Vagos Lawyer: Hells Angel Killing Was Self-Defense

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RENO, Nev. (AP) - A lawyer for the Vagos motorcycle gang leader accused of murdering a high-ranking Hells Angel during a shootout at a Nevada casino says Ernesto Gonzalez killed his rival in self-defense, not as part of an orchestrated assassination plot.

Reno lawyer David Houston said in Washoe District Court Wednesday that Gonzalez shot Hells Angels San Jose boss Jeffrey Pettigrew because he feared Pettigrew was kicking another Vagos to death during the Sparks casino melee in September 2011.

Houston says the surveillance video prosecutors say proves Gonzalez carried out the hit will actually show he tried to shy away from the trouble started by another loud-mouthed Vagos.

Houston says that Vagos, Gary "Jabbers" Rudnick, lied about the assassination plan to get a plea-bargain deal he thought would keep him out of prison.