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‘Star rat witness’ in Gypsy Jokers Motorcycle Club racketeering, murder case is man who dealt fatal blow, lawyer says

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The star government witness in the torture-style killing of a former Gypsy Jokers Motorcycle Club member is the man who wielded the fatal blow with a baseball bat strike to the head, a defense lawyer said in court Thursday.

The prosecution’s case largely rests on the words of the actual murderer, Tiler Evan Pribbernow, who has cooperated with the government, said attorney Matthew Schindler, who represents one of the co-defendants in the case.

Schindler called it “outrageous” that prosecutors would allow Pribbernow to plead guilty to only racketeering to leverage his testimony against others. The deal allows Pribbernow to avoid accountability for the killing and save his own life by avoiding a potential death sentence, the lawyer said.

“Tiler Pribbernow did it because he’s a lunatic. That’s why,” Schindler said. “We’ve seen one witness statement, and that statement is the statement of the murderer. … He killed this guy.”

Racketeering, kidnapping and murder charges are pending against five others in the 2015 death of Robert “Bagger” Huggins, 56. Loggers found his battered body dumped in a Clark County field. He had a fractured skull, a broken rib, a broken leg, a removed nipple, nails driven through his boots, slash wounds to his back and face and many blows to his face, authorities said.

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Schindler was arguing for the pretrial release of his client, Ryan Anthony Negrinelli, now 36. At the time of the killing, Negrinelli was a “prospect’’ to join the club. After the killing, he became a full member who went by the nickname “Striker” before splitting from the club in mid-2018, a prosecutor said.

Schindler said the government has no physical evidence placing Negrinelli at the scene. Negrinelli has no prior criminal record, he said. The lawyer also pointed to Negrinelli’s full custody of his 14-year-old daughter and ties to the community.

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