CALIFORNIA: Two alleged members of a San Bernardino motorcycle gang have been convicted in the beating and shooting death of a Fontana man over a financial debt, authorities said Thursday.
Jurors found Keith Allen Silva, 47, and David Anthony Beltran, 35, guilty Tuesday of the first-degree murder and torture of 34-year-old Dennis Daoussis in April 2003.
Prosecutors said Silva and Beltran belonged to the Vagos Motorcycle Club, which San Bernardino law enforcement authorities describe as a criminal gang.
Silva was president of Vagos’ San Bernardino chapter and Beltran was sergeant-in-arms, according to San Bernardino County Deputy Dist. Atty. John Thomas, who prosecuted the case.
“They beat the victim at his Fontana residence over a $3,000 debt owed to one of the Vagos members,” Thomas said.
Almost a dozen Vagos members participated in the beating of Daoussis at his house, prosecutors said. The gang members then drove him to the Mojave Desert, where they killed him with “one gunshot to the left temple,” Thomas said.
Prosecutors said dogged detective work by the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department led to Beltran’s arrest in 2007 based on DNA evidence found at the desert crime scene.
Silva, who was arrested in the fall of 2009, was convicted based on the testimony of other gang members, Thomas said.
“The sheriff’s department got many members of the gang to talk,” the prosecutor noted.
Vagos members have publicly denied their group is a criminal gang. Their website describes the club as “a tight brotherhood” launched in the 1960s.
Silva faces a penalty of 95 years to life in prison; Beltran, 65 years to life, Thomas said.
They are scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 23.
“I believe justice has been served,” said Thomas. “I’m happy the family has some closure now in the death of their loved one, after all these years.”