Steven Ruiz, 39, was brought into the courtroom for arraignment under heavy security, but there was no evidence of any Hells Angels inside or outside the courtroom.
Ruiz is being charged with one count of homicide in the Oct. 15th death of another Hells Angel member, Steve Tausan at Oak Hill Cemetery. Both were there for the funeral of Jeff "Jethro" Pettigrew, the San Jose Hells Angels Chapter president. Ruiz is accused of using a gun to kill Tausan. Defense attorney John Fuery told reporters after the arraignment he will be filing a request for a gag order.
"We don't want to spoil the jury pool by negative publicity, that's all. He's entitled to a fair trial. The only way he's going is that with jurors who have not made their minds up before they come to court," said Fuery.
Ruiz was arrested Saturday at a motel in Fremont after eluding police for four months. We asked his attorney to clarify whether Ruiz is still associated with the Hells Angels.
"When something this drastic happens, he is shunned as religions shun people, and he is in essence not. That's my understanding. He has been 'excommunicated' to use the Catholic term, or he's been 'disassociated' that's used in various organizations," said Fuery.
Ruiz told his attorney he does not need any special protection inside jail. He is expected to enter a plea when he returns to court in two weeks. Ruiz is being held without bail.
Even with heightened security, there was a tense moment at the Hall of Justice when a man dropped something out of this pocket and there was a loud pop. It turned out to be a popper, a small firecracker that explodes on impact. The deputies were all over him.