Hells Angel member sentenced to 35 years to life
A member of the Hells Angels motorcycle club who has four felony “strike” convictions was sentenced Friday to 35 years to life inÂ prison.
Lawyers representing Thomas Heath, 64, asked the judge to give their client 17 years in prison. Heath was convicted of dissuading a victim and streetÂ terrorism.
Attorney Adam Pearlman asked Ventura County Superior Judge David Hirsch to consider Heath’s age and health when sentencing the VenturaÂ resident.
Prosecutor Tate McCallister, however, said the court should consider Heath’s “horrible” criminal history, including a violent crime that killed a 15-year-oldÂ boy.
“We shouldn’t be engaging in arithmetic to gauge his life expectancy,” he toldÂ theÂ judge.
Pearlman said the judge could have sentenced his client to 105 years to life but chose the lesser punishment mandated by law with allÂ theÂ strikes.
“I don’t fault Judge Hirsch at all,” PearlmanÂ said.
Heath has already hired attorney Anthony Zinnanti, who sat at the defense table, to appeal hisÂ case.
On Nov. 22, 2010, Heath was living with a woman who told him to move out of the home, McCallister said. Heath refused and threatened to kill her and her son. He also said the Hells Angels would harm the woman. McCallister said that when police arrived, Heath threatened the woman again and wasÂ arrested.
In an interview, Pearlman said this trial had nothing to do with the Hells Angels but that 80 percent of the evidence and testimony was about the motorcycleÂ club.
“And, they made it a gang case,” he said. “The Hells Angels wereÂ onÂ trial.”
The judge found true that Heath was convicted in 1994 of two counts of second-degree murder in Los Angeles County in connection with the 1977 bombing of an auto shop run by a rival motorcycle gang, the Mongols. McCallister said the blast killed a 15-year-old boy and 22-year-old man. Heath was sentenced to seven years in prison for thatÂ crime.
In 1992, Heath was convicted of brutally beating his wife and was sentenced to seven years for assault with a deadly weapon and dissuading a witness by threats, prosecutorsÂ said.