STOCKTON – Brandon Gann never showed up to his in-laws house alone.
The eight-acre parcel in Manton – an unincorporated hamlet in Tehema County more known for its apples and the active volcano that sits to the east than the actual community itself – was more than three hours away from the Oakdale home that the alleged Hells Angels member shared with his wife.
And according to Teresa Boyles – Gann’s mother-in-law – the odds that he would just suddenly show up out of the blue were all the more startling when she received a phone call on Aug. 15, 2011. Save for a few choice words and a hang-up the message was clear – make sure the gate is open by 11 p.m. because he’s on his way and he’s alone.
According to Boyles’ testimony Tuesday morning in San Joaquin Superior Court, Gann – who is on trial for the murder of 26-year-old Lathrop resident and rival motorcycle club member Daniel Martinez – arrived in the white Kia Sorrento that authorities claim that he and David John Splan, also accused in Martinez’ murder, were driving the night the incident occurred on Ideal Parkway just outside of Manteca’s city limits along East Highway 120.
Witness statements and preliminary police reports said that vehicle was seen speeding through a parking lot and smashing into one of two motorcycles belonging to Martinez and his 30-year-old brother Isaac. A fight between the men ensued and authorities allege that one of the two men retrieved a handgun from the car and fired seven shots – striking both men and fatally wounding the 26-year-old full patch member of the Most Envied Motorcycle Club.
San Joaquin County Deputy District Attorney Kevin Mayo showed grisly crime scene photographs during the testimony of Sheriff’s Detective Karen Sangster to recreate the scene. It included two of a deceased Martinez – one lying face-down on the pavement with blood pooled around him in his Most Envied motorcycle vest and one turned over clearly showing his face after he had died.
The bulk of Sangster’s testimony on Tuesday morning, which continued from the previous day, centered on the investigation into Gann’s ties to the Hell’s Angels – the most well-known of all of the outlaw motorcycle clubs – that apparently continued even after the alleged shooting of Martinez.
According to Sangster, Gann was a previous full patch member of the Top Hatters – an outlaw motorcycle gang originally formed in Hollister with chapters in the Central Valley, South Valley, San Diego, Sierra Mountains and East Bay – before deciding to be a Hells Angels Nomad prospect. Several photos of him wearing a black leather vest with the red and white rectangular patches synonymous with the club were entered into evidence. Prosecutors said the raid on a home of a man believed to the secretary of the local Nomads chapter in Denair produced additional evidence.
But it was the testimony of Boyles – who stared at Gann between answering questions about the relationship he had with her daughter, with whom he is now divorced, and his activities with the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club – that painted the picture the prosecution wanted to frame for the jury.
While she was “ordered” to stay in her house during those initial days that Gann spent at her home, Boyles said that she gave him bleach and a “pot that you boil potatoes in” and watched through the kitchen window as he washed the outside of the car and wiped down the interior.
She said she grew increasingly concerned as she watched him take off the Pittsburgh Steelers license plate frame that her daughter loved, and peel the Harley Davidson sticker off the back window. She became emotional when she reenacted a scene she said she watched play out behind her rural home – watching Gann, apparently describing what happened to another full patch Hells Angels member, reach back into an imaginary waistband, pull his fingers forward as if they were a gun, and act like they were fired.
“It was, ‘talk, talk, talk – two fingers, thumb up,” she said.
Gann’s trial is scheduled to continue today at 9 a.m. in Department 21 – the courtroom of San Joaquin County Superior Court Judge Seth J. Hoyt Jr.