Trial in barroom brawl resumes |

Trial in barroom brawl resumes

The trial of two brothers charged with assaulting patrons at a South Lake Tahoe bar in June resumed Monday.

Ricardo and Javier Hernandez appeared in El Dorado County Superior Court flanked by two interpreters and two lawyers.

Javier, a 34-year-old South Lake Tahoe resident, is charged with assaulting with a knife Steven Brewster, 29, Steven Pagliaro, 29, and Anthony Dana, 28-year-old co-owner of My Cousin’s Joint, the bar where the fight occurred.

Ricardo Camacho Hernandez, 26, is charged with assaulting Pagliaro and Dana with a tire iron.

Brewster, Pagliaro and Dana, all South Lake Tahoe residents, each had to have surgery to repair stab wounds.

El Dorado County Deputy District Attorney Michael Atwell called witnesses all day Monday.

In opening statements Wednesday, Simon Harvey, court-appointed defense lawyer of Javier, argued that Ricardo and Javier did not instigate the fight, but instead were trying to save the life of their friend, 35-year-old Juan Sandoval, of South Lake Tahoe, who was being beaten with a stick or a baseball bat.

“Evidence will show that white males started the physical fight,” Harvey said. “The white males have substantial interest in not telling exactly what happened. In fact three of them could and should have been charged with attempted murder.”

Atwell argued that a group of males came to the bar at 11:30 p.m. looking for a fight and ended up seriously injuring Dana, Pagliaro and Brewster.

Dana testified that he stopped the group of seven men just inside the front door of his bar after hearing one of his patrons say “Oh no, here they come,” as a group of Hispanic males walked toward the establishment. Dana said he told the men, “I don’t know what the problem is here, but I’m not going to have a fight in my bar.” He said he then took a pool cue from one of the men.

Dana said in court that the men indicated that they had a problem with someone inside the bar and that seconds later a tire iron was swung at his head. Dana said he grabbed the tire iron and that’s when a knife went through his right hand and sliced the top of his left hand.

Atwell said that Javier, who is charged with three counts of assault with intent to produce great bodily injury, could face a maximum of seven years in prison per count, if found guilty. Ricardo, charged with two lesser felonies, could be sentenced to four years in prison for each count, if found guilty.

The trial is scheduled to resume today.

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