Sat
05
May
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Another defense witness invokes the Fifth in Bandidos trial

A defense witness who reportedly was to contradict a portion of the government’s racketeering case against the former top two leaders of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club instead invoked his right to remain silent Friday.

Michael Anderson, a member of the Bandidos called by lawyers for former national Bandidos president Jeffrey Fay Pike, invoked his Fifth Amendment right after being informed that he could face charges in a bar incident in Fort Worth in which a member of a rival group was shot and killed. He was the second witness called by Pike’s lawyers this week to decide not to testify.

Anderson’s about-face came in the racketeering trial of Pike and his co-defendant, former Bandidos national vice president John Xavier Portillo. After Senior U.S. District Judge David Ezra was apprised of the situation, he appointed Anderson a lawyer and stopped public proceedings to look into the matter further.

Fri
04
May
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TWIN PEAKS ROUNDUP: Several cases dismissed, trial dates set

Fifteen Twin Peaks cases were dismissed Thursday, and at least one more -- that of Richard Smith -- was dismissed Friday, according to court documents.

Now, judges in both the 54th and 19th District Courts are focused on setting trial dates for those still waiting on their next day in court. This week, the court set the date for the retrial of Dallas Bandido Jake Carrizal. That retrial is now scheduled to begin Sept. 10. If there is any delay in Carrizal's retrial, the trial for biker Wesley McAlister will take its place.

During a status hearing Friday, Judge Matt Johnson made clear he wanted to get the ball rolling on the Twin Peaks trials. Trials for bikers Jacob Reese and Timothy Satterwhite were scheduled for early November.

Fri
04
May
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Bandido biker yells at Waco judge in court: "Three years and nothing!"

Judge Ralph Strother decided to set Jeff Batey's trial date at a status hearing on May 25. Battey then became agitated and yelled at Judge Strother.

A hearing on whether to modify the bond conditions for a member of the Bandidos motorcycle club ended Friday with biker, Jeff Batey, yelling at the judge over how long it has taken for his case to go to trial.

Battey's attorney, Seth Sutton, asked 19th District Court Judge Ralph Strother to release all three of Battey's current bond conditions. Under the conditions, Battey cannot travel outside the state of Texas, carry a firearm, or speak with other members of motorcycle clubs.

Sutton said he asked the judge for the request because Battey had no criminal history prior to the Twin Peaks Shootout on May 17, 2015. Sutton said Battey is a Marine veteran who still has a bullet in his arm from the shooting.

Prosecutor Amanda Dillon asked Judge Strother to deny the request.

Thu
03
May
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A founder of the Hells Angels testifies for ex-Bandidos leader

A founder of the Hells Angels testified Thursday at a racketeering trial here for two former top leaders of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club that a man killed by Bandidos members in 2006 in Austin was not a member of his club.

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Thu
03
May
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DA dismisses 15 more biker cases in Twin Peaks shootout

McLennan County prosecutors dismissed 15 more Twin Peaks biker cases Thursday afternoon, saying they are exercising "prosecutorial discretion" while focusing on others indicted in the May 2015 shootout with "a higher level of culpability." 

The dismissals come on the eve of a status conference 54th State District Judge Matt Johnson has called for Friday afternoon. The conference, like one last week in 19th State District Court, was called to let the judge know how the DA's office plans to proceed with the remaining Twin Peaks biker cases. 

Those dismissed Thursday were members of the Cossacks motorcycle club and its support clubs, all of which were at odds with the Bandidos motorcycle group. The two sides clashed at Twin Peaks May 17, 2015, leaving nine dead and 20 injured. 

Thu
03
May
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Witness in Bandidos racketeering trial invokes right to remain silent

A man who was reportedly at the scene when a purported member of the Hells Angels was killed in 2006 in Austin invoked his right against self-incrimination today during a racketeering trial in San Antonio for two top former leaders of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club.

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Tue
01
May
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'El Presidente' of Bandidos testifies at his trial

The man who led the Bandidos Motorcycle Club for a decade testified at his own racketeering trial on Monday that he’s not guilty of any of a host of crimes blamed on his group, and that the organization’s more than 120 chapters are autonomous and run independently from the national chapter.

Jeffrey Fay Pike, 62, who joined the Bandidos in 1979 and was national president from 2006 until he stepped down after he and then-national vice president John Xavier Portillo were arrested in January 2016, described the Bandidos as a brotherhood of like-minded individuals who like motorcycles.

Pike, testifying in his own defense, also said he was unaware of racketeering crimes that include three murders and beatings or intimidation of rivals or fellow Bandidos alleged in a 27-page federal indictment against Pike and Portillo.

Mon
30
Apr
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Special prosecutors move to dismiss high-profile Twin Peaks case

Matthew Clendennen may finally walk away from the courtroom.
 

The special prosecutors in the Twin Peaks trial against former Scimitars Motorcycle Club member Matthew Clendennen have filed a motion to dismiss his case.

Clendennen's name became synonymous with the Twin Peaks trials because his attorney was one of the most vocal individuals criticizing the McLennan County District Attorney's Office's handling of the 2015 Twin Peaks shooting, which resulted in the arrests of 177 people.

"Now, almost three years later, after the filing of numerous speedy trial demands and countless motions in the trial court, the recusal of the trial judge, the recusal of the district attorney, and three trips to the Court of Appeals, the saga is over for Matt Clendennen," his lawyer Clint Broden wrote in an email.

Fri
27
Apr
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Defense lawyer says most Twin Peaks cases could be dismissed

WACO, Texas (KWTX) A Houston-area lawyer who appeared on a speedy trial motion in 19th District Court on Friday said an Assistant prosecutor told him she would recommend dropping about 90 of the remaining Twin Peaks cases.

Paul Looney, who represents former Cossack motorcycle club member Phillip White of Eddy, said Assistant District Attorney Amanda Dillion said during the hearings on Friday that she would gather a list of some 90 of the remaining 130-or-so cases still open in the Twin Peaks issue and recommend to District Attorney Abel Reyna that they be dismissed.

That would leave 25 to 35 cases still to be dealt with.

Looney appeared on the speedy trial motion and during a series of hearings before 19th District Judge Ralph Strother Friday afternoon he was given the first trial setting among those discussed.

“We anticipate asking for the earliest trial date possible – perhaps as early as July,” Looney said.

Thu
26
Apr
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Biker set to file motion for speedy trial in Twin Peaks case

WACO, Texas (KWTX) A Hempstead lawyer who represents a man charged in the Twin Peaks massacre case will file a motion for speedy trial Friday in 19th District Court.

Paul Looney, who represents former Cossack motorcycle club member Phillip White of Eddy, said he’ll request the earliest trial date possible when Judge Ralph Strother rules on the motion tomorrow.

“We anticipate asking for the earliest trial date possible – perhaps as early as July,” Looney said.

The third anniversary of the gunfight outside the Waco restaurant that left nine dead and more than 20 injured is just 20 days away.

Of the more than 155 bikers indicted in connection to the event, only one has been tried and his day in court ended in a mistrial.

Many of the cases already have been dismissed but there are about 130 people who were arrested (123 indicted and seven unindicted) remain open, Looney said.

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