March 27, 2001

Hells Angel may be linked to shooting death

Bill Morlin The Spokesman-Review
 

A member of the Hells Angels motorcycle club is being tied to a shootout that left another man dead last week in a fashionable Spokane Valley neighborhood.

Ricky W. Jenks, 23, is a former neo-Nazi skinhead who joined a Hells Angels chapter based in Spokane about two years ago.

He and a companion, Joseph D. Schafer, 18, were both shot in the stomach and critically wounded early Wednesday, authorities say.

The shooting of the two men is related to the murder of Lonnie E. Taylor Jr., detectives say.

The 37-year-old mechanic, whose funeral is today, was found dead last Wednesday in a home in the Sherwood Forest development.

Taylor reportedly was a friend of the home’s owners, identified in property records as Lane Mayer and Kimberley Johnston.

“I have no comment,” Sheriff’s Department spokesman Dave Reagan said Monday when asked about Hells Angels ties to the homicide investigation.

Richard “Smilin’ Rick” Fabel, president of the Nomad Hells Angels chapter, based in Spokane, couldn’t be reached for comment Monday. A man who answered the phone at the Hells Angels clubhouse on East Sprague said Fabel was out of town.

A spokeswoman for Valley Hospital and Medical Center said the two men are “confidential patients” and she was forbidden from releasing their current medical conditions or even confirming they were still in the hospital.

Reagan said the two wounded men are listed in satisfactory condition, and remain hospitalized.

Jenks and Shafer reportedly are telling detectives that they were shot by a black man at another location in the Spokane Valley.

Reagan said investigators have connected the shooting victims to the dead man “by timeline only,” and that he couldn’t provide any other details about the investigation.

“We have other people we need to locate and question, and until that occurs, we’ll have no comment,” he said.

Sheriff’s deputies learned that Jenks and Schafer were shot after they were dropped off at Valley Hospital and Medical Center at 4:12 a.m. by a woman who then drove away.

Less than an hour later, deputies received an anonymous tip that they would find a shooting victim in a home at 1125 S. Robinhood.

While detectives aren’t talking about a motive, it’s known that they are exploring the likelihood that the shootout was drug-related.

“We’re looking into all possibilities,” Reagan said.


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