A highway shooting in Henderson involving rival motorcycle gangs may have been an act of retaliation, a prosecutor said June 2.
Chief Deputy District Attorney Danielle “Pieper” Chio said a member of the Hells Angels motorcycle gang was killed in April in San Bernardino, California, and the killing may have led to the May 29 shooting on Interstate 11/U.S. Highway 95.
“So the concern is that there’s retaliatory shootings going back and forth between the two jurisdictions and between the two clubs,” Chio said during a hearing June 2 in Henderson Justice Court.
Russell Smith, 26, Stephen Alo, 46, and Richard Devries, 66, have been charged with conspiracy to commit murder, six counts of attempted murder with a deadly weapon, six counts of battery with a deadly weapon and six counts of discharging a gun at or into an occupied structure, court records show.
The Hells Angels bikers are accused of opening fire on members of the rival Vagos gang after the Fly Your Flags Over Hoover Dam event that ended at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City.
The three suspects appeared in court June 2, and Justice of the Peace David Gibson Sr. set bail for each at $380,000.
On Friday, June 3, Devries, identified as the president of the Las Vegas chapter of the Hells Angels in a Henderson Police Department arrest report, filed a petition to be granted a lower bail.
His defense attorney, Richard Schonfeld, had initially asked for a bail of $50,000. Schonfeld argued June 2 that a higher bail was not necessary because Devries has a stable employment history, has lived in Las Vegas for 19 years, has no prior criminal history, and is an honorably discharged military veteran.
“It is respectfully submitted that the Justice Court’s bail setting of $380,000 is an amount that is excessive and tantamount to no bail, which is a violation of both the Nevada Constitution and the United States Constitution,” Schonfeld wrote in the petition filed in District Court.
Prosecutors initially asked for a $1 million bail for each of the defendants, while defense attorneys argued that Hells Angels were granted lower bails in other, high-profile cases involving the group.
Gibson said he felt a high bail was appropriate in order to prevent future violence.
“I can’t predict the future, but I can kind of control it,” he said.
Schonfeld said he has not seen any “concrete allegations” that Devries was personally involved in the shooting.
“Mr. Devries maintains his innocence and we will address the allegations at the future court proceedings,” Schonfeld said in a statement June 2.
Alo and Smith are described in the arrest report as prospects for the chapter.
According to the report, the prospects also caused problems at the cemetery, where they revved their engines and set off car alarms during a Memorial Day ceremony.
Police said the Vagos members were riding north on U.S. Highway 95 near Wagon Wheel Drive when multiple Hells Angels members pulled up next to them. Some of the Hells Angels riders tried to kick a Vagos rider over, and one Hells Angels member “stood up on their motorcycle and started shooting,” the report said.
Prosecutors said about 15 shots were fired, and stray bullets were shot across the freeway. Chio said one of the stray bullets struck a car parked in front of a church.
Six of the Vagos riders were injured, along with a member of the Hells Angels.