NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

October 16, 2013

On day of trial, feds scuttle Hells Angels case

(Continued)

The reports, known as “302s,” include statements by Brown, who had struck a deal with prosecutors to testify in the state court case and who was also cooperating with federal prosecutors, as well as another witness. Under the Massachusetts rules of evidence, attorneys for the co-defendants were legally entitled to be provided with that information.

A message left for a U.S. Attorney’s office spokeswoman was not returned by yesterday’s deadline.

Michael Phelan, the lawyer representing Barr, said his client was disappointed that the trial was canceled. “He has been adamant since day one that he is not guilty,” said Phelan. “Just because he’s a member of the Hells Angels doesn’t mean he did something.”

Now, the attorneys said, their clients may end up spending additional time in custody as a new, federal case works its way to trial.

The defendants were charged earlier this year with luring a former member of the Red Devils, an affiliated biker club, to a “clubhouse” on Fruit Street in the Byfield section of Newbury, where they beat him, knocked him unconscious and smashed his hand with a ball-peen hammer.

The alleged victim, who is from Revere, was “put out bad” from the Red Devils for failing to beat up a former Hells Angel.

The alleged victim testified earlier this year at a hearing that he was also forced to quit his construction job, then summoned to a meeting with Nikolas Avelis, 54, of Gloucester, the president of the local Red Devils chapter, and Brown, the man who has since agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. (Avelis pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of assault and battery two weeks ago and is on two years of probation).

The alleged victim said Avelis and Brown directed him to the Byfield clubhouse because there had been rumors of him badmouthing the Hells Angels. The man went, saying he wanted to clear his name, and was confronted by Barr, Eliason, Weymouth and Defronzo. During that meeting, the man said, he was knocked unconscious and robbed of the keys to his motorcycle, then was given a choice of whether to have his hand or knee smashed.

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