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The girlfriend of jailed Hells Angel sergeant-at-arms Ricky Warren Jenks has been charged with three felonies for her alleged role in the murder of a 22-year-old man whose body was found in the back of his burning car in April.
Britney Bjork, 30, is accused of helping burn Nicholas J. Thoreson's car and driving murder suspects Taylor J. Wolf, 20; Justice E.D Sims, 19; and Breeanna C. Sims, 20; from the scene at Forker Road near Bigelow Gulch. Thoreson is pictured left; Wolf is pictured lower right.
In addition to first-degree rendering criminal assistance and second-degree arson, Bjork is charged with conspiracy to commit perjury in the first-degree for allegedly helping Wolf craft false statements.
She pleaded not guilty Wednesday in Spokane County Superior Court and was allowed to stay out of jail pending trial. She declined comment today after Jenks was sentenced in U.S. District Court to two years in prison.
Wolf had been staying at Jenks and Bjork’s home at the Knotty Pines Cottages, 13615 E. Trent Ave., since before Jenks’ arrest on federal gun charges in March, according to court documents.
Detectives Bjork sent Wolf a text message early April 13 that said to tell a friend "that everything is fine that you got lost and stranded. you thought you were around bigalow but really you were by otis orchards. clear the fact that you were anywhere near that area!"
Wolf talked to Bjork over the phone from jail after his arrest. Detectives listened to the calls and say Bjork told him, "You've been with me…this whole…time," to which Wolf responded, "I know, I never left your side."
But detectives say Wolf also told Bjork on April 22 he was going to shoot Thoreson but “I couldn’t do it, so me and Justice did it together,” according to court documents, citing recorded phone conversations. “But we had gloves on and stuff.”
Wolf and the Simses are charged with aggravated first-degree murder, among other charges, which carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison because prosecuters are not seeking the death penalty.
Also charged in the case is the Simses' half-brother, who pleaded guilty in juvenile court to threatening a witness in the case. The teen is not being named because he was charged as a juvenile.
Emily K. Karlinsey, 19, who is accused of making threatening phone calls to a witness, is set to go to trial in Superior Court.
A federal judge today refused to allow Hells Angels sergeant-at-arms Ricky W. Jenks out of jail so he can help with his girlfriend’s pregnancy.
U.S. District Court Judge Justin Quackenbush ripped Jenks during the hearing, saying Jenks hadn’t “earned” much consideration from him.
“His record is not one that generates a great deal of sympathy,” Quackenbush said of Jenks. “But here he is escaping another major, major multiyear sentence.”
Hells Angels sergeant-at-arms Ricky W. Jenks pleaded guilty in federal court in Spokane today to a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm, but the judge handling the case said he wants more time before accepting the plea.
U.S. District Court Judge Justin Quackenbush questioned why federal prosecutors accepted the plea agreement calling for only two years in prison when Jenks faced twice that prison time had the case proceeded to trial.
A member of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang pleaded guilty today to conspiring to distribute more than 500 grams of cocaine and grow more than 100 marijuana plants.
Michael R. Fitzpatrick, 33, was arrested on March 3, the same day federal agents arrested club Sergeant at Arms Ricky W. Jenks at the club's headquarter at 1308 E. Sprague Ave. He was allowed to leave jail the next day but has been in custody since the federal indictment was filed in April.
Fitzpatrick had faced up to 40 years in prison, but attorneys for both sides agreed upon a sentencing recommendation of 6 ½ years in federal prison.
Julio Cesar Martinez and Patrick Bozarth are also charged in the case.
I see that a federal judge has banned prosecutors from using terminology like “Hells Angels,” “Mongols” and “gangs” in the upcoming Ricky Jenks trial. Thank God. Nobody wants to see our sacred judicial process tainted by reality. As anyone who has studied the law or Judge Joe Brown episodes would know, nothing can be more unfair and prejudicial than reality in a courtroom. How do you think jurors would react at hearing that Jenks is the sergeant-at-arms for the Washington state chapter of that notorious biker gang, the Hells Angels? They could be highly prejudiced, that’s what/Doug Clark, SR. More here.
Question: Was the judge being too cautious in handing down his order that prosecutors couldn't mentin "Hells Angels," "Mongols," or gangs in the trial of a Hells Angel sergeant-at-arms?
Prosecutors are prohibited from referencing the terms "Hells Angels," "Mongols" and "gangs" in the upcoming trial of club Sergeant at Arms Ricky Jenks.
U.S. District Judge Justin Quackenbush said federal prosecutors can refer to Jenks' membership in a "motorcycle club" only. He said the other references "would be unfairly prejudicial and generate 'more heat than light.'" Those orders were reiterated in pretrial documents filed last week.
Jenks' trial, originally set to begin Tuesday, is now scheduled to begin July 11 at 9 a.m. He faces 10 years in prison if convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm.
He has been in jail since his arrest March 3 during a raid at the Hells Angels Spokane clubhouse on East Sprague Avenue.
The raid came as tensions between the Hells Angels and Mongols were rumored to be heating up.
The sergeant at arms of the Washington chapter of the Hells Angels has been indicted by a federal grand jury.
Ricky W. Jenks, 33, faces up to 10 years in federal prison after the jury indicted him in U.S. District Court for felon in possession of a firearm. He pleaded not guilty to the indictment on Friday and remains in the Spokane County Jail without bond.
Jenks, whose felony convictions include manslaughter, was the only suspect arrested at the clubhouse after investigators found eight firearms. The five other men at the clubhouse during the March 3 raid were from out of town and are not prohibited from possessing firearms or ammunition, prosecutors say.
One of those men, Hells Angel member Jameal A. Hadeed, has claimed ownership of five of the eight firearms, according to court documents filed Tuesday. Another, Travis I. Vanweerdhuizen has claimed ownership of one.
But prosecutors have said four of the five men with Jenks at the clubhouse arrived in Spokane via airplane and did not check firearms.
Prosecutors are refusing to release the affidavit that authorized the search because it "contains material regarding an ongoing investigation," documents said.
Another Hells Angel arrested March 4, Michael R. Fitzpatrick, 33, was jailed on a marijuana charge but released the next day.
The sergeant at arms of the Washington chapter of the Hells Angels will remain in jail after a federal judge ruled there was probable cause to hold him on a gun charge.
Ricky W. Jenks, 33, is charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm.
His public defender, Kailey Moran, said prosecutors have no evidence Jenks possessed any of the loaded guns found at the Hells Angels Spokane clubhouse on March 3, just that his jacket was near them.
But Judge James Hutton said prosecutors need only to show that Jenks had knowledge of the firearms and had the ability to control them, not that he physically possessed them.
If police spotted the guns so easily, "one would infer that Mr. Jenks would also be able to see these firearms," Hutton said Wednesday.
Moran said the federal warrant authorizing the search of the clubhouse remains sealed but that it is a document-based warrant targeting another suspect, not Jenks.
Jenks, whose felony convictions include manslaughter, was the only local Hells Angels at the clubhouse. Another was from Tacoma and four others had flown in from out of state. None checked firearms when traveling and none are prohibited form possessing weapons because they aren't felons, said Assistant U.S. Attorney Aine Ahmed.
Investigators originally reported finding six firearms. Ahmed said Wednesday that investigators found two others in an additional search.
Another Hells Angel arrested in March, Michael R. Fitzpatrick, 33, wasjailed on a marijuana charge but released the next day.
He was to be arraigned Wednesday, but county prosecutors haven't yet filed charges.
A ranking member of the Hells Angels will remain in jail without bail after his arrest last week on a federal gun charge.
Ricky W. Jenks, 33, poses a threat to the community based on his criminal history and the seriousness of the allegation, U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Imbrogno said Tuesday before approving a request from the U.S. Attorney’s Office to keep Jenks in custody.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie Van Marter said Jenks has a “disturbing history of violence” that includes manslaughter and has been aided by his association with the Hells Angels.
Dolores Taylor heard the news from her daughter, who lives in Pullman.
"She said 'I finally have some good news. He's been arrested again," Taylor recalled during a phone call Friday from her east Texas home.
Taylor was referring to Ricky Jenks.
Jenks, arrested Thursday in a police raid at the Hells Angels headquarters in Spokane, was involved in the shooting death of Taylor's son, Lonnie Earl Taylor, 37, on March 21, 2001, in what authorities described as a murder plotted by the Hells Angels, Jenks' outlaw motorcycle gang.
Taylor said she was troubled when Jenks was convicted of only manslaughter and served just 21 months in prison.
Now she's hopeful Jenks (pictured in 2002) will go away for longer.
"If anybody belongs up there in prison, it's him," she said.
A family member of Jenks' has not returned a phone call seeking comment. Jenks is in federal custody and unavailable for interviews.
Jenks, sergeants of arms of the Washington chapter of the Hells Angels, was arrested at the gang's headquarters at 1308 E. Sprague Avenue in Spokane Thursday. He's being held without bail on a single charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. A bail hearing is scheduled Tuesday.
Another Hells Angel member, Michael Ryan Fitzpatrick, was arrested on a marijuana charge at another location Thursday. He was released from jail on Friday.
Jenks and Joseph D. Shafer were convicted of second-degree mansluaghter in Taylor's death, which authorities say occurred during a drug rip will Taylor made methamphetamine.
Jenks was wanted on a first-degree murder charge for several months before an an off-duty sheriff’s lieutenant spotted him at a grocery store, leading to his arrest.
Taylor, a 37-year-old mechanic, was found fatally shot in a house at 1125 S. Robinhood in the Sherwood Forest subdivision in the Valley. The homeowner told investigators that Taylor came to the house and was making meth when the shooting occurred, court documents say.
Taylor recalled attending Jenks' court hearings, which she said were packed with patch-wearing Hells Angels members.
"The courtroom was hell. We had to be escorted out."
Taylor said she deeply disagrees with Jenks' short prison stint.
"He killed my son," said Taylor, who lives in Jacksonville, Texas. "I'm 82, and I'm waiting for justice before I go."
A Hells Angels member arrested on a marijuana charge Thursday in Spokane was released from jail on his own recognizance Friday.
Michael Ryan Fitzpatrick, 33, was booked into jail Thursday on one felony charge of delivery of a controlled substance after selling marijuana in a "controlled drug buy" set up by the Spokane Regional Drug Task Force last fall, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The one-paragraph affidavit, signed Thursday by Jeff Barrington, alleges the transaction occurred in October.
Superior Court Judge Michael Price allowed Fitzpatrick to leave jail Friday without posting bail, which pre-trial services recommended and is common in marijuana cases. Fitzpatrick has three felony convictions from several years ago, Price said.
The affidavit contains no information about Fitzpatrick's arrest, which occurred Thursday after federal agents and Spokane police searched the Hells Angels clubhouse at 1308 E. Sprague Ave. Fitzpatrick was not at the club at the time but was arrested at a different location.
Also arrested was Hells Angels sergeant of arms Ricky W. Jenks, 33.
Jenks remains in jail without bail on a federal charge of felon in possession of a firearm. Investigators say they found six loaded firearms in the clubhouse.
Jenks was among those indicted in 2006 with now imprisoned chapter president Richard “Smilin’ Rick” Fabel (pictured).