Thu
15
Feb
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Twin Peaks defendant welcomes Reyna’s testimony, attorney says

WACO, Texas (KWTX) An Arlington lawyer said Thursday his client welcomes an opportunity to have McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna testify at an open hearing set for March 1.

Gary D. Smart, who represents Raymond Hawes, III, has filed a motion to recuse Reyna, and he says 11 other lawyers who represent bikers have also filed motions seeking Reyna's dismissal from prosecuting still more Twin Peaks trials.

Smart said his, and several other similar motions, are set for hearing before 19th District Judge Ralph Strother on March 1 and any testimony offered that day could involve both current and former prosecutors and police officers.

Smart said his motion is a carbon copy of one filed two weeks ago that eventually resulted in dismissal of several Twin Peaks cases and, he said, he is hopeful for the same outcome for his client.

Thu
08
Feb
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Texas Prosecutor Dismisses 13 Cases Tied to Biker Shooting

A Texas prosecutor on Thursday dismissed 13 cases stemming from a 2015 shootout in Waco involving bikers and police and recused himself from two others, placing into doubt the criminal prosecution of the more than 130 bikers still awaiting trial.

The actions came hours before a scheduled hearing for Jorge Salinas, whose case was among those dismissed.

Current and former staff had been due to speak at the hearing about corruption allegations against District Attorney Abel Reyna, who faces a Republican primary election in March.

The hearing was canceled.

According to a motion filed Thursday, the prosecutor dismissed Salinas' case "in order to focus its efforts and resources on co-defendants with a higher level of culpability."

Thu
11
Jan
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Jury panel reports Friday for next Twin Peaks trial; here are dates to watch

The jury panel will report Friday to the McLennan County Courthouse to fill out questionnaires ahead of the Jan. 23 jury selection in the next Twin Peaks trial.

Nine bikers were killed and 18 people were injured in the shootout between motorcycle clubs and law enforcement at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco on May 17, 2015. After the bullets stopped flying, law enforcement rounded up and arrested 177 people -- the majority of whom were later indicted in court.

The next case on the docket is George Bergman's trial. Bergman is a Dallas trucker and member of the Desgraciados.

Other cases to watch include the trial for Chance Aiken -- a Cossack from East Texas. He has a hearing scheduled Jan. 19. No trial date has been set.

Tue
09
Jan
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Twin Peaks Lawyer Quits

Yesterday, Casie Lynn Gotro, the eccentric Houston lawyer who defended Dallas Bandido Christopher Jacob Carrizal at his five-week-long trial last October and November. withdrew from the case.

Carrizal was charged with so many crimes it took an assistant district attorney more than 20 minutes to read them all. Simply stated, Carrizal was accused of instigating multiple assaults and murders on behalf of his motorcycle club at the Waco Twin Peaks restaurant on May 17, 2015. The trial jury hung and Judge Matt Johnson declared a mistrial. Carrizal will probably be retried in April, If the long-delayed case actually does go forward, Carrizal will be represented by somebody new.

More

Sat
06
Jan
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Twin Peaks shootout defendant headed to trial after rejecting misdemeanor plea offer

A second Twin Peaks defendant appears headed to trial later this month after he rejected an offer from the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office to dismiss the first-degree felony charge against him in exchange for his guilty plea to misdemeanor assault and one year on deferred probation.

“I didn’t do anything,” George Bergman said Friday. “That would be the first lie I told, saying I did something when I didn’t do anything. I am not willing to take anything because I didn’t do anything. I came to Waco for a meeting.”

Bergman, 50, a truck driver from Wills Point, is a former member of the Desgraciados motorcycle group and is among 154 bikers indicted in the May 17, 2015, shootout in Waco that left nine dead and 20 injured.

He said he knows that by turning down a year on deferred misdemeanor probation, he is risking a potential life prison term if convicted of engaging in organized criminal activity.

Tue
12
Dec
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3 Affidavits in Biker Case Attest to FBI Probe of Prosecutor

A retired Waco police officer says in an affidavit that the FBI is investigating McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna for alleged public corruption.

The affidavit was filed Tuesday by Jorge Salinas. He's among the more than 150 bikers indicted on criminal conspiracy charges following a May 2015 shooting in Waco that left nine dead.

It's the third affidavit signed by former law enforcement officials who say FBI agents interviewed them about Reyna allegedly helping campaign donors avoid legal trouble.

The affidavits were filed in support of Salinas' motion to compel the district attorney's office to share evidence and force Reyna onto the witness stand.

Reyna said he's not aware of any FBI investigation of him.

Tue
21
Nov
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Jurors in first Twin Peaks trial express disappointment on mistrial

WACO, TX (KXXV) -

On Monday, three McLennan County residents who served on the jury for the first Twin Peaks trial expressed disappointment about not being able to reach a unanimous verdict.

Christopher Jacob Carrizal, the president of the Dallas Chapter of the Bandidos, was the first biker to go on trial for the deadly shootout that left nine dead and dozens injured outside the Waco Twin Peaks restaurant in 2015. 

He was indicted on one count of directing activities of a criminal street gang and two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity.

It was the first time J.C. Crow and one man who only wanted to be known as Mr. Smith served on a jury.

"I felt in a way honored to serve my civic duty but at the same time it was a month away from work and life, regular life," Crow said.

Mr. Smith said he had concerns about serving in a high-profile case the first two days of the trial.

Mon
20
Nov
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Texas Motorcycle Clubs show what biker meetings are about after Twin Peaks Mistrial

The sound of their motorcycle exhaust pipes will get your attention, but bikers say they do not want to cause fear or intimidation.

Bikers across Texas said they have had enough with law enforcement calling them corrupt and criminals. They said since the deadly Twin Peaks shooting happened in May of 2015, there has been a bad stigma attached to their motorcycle clubs.

"We're totally involved in our community, but you never hear about that. All you hear is about is the crap when they bust some of the big boys," Wolverine Motorcycle Club member Mike Drutter said.
 

More than 100 bikers, including veterans, showed up at Scooters Bar and Grill Sunday in Garland for a Region 2 Confederation of Clubs and Independents meeting.

"The COCI was started for righteous reasons. We work legislative issues, and we work charitable issues," Mel Moss of Sons of Liberty Motorcycle club said.

Fri
17
Nov
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Judge denies bond reduction for man accused of killing motorcycle club president

EL PASO, Texas (KFOX14) — A judge decided to keep bond the same for the man accused of killing the local Bandidos Motorcycle Club chapter president an at east El Paso bar.

Javier Gonzalez, 34, was arrested in August on suspicion of involvement in the shooting death of Juan Martinez, 61.

The shooting happened on July 30 at Mulligans Chopped Hog and left four people injured.

Investigators said Gonzalez was part of the rival Kinfolk motorcycle club.

In Friday’s court proceeding, prosecutors told the judge one of the shooting victims is in a hospital and might die.

The judge warned the defense that if that victim dies, Gonzalez may face capital murder charges.

The state also said there’s a video of the shooting.

The judge denied the defense’s request to lower the bond, and it remains at more than $1 million.

A jury trial is scheduled for May 2018

Fri
10
Nov
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Mistrial declared in Twin Peaks case

WACO, Texas (KWTX) A mistrial was declared Friday afternoon in the trial of the first Twin Peaks shootout defendant after jurors reached consensus on one of three counts late Friday morning, but told the judge they could not agree on the other two.

Jurors sent a note to the judge at around 11:15 a.m. that said there was no chance they could reach a verdict on the other two counts against Jacob Carrizal, 35.

Carrizal, the president of the Dallas chapter of the Bandidos, is 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 that left nine bikers dead and more than 20 injured.

The note said some jurors are willing to wait, but unwilling to review evidence.

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