August 20, 2014
RENO, Nev. (AP) - A Nevada judge has seated a jury for a high-profile murder trial in the deadly casino shootout between rival motorcycle gangs that triggered a local state of emergency nearly two years ago.
Eight men and seven women were selected Tuesday afternoon to serve as the 12 jurors and three alternates, and lawyers on both sides were prepared to give their opening statements later in the day in Washoe District Court in Reno.
Ernesto Gonzalez, ex-president of the Vagos' chapter in Nicaragua, is accused of killing Jeffrey "Jethro" Pettigrew, the former head of the Hells Angels in San Jose, Calif.
Prosecutors say it was an organized hit. Defense lawyers say Gonzalez acted in self-defense during the melee that turned a Sparks casino floor into a shooting gallery on Sept. 23, 2011.
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