A member of a rival club has been convicted in federal court of murdering the president of Hells Angels Motorcycle Club’s San Francisco chapter outside a bar in the Mission District of the city in 2008.
Christopher Ablett, 39, of Modesto, a member of the Mongols Motorcycle Club, was found guilty in federal court in San Francisco on Wednesday of fatally shooting and stabbing Mark “Papa” Guardado, 46.
A jury in the court of U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg convicted Ablett of four federal charges: murder in aid of racketeering, assault with a deadly weapon, using a gun in a violent crime and using a gun in a murder.
Ablett will be sentenced by Seeborg on May 15. He faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole for the murder conviction. The assault charge is punishable by a maximum of 20 years in custody and the two other convictions by up to life in prison.
U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said evidence at the trial showed that Ablett shot Guardado twice with a revolver and stabbed him four times with a 12-inch military-style knife in a fight outside the bar at 24th Street and Treat Avenue on the evening of Sept. 2, 2008.
Haag said witnesses testified that Ablett, armed with the two weapons and wearing a Mongols vest, came to San Francisco to visit a friend.
When Guardado heard that Ablett was in the bar, he came to the street outside the bar and approached Ablett. A fight then broke out and Ablett stabbed and shot Guardado, she said.
Haag said Ablett testified at the trial and contended he acted in self-defense, in defense of his friends and in the heat of passion. But the jury rejected those defenses to the murder charge, she said.
Defense attorney Richard Mazer declined to comment on the case.
Guardado’s funeral in Daly City on Sept. 15, 2008, was attended by about 1,000 Hells Angels members and associates, according to Daly City police.
Ablett was identified as the suspect in the case on Sept. 11 of that year, but had fled. He surrendered to police in Oklahoma the following month.
A federal grand jury indictment issued against Ablett alleged that the Mongols club is a criminal gang that engages in murder, drug trafficking, robbery, extortion and money laundering.
Julia Cheever, Bay City News