Twin Peaks jury panel readies for Carrizal trial

The first trial of a biker arrested in the May 2015 skirmish between rival motorcycle groups at Twin Peaks in Waco inched a bit closer to reality Friday with the impaneling of about 150 potential jurors.

Judge Matt Johnson of Waco’s 54th State District Court excused 33 of the 181 potential jurors who reported Friday after hearing exemptions and excuses and instructed the remaining panel to return Oct. 9 to fill out a 60-question questionnaire. The judge scheduled jury selection in Dallas Bandidos chapter President Jacob Carrizal’s trial to start the following day.

Johnson had intended the jury panel to fill out the questionnaires on Friday. However, that had to be postponed because of last-minute changes to a number of the questions submitted by prosecutors and Carrizal’s attorney, Casie Gotro, of Houston.

The questionnaires will ask about potential jurors’ knowledge of the Twin Peaks incident, and their knowledge of motorcycle groups, especially the Bandidos and Cossacks.

The judge has set a pretrial hearing in the case for Thursday morning. Gotro continues to press prosecutors to turn over evidence, including videos from the Department of Public Safety, but said Friday that the trial, which has been postponed a few times already, will be held as currently scheduled.

McLennan County District Clerk Jon Gimble summoned 600 people to report for jury duty Friday. However, of those, 183 were excused before Friday for a variety of reasons, including bad addresses, medical reasons, over age 70 exemptions and disqualifications because of felony convictions.

That left 417 that should have reported Friday. One of those who reported was wearing an “Elect Abel Reyna District Attorney” shirt, perhaps knowing it could get him struck from the jury.

 

Another potential juror, Waco attorney Will Hutson, was excused by the judge because he represents one of the bikers arrested in the Twin Peaks case.

Carrizal, 36, of Dallas, is charged with one count of directing activities of a criminal street gang, one count of engaging in organized criminal activity with the underlying offense of murder and one count of engaging in organized criminal activity with the underlying offense of aggravated assault.

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TOMMY WITHERSPOON
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