kill that night.
Rudnick said later in the evening the Sergeant at Arms of the Vagos, Dragon, told the group to not let the Hells Angels Contingent make it to the elevators from the casino floor.
With that, Rudnick says he egged on Pettigrew as he passed by Rudnick and fellow Vagos--the fight was on.
Rudnick later testified the next day in passing Gonzalez admitted to killing Pettigrew.
During cross examination, defense attorney David Houston questioned why Rudnick was testifying for the prosecution.
“Was that because you were pretty much assured probation?” asked Houston
Houston tried to discredit Rudnick the remainder of the day, trying to get Rudnick to admit he'd say anything to stay out of prison and be placed in some type of witness protection.
Even playing telephone calls between Rudnick and his wife while Rudnick was at Washoe County Jail showing how anxious Rudnick was to cut a deal.
Last March Rudnick pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit murder—a lesser charge than he was facing—a plea predicated on his testifying for the prosecution.
He will be sentenced once the trial is over.