A Spokane County jury today is expected to begin deciding the fate of five Hells Angels accused of intimidating a prosecutor and a witness.
On Wednesday, defense attorney Bevan Maxey called witnesses who painted the bikers as well-mannered regulars at a downtown Spokane lounge - where the prosecutor was allegedly confronted.
Testifying for the defense, Robert Hetnar said members of the outlaw motorcycle gang would have drinks at the Mars Hotel three or four nights a week.
“They were valued customers” who shook hands with him regularly and never caused others trouble, said Hetnar, the former lounge supervisor.
Hetnar’s testimony was meant to erode the prosecution’s case against four of the Hells Angels, who surrounded and allegedly intimidated Spokane County Deputy Prosector David Hearrean in March.
The four men - Michael Cultis, Joe Dye, Rick Fabel and Michael Wooster - are charged with intimidating Hearrean, a felony.
In testimony last week, Hearrean said he and his wife, Carole, feared for their lives when the bikers surrounded their table in the hotel bar.
The encounter happened one month before Hearrean started a murder trial against Hells Angel Timothy Myers, the club’s Spokane secretary.
In May, a jury acquitted Myers of second-degree murder and ruled he killed a rival motorcycle gang member in self-defense.
Myers and Fabel are also charged with intimidating a witness, Yolanda Fisette. She testified against Myers in the murder trial.
A conviction for intimidating either a witness or a public servant carries a maximum 10-year prison sentence.
Following closing arguments by attorneys today, the seven-man, five-woman jury will start its deliberations.
Maxey tried to damage Hearrean’s credibility Wednesday by getting a detective to admit the words “trapped” or “intimidated” never appeared in a police report prepared a week after the lounge incident.
Detective Fred Ruetsch said Hearrean never used those exact words, but added: “That’s the logical conclusion of what he said.”
Myers took the witness stand late Wednesday, telling the jury he never went to a north Spokane restaurant in January, as prosecutors allege.
That statement contradicts Fisette’s testimony that she was silently threatened by Myers about a month after the killing.
Also Wednesday, Maxey called Superior Court Judge Ken Kato as a witness. Kato, who presided over Myers’ murder trial, said he didn’t see Hearrean shake hands with Myers after the not-guilty verdict was announced.
Hearrean testified earlier that he shook hands with the defendant, countering Maxey’s suggestion that the intimidation case amounts to retaliation against the Hells Angels.