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Trial in gangs' fatal Nevada casino shootout nears end

Trial in gangs' fatal Nevada casino shootout nears end

CREATED Aug. 7, 2013

RENO, Nev. (AP) -- Lawyers at a murder trial stemming from a 2011 shootout between rival motorcycle gangs at a Nevada casino plan to give final arguments after one more rebuttal witness takes the stand in a Reno courtroom on Wednesday.

The witness had been scheduled to testify on Tuesday, but Washoe District Judge Connie Steinheimer sent the jury home while she and lawyers discussed a number of matters related to the pending jury instructions. They planned to resume the hearing under heavy security at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.

Ernesto Gonzalez, former leader of the Vagos in Nicaragua, is accused of killing Hells Angels' San Jose boss Jeffrey Pettigrew during a melee at a Sparks casino Sept. 23, 2011.

Prosecutors say it was part of an organized hit. Gonzalez says it was self-defense.

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