Closing arguments are expected to begin early Wednesday in the case of the Kinfolk Motorcycle Club biker accused of murdering the El Paso Bandidos gang leader in 2017. The defendant took the stand to testify in his own defense on Tuesday.
The defendant, Javier Gonzalez, is on trial for allegedly shooting and killing Juan Martinez Jr., the Bandidos MC leader, at Mulligan’s Chopped Hog Bar in East El Paso in 2017 during a bar fight.
Extra security was outside the courtroom, including an X-ray machine and security checking people’s bags and possessions before they were allowed to enter.
During his testimony, Gonzalez said he feared for his life that night, saying the fight was an attack on himself and other Kinfolk members orchestrated by the Bandidos.
During the trial, attorneys showed surveillance video in court to the jury. The video included multiple shots from different angles of inside and outside areas of the bar.
At one point in the video, Gonzalez and other bikers are seen pulling up to the bar on their bikes and running into the bar. Gonzalez pointed himself out running in and said he still had his helmet on because he did not have time to remove it.
Other angles of the surveillance video showed the brawl happening at the inside. Multiple men from both gangs were shown fighting.
When Gonzalez was seen entering the bar, he pointed himself out again and said men were heading towards him and that’s when he feared for his life. Gonzalez was shown opening fire in the video.
The defendant said he was trying to protect his friend Derek Mercado who called him earlier that evening asking for help, saying the Bandidos were going to attack them. That’s when Gonzalez said he went over to Mulligan’s, leaving another bar Jack’s Beach House.
Gonzalez described the Bandidos as people who “carried knives and guns and would jump people.”
He also said after he shot his gun during the fight, he ran outside and ran into a nearby neighborhood, trying to escape the Bandidos members. He said he knocked on a house’s door and told the owner to help him and “they’re going to kill me,” in which the house owner “got scared” and closed the door on Gonzalez.
He said he then went to Arizona, where he previously lived, but immediately returned to El Paso because he just “didn’t know what to do.”
The defense argued Gonzalez feared for his life and safety and acted in self-defense. When asked how he felt after killing someone Gonzales said: “Bad, bad. It’s the worst thing I’ve ever gone through in my life. I felt like I was fighting for my life that night and now I feel like I’m fighting for my freedom.”