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.

Thu
26
Apr
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Prosecutors rest their case in Bandidos trial

Prosecutors rested their case Wednesday in the racketeering trial of two former top leaders of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club — ex-national president Jeffrey Fay Pike and then-vice president John Xavier Portillo — weeks earlier than expected and to the surprise of the defense.

Senior U.S. District Judge David Ezra then denied motions for acquittal from the defense, which argued that prosecutors failed to show sufficient evidence to support the crimes listed in a 27-page indictment against the defendants.

With jurors dismissed for the day, the judge noted the law required him to view the evidence in the light most favorable to the government, and he found that prosecutors made sufficient showing for all 13 charges to remain against Portillo and Pike. The judge said the evidence was less direct against Pike than Portillo, “and this may be, as the government alleges, because Mr. Pike was very smart and astute and insulated himself.”

Tue
24
Apr
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Judge denies mistrial in Bandidos racketeering trial

A federal judge on Tuesday rejected a request for a mistrial in the racketeering trial of two former top Bandidos leaders, but strongly warned prosecutors to abide by his rulings barring certain evidence from coming in.

The admonishment by Senior U.S. District Judge David Ezra came after a federal agent mentioned a television news clip that said Bandidos had attacked members of the Cossacks Motorcycle Club at a bar in Port Aransas in August 2015.

Outside the presence of the jury a day earlier, the judge had barred mention of that TV clip, agreeing with defense lawyers that it contained inadmissible hearsay.

“I will warn the government that when I rule about not mentioning something, counsel needs to be much more careful about the types of questions counsel asks, particularly where the court ruled the testimony needs to be avoided,” Ezra said outside the presence of jurors on Tuesday.

Mon
23
Apr
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Police warned Cossacks of alleged, impending attacks by the Bandidos

A month before the infamous biker confrontation in Waco in May 2015 that killed nine and left 20 injured, law enforcement rushed to Odessa and headed off what they thought would be a violent clash there between Bandidos and the Cossacks, according to testimony Monday in a racketeering trial in San Antonio of two former top leaders of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club.

Monday’s testimony dealt largely with other purported incidents involving Cossacks, who lost the most bikers in Waco, and the Bandidos, who lost a member in that fight that also involved police shooting at the bikers at the Twin Peaks restaurant.

Fri
20
Apr
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Judges summon Twin Peaks bikers for case updates

With the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office in a state of flux, the county’s two felony court judges have summoned about 50 Twin Peaks biker shootout defendants to court in coming weeks to try to determine how the 128 or so remaining cases will proceed.

Judge Ralph Strother of 19th State District Court and Judge Matt Johnson of 54th State District Court have scheduled status conferences for many of the Twin Peaks defendants. Strother has summoned 27 defendants for April 27, while Johnson’s conference with about 25 defendants is set for May 4.

All of the defendants directed to be in court on those days are or were affiliated with the Cossacks motorcycle group. Nine bikers were killed and more than 20 were injured in the May 17, 2015, shootout between the Cossacks and Bandidos that played out before a lunch crowd at Twin Peaks in Waco.

Thu
19
Apr
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Biker testifies Bandidos beat him with a claw hammer

A member of the Cossacks Motorcycle Club testified Thursday at a racketeering trial in San Antonio federal court that several Bandidos beat him and gashed his head with a claw hammer in North Texas when he refused to take off his biker vest.

Arthur David Young, 39, survived the March 22, 2015, attack at the Bar-B truck stop in Gordon in Palo Pinto County, between Abilene and Fort Worth. Young, who worked in the oil fields, said he had to have 12 staples to close the gashes, and the beating left him with headaches and affects his equilibrium.

 

“It felt like hours, but it only took seconds,” Young said of the assault. “They ended up with my cut (vest).”

The government alleges the Bandidos’ then-vice president John Xavier Portillo, who is on trial with then-president Jeffrey Fay Pike, had declared war on the Cossacks shortly before the attack on Young.

Fri
13
Apr
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Jurors hear recording of Bandidos leader declaring war on Cossacks

A post from “Cossack Doc” to a Facebook friend in July 2014 said the Cossacks Motorcycle Club had permission from the Bandidos to wear a patch saying “Texas,” a state the Bandidos consider their home and territory.

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