California biker gets life term for murder of Hells Angels leader

Reuters News
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Posted: May 18, 2012 5:34 PM
California biker gets life term for murder of Hells Angels leader

By Emmett Berg

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - A member of the Mongols motorcycle gang was sentenced to life in federal prison without parole on Wednesday for the slaying four years ago of the San Francisco chapter president of the rival bikers group Hells Angels.

Christopher Bryan Ablett, who went by the gang name "Stoney," was convicted earlier this year of murder and other offenses in the 2008 stabbing-shooting death of Mark "Papa" Guardado outside a bar in San Francisco's Mission District.

According to trial testimony, a fight broke out between the two men when Guardado confronted Ablett for wearing his Mongols insignia in the Mission, a short distance from the Hells Angels' San Francisco headquarters.

Ablett stabbed Guardado four times with a foot-long military knife and shot him twice with a .357-magnum revolver, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office in San Francisco. Local media reports said Guardado was 46 when he died.

Ablett claimed he acted in self-defense. But prosecutors contended that the rank-and-file member of the Mongols, who was visiting San Francisco from Modesto, killed Guardado to raise his status within his own gang.

The Mongols and the better-known Hells Angels, both identified by federal authorities as outlaw motorcycle gangs, have been at odds for decades, often clashing violently.

The FBI cited phone records during the trial showing that Ablett spent several hours after the slaying calling individuals identified as fellow Mongols.

The jury ultimately found Ablett guilty of murder in aid of racketeering, assault with a deadly weapon in aid of racketeering, use of a firearm during a crime of violence, and use of a firearm causing murder.

He was sentenced in federal court to two concurrent life sentences and a consecutive life sentence. Federal life terms do not allow for parole, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

(Reporting by Emmett Berg; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Cynthia Johnston and Lisa Shumaker)