September 27, 1996 in City

Prosecutor: Hells Angels Scared Me Lounge Incident Described At Intimidation Trial

By The Spokesman-Review
 

Seeing four men with Hells Angels jackets walk into a downtown lounge and surround his table gave a Spokane prosecutor a fast lesson in total fear, he testified Thursday in Spokane Superior Court.

“I was afraid I was going to die. Or that someone was going to get hurt,” said Deputy Prosecutor David Hearrean, the main prosecution witness to testify against three Hells Angels and two “hang-around” friends charged with intimidating him at the Mars Hotel earlier this year.

Hearrean spent more than two hours describing a late-night run-in with the four men a month before he was to prosecute one of their friends on a murder charge.

The alleged intimidation occurred in March. A month later, Hearrean failed to convince a Spokane jury that Hells Angel Timothy Myers was responsible for the murder of a rival gang member.

Hearrean told jurors Thursday that he felt threatened by the four club members - all wearing Hells Angels patches or “colors” - standing silently near his table in the lounge. Two of the men glared at him, he said.

Charged with intimidating Hearrean are Richard “Smilin’ Rick” Fabel, president of the Spokane Hells Angel chapter; member Michael Cultis; and club associates Joe Dye and Michael Wooster.

Also charged in two separate counts of intimidating a witness are club president Fabel and Myers.

They’re charged with intimidating a Spokane woman who was preparing to testify against Myers in last April’s murder trial.

This is the first time several members of the Spokane motorcycle club have all been charged and tried together for a crime, Fabel said.

Hearrean is one of about 20 witnesses to be called in the trial, expected to run through next week.

Defense attorney Bevan Maxey repeatedly interrupted Hearrean’s testimony, challenging references to Myers’ earlier murder trial.

But Assistant City Prosecutor Rocco Treppiedi made sure that Hearrean gave jurors a detailed summary of the stress he and his wife felt at the Mars Hotel.

In addition to seeing the four men standing near his table, Hearrean said he got trapped in a corner by Wooster. The others at his table had gone. Wooster stepped over and sat in the chair next to Hearrean, placing his leg against Hearrean’s.

“My heart was beating fast,” Hearrean said. “I was scared.”

Adding to Hearrean’s fear, he testified, was knowing that Hells Angels members had threatened five people he had hoped would testify against Myers. None of the five ended up testifying, he said.

In testimony Thursday, FBI Special Agent Tim McKinley said the paramount issue for all Hells Angels is club loyalty. And non-verbal threats against others is a standard way of showing loyalty to someone causing a club member trouble.

One way - standing with arms crossed, glaring - is clearly a signal, “a way of taking care of club business,” said McKinley.

Maxey is expected to cross-examine Hearrean today.

, DataTimes


Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email