Forever Two Wheelz motorcycle club member agrees to testify against the club’s president
By Ed Runyan
A member of the Forever Two Wheelz motorcycle club on Tuesday agreed to testify against the club’s president in exchange for reduced charges.
Charles Dellapenna III, 48, of Warren, pleaded guilty Tuesday to two counts of complicity to involuntary manslaughter, two counts of complicity to felonious assault and one count of carrying a concealed weapon.
The charges relate to the June 18, 2016, shootings at Shorty’s Place tavern on Highland Avenue in Warren Township that left two members of the rival Brothers Regime motorcycle club dead and two others injured.
In accepting the agreement, Dellapenna has become the second member of Forever Two Wheelz to plead guilty to reduced charges and agree to testify against David Bailes Jr., the president of Forever Two Wheelz.
The other is James Gardner, 48, of Warren, who pleaded guilty in June to similar charges as Dellapenna.
Bailes, 46, of Warren, goes on trial Monday in Trumbull County Common Pleas Court, charged with two counts of aggravated murder and two counts of felonious assault. If convicted, he could get a life prison sentence.
Dellapenna and Gardner could have gotten a life sentence if they would have gone to trial and been convicted of aggravated murder instead of taking a plea. Gardner and Dellapenna will be sentenced after the trial.
Judge Andrew Logan, who will preside over Bailes’ trial, told Dellapenna on Tuesday he could still get 391/2 years in prison. He is likely to get much less.
Complicating the decision to testify against their fellow club members is that Dellapenna and Bailes are first cousins, and Gardner is married to Bailes’ mother. Dellapenna’s mother and Bailes’ mother are twins.
The shootings occurred outside Shorty’s after a confrontation between members of Forever Two Wheelz and the Brothers Regime regarding details of the fundraising ride Forever Two Wheels was organizing that day.
Killed were Brothers Regime president Robert Marto, 54, of Cortland, and Jason Moore, 41, of Bristolville. Injured were Andrew Claypool, 50, of Girard and Walter Hughes, 41, of Warren.
The Brothers Regime is of Leavittsburg, while Forever Two Wheelz has a clubhouse on Chestnut Street Northeast in Warren.
Bailes was severely injured in the shootings and has used a wheelchair until recently. Bailes and Dellapenna have been in the county jail since March, and Gardner has been locked up more than a year.