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Charges Dropped Against Biker

July 19, 2002

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LAS VEGAS (AP) _ Charges have been dropped against an Arizona motorcycle gang member arrested after a bloody shootout inside a southern Nevada casino that left three bikers dead.

Laughlin Justice of the Peace Bill Moma signed prosecutors’ motion to dismiss the charges Thursday, releasing 32-year-old Calvin Schaefer of all 13 felony charges, including conspiracy, attempted murder and gang murder, court records show.

Schaefer was the only one charged after the rival Hells Angels and Mongols motorcycle gangs clashed April 27 at Harrah’s Laughlin Hotel & Casino. Police allege Schaefer fired at least 11 shots during the confrontation that killed three and injured at least 11 others.

Clark County prosecutor Michael O’Callaghan said his office was forced to drop charges because it could not turn over copies of the more than 100 videotapes of the deadly brawl from the casino’s surveillance cameras to the defense without compromising the investigation.

``We’re doing our best to preserve the tapes for all potential defendants and other law enforcement agencies,″ O’Callaghan said. ``We have to preserve the tapes frame by frame.″

Schaefer, a sheet metal worker from Chandler, Ariz., had been released from jail May 7 on $250,000 bail.

``I’m really glad we were able to get him out on bail because it would have been a shame to have him sitting in jail all this time only to have the case dismissed,″ said his lawyer, David Chesnoff.

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