Timing Shows Trial Is Revenge, Defense Says Prosecutors Accused Of Trumping Up Charges Against Three Hells Angels
FOR THE RECORD: 9-29-96 Timothy Myers has only been charged with intimidating a witness. An article in Saturday’s paper erroneously reported an addition charge.
Prosecutors decided to file intimidation charges against three Spokane Hells Angels members and two of their friends as retaliation against the motorcycle club, a defense attorney suggested Friday.
While questioning witnesses, Bevan Maxey made clear his contention that investigators did not begin their case against the club members until a few days after a murder trial for one Hells Angel member ended in acquittal last spring.
The trial continues next week in Spokane County Superior Court. Charged with intimidating a public servant are Spokane chapter President Richard Fabel, club member Michael Cultis, club secretary Timothy Myers, “prospect” Joe Dye and former prospect Michael Wooster.
They’re accused of intimidating Deputy Prosecutor David Hearrean, who was in charge of Myers’ murder trial last spring.
In the current trial, Fabel and Myers also are accused of intimidating a court witness, Yolanda Fisette.
Maxey said earlier in the trial that he’ll offer information indicating prosecutors are using the intimidation charges as payback against the Hells Angels.
He got started on that argument while cross-examining Hearrean on Friday. Hearrean spent several hours earlier this week explaining the threat he felt when four Hells Angels showed up at a downtown lounge and stood near his table, making sure he knew they were there.
Maxey noted that no complaint was filed with police until two days after the event. And, he added, police investigators did not launch an inquiry into the lounge episode until three days after the Myers murder trial ended.
On May 11, jurors decided Myers had acted in self-defense in the shooting death of a biker at a Hillyard bar. They also ordered the county to pay up to $100,000 for Myers’ legal costs.
Special Deputy Prosecutor Rocco Treppiedi is arguing the Angels came to the lounge and silently threatened Hearrean and his wife, Carole. The threat took place about a month before the murder trial against Myers started.
During Maxey’s cross-examination, Hearrean acknowledged the investigation started after the verdict against Myers came in.
But Hearrean said the charges have nothing to do with the outcome of the Myers trial.
Plus, he did not have time to work with investigators until after the verdict. In fact, he noted later, county officials placed him and his wife in “safekeeping” at a Spokane hotel to eliminate harassment during the trial.
The trial resumes Monday with prosecutors expected to bring in witnesses involved in the alleged intimidation of Fisette, who testified against Myers in the murder trial.