Vagos member heading to trial
March 30, 2012
Patrick Ouellette, a member of outlaw motorcycle gang the Vagos, has been bound over on charges relating to a kidnapping and beating that the judge described as showing “gruesome, animalistic tendencies.”
Ouellette, 29, of Reno, is accused of abducting Cody McChesney and Heather Green at gunpoint in Carson City in September and savagely beating McChesney with a pistol and other objects in what a witness described as torture.
“They were beating him within inches of his life but keeping him alive so they could beat him some more,” Tara Schulz-Graham testified Thursday, the second and final day of Ouellette’s preliminary hearing. “They were torturing him.”
Schulz-Graham said she heard moans “like someone was too tired to scream” as she walked up to a garage where Ouellette and Harlan Hendry, a Vagos member at the time, were beating McChesney. Hendry testified against Ouellette on the first day of the hearing and admitted to beating and aiding in the abduction of McChesney and Green. Hendry has not been charged in the case.
One deputy testified seeing a 6- by 1-inch scabbed-over gash on the top of McChesney’s head after the incident was finished, though no photos were shown of McChesney or his conditions – a point that the defense objected to. The defense also objected to the erasure of interview videos of McChesney. Officials said that McChesney did not testify at the trial because he is on the lam from other warrants. Deputies said he was being pursued.
Ouellette’s attorney, Jesse Kalter of Reno, said he would seek to postpone the trial until McChesney, whom he called a liar, could be found. He also noted that Schulz-Graham, who is in custody for methamphetamine trafficking, cut a deal with the district attorney’s office to lower her prison-mandatory charge to probation. He also noted that Hendry was given immunity despite allegedly being a perpetrator in the crime.
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Lawyer Joey Gilbert, a former boxer at the University of Nevada, Reno, who’s working with Kalter, also questioned how severe the beating and head wound really were if it had scabbed over.
Schulz-Graham said she was Ouellette’s girlfriend at the time. During the hunt for and beating of McChesney, she said, Ouellette kept saying “he was doing this for me” – a quote she repeated multiple times, often on the verge of tears.
However, what she said instigated the kidnapping is different from what Hendry testified to and what the criminal complaint alleges. Schulz-Graham said Ouellette held McChesney accountable for a debt owed by a man he introduced to Schulz-Graham. She said she fronted about $300 worth of methamphetamine to the man but that he never paid her.
After McChesney learned of the debt, he pleaded with Schulz-Graham to get out of it before becoming angry, she said.
She recalled him telling her “you better watch your back and sleep with one eye open because I’m going to do ungodly things to you.” She said she had put the phone on speakerphone to let Ouellette hear the conversation. He responded by saying he would handle it, she testified.
But according to the criminal complaint and Hendry, Ouellette became enraged when McChesney tried to collect a $200 loan to Schulz-Graham. Hendry testified that Ouellette started demanding $500 from McChesney each time he was defiant before starting the hunt.
Schulz-Graham also said she was trying to “stay pretty high” at that time.
She testified that later, after the beating was finished, Ouellette brought McChesney to her house. When she told him to leave, she said, he put her in a choke-hold until she passed out.