Twin Peaks trial day four 10.16.17

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Cell phones seized after the deadly Twin Peaks shootout were the focus of testimony Monday afternoon in Waco in the first trial of a defendant in the case as prosecutors laid a foundation for the presentation of what they say is crucial evidence recovered from the phones.

Defendant Christopher Jacob Carrizal, 35, is the president of the Dallas chapter of the Bandidos.

He’s accused of directing activities of a street gang, engaging in organized criminal activity with the underlying offense of murder and engaging in organized criminal activity with the underlying offense of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in the May 17, 2015 shootout between rival biker gangs at the Twin Peaks restaurant at the Central Texas Marketplace shopping center that left nine bikers dead and more than 20 others injured.

Prosecutors presented testimony Monday from several police officers involved in processing evidence following the shootout including Officer James Owens, a 29-year law enforcement veteran who has received federal forensics training.

The officer, who retired on June 30, testified that he extracted information from several of the phones seized after the shooting.

“What do you do when you get this many cell phones?” District Attorney Abel Reyna asked.

“Recharge phones, and do it in a box where phone can't send or receive any signals,” Owens replied.

At the start of the day, Aurora, Colo., police Officer Douglas Pearson, an expert on gangs and particularly the Bandidos, was cross-examined by defense attorney Casie Gotro.

He has described the Bandidos as an outlaw motorcycle gang and Gotro Monday asked him why.

"Because I've been in a number of investigations and they are a criminal organization globally,” he said.

Pearson reviewed video of the shootout from various sources including police dashcams

He said members of the Cossacks motorcycle group arrived at the restaurant first, at around 11:20 a.m.

He testified that Carrizal was in the lead as the Bandidos rolled in.

Gotro asked him why uniformed officers weren’t closer to the restaurant.

He said he didn’t know.

“Did you see any surveillance showing Cossacks were taking pictures and surveillance on the Bandidos?” she asked.

“Yes,” Pearson replied.

Pearson said police tried to prevent the altercation by contacting the restaurant’s owner several times before the meeting.

“If police knew there was this huge encounter of the two sides why would police not try to stop it?” she asked.

“They tried,” he said.

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