California - Daniel Martinez was only 26-years-old when he was gunned down in an unincorporated area just outside of Manteca.
And a pair of bikers believed to be associated with the Hells Angels will appear in court next month to answer to charges that they murdered him in August of 2011.
Brandon James Gann, 32, and David John Splan, 43, are set to appear before Judge Seth Hoyt on Aug. 26. Both are currently being held at the San Joaquin County Jail and bail amounts for both are set in excess of $4.7 million.
According to witnesses, Martinez was waiting with another man on Ideal Parkway – located off Highway 120 just east of Manteca – on motorcycles when a white SUV with two men pulled into the parking lot.
Without warning, the vehicle reportedly rammed one of the motorcycles and the two men inside jumped out and started brawling with Martinez and his counterpart – both of whom, authorities believe, were members of the Most Envied Motorcycle Club.
At one point during the fight one of the two men from the SUV went back to the car, grabbed a handgun, and started firing. Martinez was struck several times and was pronounced dead at the scene. The other man, who was struck in the upper body, underwent surgery and ultimately survived.
Martinez grew up in Manteca, and attended local schools.
The beef that led to the shooting, however, wasn't disclosed by investigators.
Gann was arrested by Oakdale Police for questioning in April of last year, but wasn't formally arrested and charged with the murder until January. He and Splan were taken into custody on the same day. A picture of him wearing his Hells Angels "cut" – the leather vest that bikers wear with identifying patches – was circulated by police prior to his actual arrest.
Some of the unrest amongst California's outlaw biker clubs stems from the use of California as part of the three patches that make up the logo on the back of the vest or jacket. The Hells Angels – which originated in Oakland – lays claim to the territory, and requires that any other club that wants to use the state's name get their permission. Pictures online of Most Envied Motorcycle Club members show the California patch.
Both Gann and Splan, however, claimed to be "Nomads" – not officially belonging to any certain territory. The designation comes with its own patch, or "rocker."
A month after Martinez was murdered, the President of the San Jose chapter of the Hells Angels was killed in an incident at John Ascuaga's Nugget Hotel and Casino in Sparks, Nevada. Apparently a confrontation with a member of the Vagos – a rival outlaw biker gang – led to a shooting that left the 55-year-old dead.
In a highly publicized trial a Hells Angel member from Gilroy accepted a plea deal on Monday that took a potential life sentence for second-degree murder of the table. The Vagos member suspected of killing the former San Jose Chapter President pleaded not-guilty.