An Oakdale man accused in the murder of a 26-year-old rival motorcycle club member now finds his legal status hanging in limbo after a jury failed to reach a verdict.
A lone juror stood between Brandon James Gann – a 33-year-old outlaw motorcycle club member from Oakdale – and a charge of murder that would have likely put him behind bars for the rest of his life. His accomplice in the killings, 44-year-old David John Splan, testified for the prosecution in exchange for a 17-year prison sentence.
The initial report from police was that Gann and Splan used a white SUV to slam into the parked motorcycles of Daniel and Isaac Martinez out in front of a repair shop on Ideal Parkway – just east of Manteca’s city limits – on Aug. 15, 2011. The two men then jumped out of the car and after fighting for several minutes, one returned to the car to retrieve a gun and started firing.
Both Daniel and Isaac Martinez – who are not related – were hit, and Daniel had died shortly thereafter. Both men were full patch members of the Most Envied Motorcycle Club which is active in the Modesto Area.
During the trial prosecuting assistant district attorney outlined how Gann drove the white SUV – which presumably belonged to his girlfriend – up to the house of his in-laws in Manton, a rural community in Tehema County that he rarely visited. It was there, his mother-in-law claimed, that he cleaned the vehicle from top-to-bottom – stripping all of his clothes upon entering the house and spending several days at the rural ranch contacting fellow Hells Angels that she believed were helping him in whatever it was he was trying to escape.
She also said she witnessed him make a shooting motion with her hand towards one of other motorcycle club members while, as it appeared to her, he was reciting what had transpired prior to his unexpected arrival in the middle of the night.
Eventually, according to Mayo’s timeline, Gann would end up at a Hells Angels compound near Whiskeytown Lake just west of Redding, but eventually returned to Oakdale. He was arrested by Oakdale police in 2012 for questioning, but wasn’t arrested and charged with Martinez’ murder until the following year.
He and investigating detective Karen Sangster used an extensive array of photos to show his affiliation with the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club – Sangster said that at the beginning he was a full patch member of the Top Hatters, another outlaw motorcycle group, but wanted to join the ranks of the Hells Angels instead – and showed grisly crime scene photos at trial that included the deceased.
Gann is accused of being affiliated with a Nomads chapter – meaning that he had no given home territory. The Whiskeytown group that he spent time with encompasses the Northern part of the State of California, for example, while others in more populated areas identify by the cities that they claim.
Whether Splan will be sent to the California Department of Corrections to begin his sentence or continue to be held in the San Joaquin County Jail in anticipation of another Gann trial will be up to authorities.