A Hells Angel accused of fatally shooting fellow biker at the San Jose funeral for a leader of the motorcycle club last year pleaded not guilty to a murder charge on Tuesday, according to the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office. Steven Joseph Ruiz is suspected of killing Steve Tausan, 52, during the funeral for Jeffrey Pettigrew at the Oak Hill Cemetery on Curtner Avenue on Oct. 15, 2011, according to police. Pettigrew, 51, was the president of the Hells Angels’ San Jose chapter.
Police said at the time of Ruiz’s arrest that Ruiz shot Tausan during an altercation then disappeared, leaving his motorcycle behind. Ruiz, 38, evaded authorities for months but was finally arrested on Feb. 25, when San Jose homicide detectives found him staying at a Fremont motel. Deputy District Attorney Charles Gillingham said Ruiz is next scheduled to be in court on Dec. 18.
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