Texas

Biker Kinfolk MC gets 1 year in jail for assault, then shoots Bandidos leader

A Kinfolk Motorcycle Club biker is at large on appeal after being sentenced to a year in state prison for assaulting a Bandidos chapter president who was then fatally shot in an El Paso bar brawl six years ago.

Manuel “Manny” Gallegos, now 63, was convicted by a jury on January 18 and sentenced by the 34th Circuit Court. He was released from custody on $10,000 bail Friday while his case is on appeal, court records show.

The jury found Gallegos guilty of participating in the organized crime assault of Bandidos chapter president Juan “Compa” Martinez Jr., 61, but acquitted him of four counts of EIOCA aggravated assault in connection with the ensuing shooting.

“It was a long trial, two weeks. I know the jury has been working hard. We respect and accept their verdict. , Vasquez, said on Monday.

The El Paso District Attorney’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

Under Texas law, an assault charge is a misdemeanor, although it can be a felony in a state prison, with increased participation in organized crime for crimes committed while he was a member of a gang.

Gallegos and Martinez were old friends for about 40 years who, according to court testimony, ended up in what law enforcement investigators called rival outlaw biker gangs.

On July 30, 2017, Gallegos went to a bar where the Bandidos hung out, refused to leave, and then during a confrontation, punched Martinez, starting a brawl between Bandidos and Kinfolk members at Mulligan’s Chopped Hog, 1810 George Dieter Drive in far East El Paso.

The confrontation, attack, fight and shooting were filmed from multiple angles by security cameras in the bar.

After Gallegos punched Martinez, the Bandidos lashed out at Gallegos, who was punched, kicked, and bar stooled and knocked out, according to security camera video and court testimony.

After a fight broke out, Javier “Jake” Gonzalez, vice president of the El Paso chapter of Kinfolk MC, entered a helmeted helmet with a gun in his hand and then opened fire on the Bandidos, shooting Martinez seven times. court testimony. Three other bikers associated with the Bandidos were injured in the shootout.

Prosecutors argued that the brawl was instigated by Gallegos as part of a plot by the Kinfolks to shoot Bandidos’ rival and kill Martínez. During the trial, the judge issued an outright verdict dismissing the murder charge due to insufficient evidence while maintaining the assault charges.

Defense lawyers countered that there was no plot to attack and that Gallegos was unconscious at the time of the shooting and should not be held responsible for González’s actions.

In 2019, Gonzalez was sentenced to 56 years in prison on charges of murder and three counts of participating in organized crime, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.

The shooting was part of what prosecutors called a larger “war” between longtime Bandidos and Kinfolk MC, formed by the former Bandidos in 2016.

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