Biker Activists Plan Fight As Twin Peaks Trials Begin


Popeye Moss, president of Sons of Liberty Riders MC, quoted Saul Alinksky’s “Rules For Radicals” – “It only takes a few to make changes…”

Bedford – When an organization stops talking and put its money in the pie hole to pay for broadcasting and printing political messages, they’re serious. It’s on.

Said Mel Robins, vice president of Sons of Liberty Riders MC to a small gathering of activist bikers from the Metroplex and the metro Houston area: “You are in trouble. You may not know it – yet – but you are in deep, deep trouble.”

Murmurs of assent followed his declaration as the truth sank in.

The freedom of the open road, to associate with whom one may choose, express in language one’s thoughts, gather for fellowship – all is on the line.

Robins gave numerous examples, but none more stark than that of Queensland, Australia, where patched bikers are prohibited from gathering in groups of three or more without facing arrest.

There was dead silence in the meeting room at the American Legion Post when he spoke. Only 29 months ago, the world watched as lawmen pulled over and arrested all bikers in the Waco area on the off chance that they might be headed for the scene of a deadly shoot-out before a Confederation of Clubs meeting could even begin to discuss two key issues in the 85th Legislature – $17 million in motorcycle safety funds collected from bike registrations, and the law enforcement profiling of men and women who choose to ride together wearing signs of recognition – the patches embroidered in distinctive colors they call their rags.

In the days following the recusal of 19th Criminal District Court Judge Ralph T. Strother, a story has circulated throughout the state about a well-known Austin biker who was arrested after the police massacre that left 9 bikers dead, 20 wounded and 177 arrested for the very vague conspiracy offense of engaging in criminal activity.

This chap has written numerous resolutions and proposed bills – and he’s seen them passed by the houses of the Legislature before the Governor signed them into law.

His attorney Millie Thompson elicited testimony that made it clear Judge Strother had acted with bias when he participated with prosecutors to keep defendants separated as to their arbitrarily assigned suspected affiliation or sympathy as to either the Cossacks MC or the Bandidos.

He told certain people in the gallery in private remarks that his phone and personal property was labeled “Bandidos.”

He is a member of a completely different club, one that is totally separate from the Bandidos. When he told the deputy who was classifying him by his association, the man asked “What difference does it make?”

A lot. First of all, it’s not true. Secondly, why would the state wish to jump to some erroneous conclusion as that?

And then it hits people like a ton of bricks or two hundred pounds of turkey feathers hurled from a speeding box car: He wasn’t arrested and charged for his club affiliation; the authorities came down on him for his political activism.

These men are battle scarred by the road, hardened by war, many of them veterans of the military – industrial manufacturing industries of the mid-cities, who have operated their own businesses and led men into battles against both enemies and commercial competitors. They have no illusions as to what all this means.

Robins lets his remarks sink in, then his running buddy Popeye Moss set the hook with a fierce tug on the rod.

A group of riders out of Houston, associates of the Sons of Liberty, came into town the night before and when they left their motel rooms, the found police busy taking pictures of the machines, writing down VIN numbers, recording license plate registrations, and running radio checks on their owners.

These men know what that means, too.

They saw their challenge to what they see as mismanagement of a multimillion motorcycle safety fund for budget-balancing purposes and the sidetracking of any possibility of an anti-profiling bill evaporate like ether.

They are ready to fight back, now that the cases are coming to trial.

The best news they’ve heard: The Attorney Millie Thompson took the witness standing during a recusal hearing to remove 54th Criminal District Judge Matt Johnson from the bench in his replacement of Strother in the first trial scheduled, that of Jake Carrizal, who led the members of the Dallas Bandidos Chapter into a surprise ambush at the Twin Peaks. In remarks during cross examination by lead prosecutor Michael Jarrett, she replied that when it comes to motions to recuse the two judges in the cases, “There are more on the way…”

Most important, they plan to spend their money raised from websites on week-long radio and print advertisements headed by the legend, “People of McLennan County, Don’t Be Duped”

But audio tapes of the rousing remarks made by these activists tell the story much better than the recollections of any one reporter.

Watch these columns for an interview at the Courthouse Square in Waco tomorrow evening around dark-thirty.

Here is a portion of the discussion:


Murder Pleas, Wiretap And Exhibits Timed For Deadlines In February Bandido RICO Trial

San Antonio – it all depends upon whom you may choose to believe when it comes to the final adjudication of  murder charges against four men who allegedly carried out a 2006 murder at Austin.

Disposition of the cases of four men accused of murder in furtherance of racketeering on behalf of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club appears to be timed precisely with the dates leading up to the start of the Twin Peaks trials with the case of Jake Carrizal in 54th State District Court at Waco.

A quartet of suspects earlier reported in a trial balloon news story to have entered guilty pleas for their alleged part in the  2006 murder of an Austin biker accused of trying to start a Hell Angels chapter in Austin are yet to make their appearances before a federal magistrate to enter guilty pleas, according to court records filed this week.

Johnny Romo and Robert Romo, who according to mainstream media reports quoting government prosecutors are alleged to have been Bandidos will make appearances in Federal Magistrate’s Court on Friday, September 22, before Henry Bemporad at 10:30 and 2 pm respectively to enter pleas of guilty of murder in furtherance of racketeering, according to federal court records filed today.

Bandidos U.S.A. National President Bill Sartelle denied they were Bandidos when their arrests were announced last March. He said he had expelled them from the membership much earlier.

Their attorneys are ordered to bring the text of any plea agreements reached with federal prosecutors to their hearings.

Jesse James Benavidez, who is charged with the discharge of a firearm in the murder of Anthony Benesh III outside an Austin pizza restaurant where he and his wife took their children for dinner and Norberto Serna, Jr., will appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Betsy Chestney on Monday, September 25 at 2 pm, and Wednesday Seeptember 27 at 2:30 pm, respectively.

These appearances are neatly timed to fit in a notch with preparations for the jury trial of former national Bandidos President Jeffrey Pike and Vice President John Xavier Portillo on Monday, February 5, 2018.

Motions are due in that case by November 11, plea agreements if any on or before a January 19 deadline, and exhibits and wiretapping evidence must be entered by DEA and other federal agencies by September 30, 2017 for approval by defense counsel.

The Twin Peaks jury trial of Jake Carrizal will begin a day earlier at Waco.

Two retired State District Court Judges who ordered Judge Ralph T. Strother’s recusal for bias made mention of his stalling tactics to delay the start of Twin Peaks prosecutions until some idea of the disposition of the federal RICO trials for alleged murder, extortion, drug dealing, and other offenses by Pike and Portillo could be obtained.

Carrizal’s case was targeted by prosecutors and judges, according to many attorneys involved with defense of the 154 persons indicted for engaging in organized criminal activity at a Waco political meeting to be held at Twin Peaks Restaurant because of the belief that it will be easy to build a case for his culpability because the gunfight seems to have begun when he and a few more than 30 other Bandits arrived on their motor scooters about 12:30 pm on May 17, 2015  for the Confederation of Clubs and Independents meeting that was aborted by the gunfight.

There is much evidence to be presented that a few members of the largely white Cossacks Motorcycle Club with ties to the Aryan Circle prison clique participated with undercover police to attack Hispanic members of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, while most Cossacks were unaware of their machinations.

The mass shooting – much of it done by police armed with M-4 .223 cal. Patrol Rifles, left 9 dead, many of them shot in the back or the back of the head, and 20 wounded. A total of 177 were arrested for the totally amorphous conspiracy offense of engaging in organized criminal activity with no particularity specified as to the exact nature of each individual’s part in any such offense committed in combination with two or more other defendants.






Part Of My Defense…


Waco – When they began to discuss the phones, their voices – the judge, the prosecutors, the defense counsel – they all lowered their voices, to the point where you could barely hear them.

The words “Adam Walsh Material” – a euphemism for child pornography – were audible – just barely – and there was a lot of drama about phones that have gone missing.

Out of 342 confiscated on May 17, 2015 at gunpoint at Twin Peaks Restaurant following a police ambush of hundreds of persons, 177 of them arrested for engaging in organized criminal activity, 20 of the wounded by gunfire, 9 of the left dead – most of them with quarter-inch bullet holes in the back, the prosecution and cops have tendered only 211, according to Casie Gotro . The cops have returned 42 to their owners, and that leaves 82 phones unaccounted for.

She can’t have a look at them, she said, due to resistance by law enforcement. “I don’t know how I’m supposed to investigate. I just want to see the phones,” she told Judge Matt Johnson of the 54th Criminal District Court.

Numerous women, all of them terror-stricken to this day, say that the uniformed patrol officers with the M-4 semiauto AR-15 style assault rifles told them to either give up their phones or they would shoot them in the head where they lay prone and helpless at point-blank range.

Judge Johnson replied, “I’ll allow you access to the phones.” DA Abel Reyna chimed in, “We can still take that date and return it. There is a way it can be done.”

That’s progress – after 29 months – you can call that progress.

Then there’s the matter of photo evidence. There is very little available, Ms. Gotro has found.

“Not one phone has photos on it.”

She has received a total of “sixteen fuzzy still photos” made by undercover DPS officers who were on-scene.

“You honor, they had five undercover people there. It’s hard for me to accept they only took 16 photos,” she said.

That set lead prosecutor Michael Jarrett in motion.

“You honor, it is what it is…They do not exist. She’s arguing with the Court. It is what it is. We could do this forever.”

Said Johnson, “If it can be produced, it should be produced.”

The conundrum centers around the necessity of the State to prove the chief allegation of complaint, that Carrizal was in charge of a criminal enterprise, that he directed the activities of that felonious throng of bad actors.

The pre-trial evidentiary hearing held on Tuesday morning, September 19, revealed the representatives of the State of Texas with dogging heels dug in, fully resisting the discovery efforts of the defense.

The second most consistent happening revealed in the hearing was the spectacle of the two elected officials, the District Judge and the Criminal District Attorney, both adamantly agreeing they have no problem, that they intend to cooperate fully – and yet there are still these pesky problems with those who have been ordered to turn over evidence.

For instance, everything started off with a bang when defense counsel Casie Gotro told the Court “It gives me a lot of anxiety” that Waco Police Offense Report No. 002 makes mention of 17 bulletproof vests.

“I’ve been through all the property rooms. Now I’ve got 17 people with bullet proof vests on…”

That sent the quartet of DA’s staffers scurrying in different directions with an investigator for the office, making copies and looking for more material. In the end, it was agreed that the software for the report form has a “pull-down” menu, and that this device has a rather vague reference about the vests on it.

Quizzed about just who was wearing the vests, was it the cops, Ms. Gotro said it was. Asked about the materiality of the bullet proof vests, she said, “I don’t know what they are, really.”

She shrugged at the mystery of it all.

The Office of the Attorney General fielded a young lady named Kelsey Warren who argued fiercely that any exposure of criminal records of those arrested that day is improper because the database – known as NCIC, and TexScan – is by statute reserved for law enforcement agencies only, under penalty of law.

For months, Ms. Gotro explained, she has been unable to get what she seeks through the DA’s office.

“It’s not an element for them to use,” said the AG’s representative.

Ms. Warren continued with the argument, saying that “We’re a third party.” Discovery procedure as defined in the the code of criminal procedure is between the two adversaries, prosecution and defense. “She couldn’t get what she wanted through the DA’s office, so she has gone around discovery…”

Judge Johnson answered both Jarrett and Ms. Warren by asking, “Where does it say they can’t subpoena anybody they want to?”

Ms. Gotro told the Court that an expert is scheduled to testify that 75 percent of the Bandidos are convicted felons.

“We do not anticipate any expert to testify as to the percentage,” said Jarrett.

Judge Johnson ruled against the state’s motion to quash the subpoenas served on the director of DPS or his designees, at least temporarily.

Both sides agreed to giving the state two weeks – until Tuesday, October 3 – to come up with the items sought, turn them over to the Judge, who will inspect them in his chambers, then make a judicial review of the law, and instruct them which parts to redact in accordance with the statutes.

Said Judge Johnson, “We’re going to slide everything back on my schedule.” The jurors summoned to appear on September 29 will be examined, the panel seated, and the trial will begin on October 9, he announced.







The Government Doesn’t Get To Decide What Is Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness; The People Do

9/11 Survivor, War Veteran Col. Wm. P. Brandt speaks of magistration

Southlake, TX – The man was just down the corridor from where the airplane hit the Pentagon on that fateful day.

He survived, and he took the fight to Pakistan and Iraq. What’s more, he came home with everyone in his command alive and well.

Now, he’s a lawyer, and he is an announced candidate for Tarrant County Justice of the Peace, Precinct 3.

There are issues on the table, he says in this exclusive interview with The Sons of Liberty and The Legendary.

Chiefly, the United States is organized on the principle that We The People have granted the government its duties and rights; it’s not the other way around. We have no King, no monarch to decide which way of of living is proper as life, the terms of liberty, the bounds of a lawful pursuit of happiness.

We decide.

Respect for law and order is only part of the equation; “We have to do a better job of respecting freedom,” he says.

And so the duty of a magistrate is to approve affidavits of probable cause for warrants of search and seizure under the terms of the Fourth Amendment. These instruments must be specific as to the items sought, the personal knowledge of the affiant as to their whereabouts, the time and place of his observation, the reason for the seizure of the property so described.

This narrative, probable cause affidavit and search warrant is vague as to the actual items to be searched for at the premises named. It merely states that an accused offender came onto property as a trespasser, moved an object to another location, and then left in her vehicle.  It doesn’t cover the four corners demanded in search warrants by conscientious magistrates. 

“A judge is under no obligation to sign anything until he is satisfied,” he said.

Satisfaction comes in the form of the “four corners,” the legal test that everything in an affidavit is proper to serve a warrant of search and seizure.

And then there is matter of arrest, in which the same fundamental rules apply as to the name of the accused or an accurate description of the alleged offender, a narrative of the personal observation of witnesses or the peace officer, the date and time of the offense, and the particular act that is unlawful and therefore an alleged violation of statutory law.

In this transcript from a a disqualification hearing, you will find the words of a Waco police officer named Chavez who swore to items of complaint of which he had no personal knowledge, and then applied them to an identical fill-in-the-name affidavit of probable cause for the arrest of 177 persons with no particularity of allegation of complaint. Both the motion for disqualification of a District Attorney failed by the trial  judge’s denial, and an intermediate appeals court denied mandamus relief on the issue.

According to a civil rights lawsuit filed by Dallas attorney Don Tittle, “The probable cause affidavit signed by Manuel Chavez on May 18, 2015 fails to identify even one single fact specific to Plaintiff to support probable cause…”

Anything less is simply unconstitutional, defective, and thereby unworthy of magistration, search, seizure, or arrest – none of which is a presentment of guilt in a court of law. That is, an American court of law.

There is no such thing as a general warrant, one of the main sources of colonial activism and the irritation of the patriots who made a declaration of independence from Great Britain among the list of particular grievances described as “a long chain of abuses” visited by the monarch, King George III, upon the citizens of the 13 colonies.

Col. Brandt is a candidate for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 3. He took out a half-hour of his time to explain to we the people just how the mechanics of constitutional and procedural law, the rules of evidence, and common law holdings of the American courts apply to the thorny issues of a world constantly at war over terror, the ill behavior of men, and the allegedly unlawful actions of their various governments.

His jurisdiction would be situated in the highly trafficked land of a magical spaceport buffering the rest of the world, an entire globe any part of which may be reached in a matter of hours through jet propulsion – DFW.

The Metroplex and its huge airstrip serve as a backdrop to all that has gone before, both past and prologue to what is the ever unfolding reality of the present.

So mote it be.

  • The Legendary


The Curious Case Of Matt “The Knife” Clendennen

Waco – Matt Clendennen is still struggling to get his day in court. He’s charged with engaging in organized criminal activity.

That’s a conspiratorial offense, a charge in which if violent crime led to a killing calls for an enhancement paragraph specifying the offense was aggravated by a capital murder, and/or aggravated assault.

Serious business. That charge can get a malchik a minimum of 25 and not more than 99 years confinement in the casa de calaboose.

The record shows clearly that he rode his motorcycle up to an establishment named Twin Peaks Restaurant in this city, a place where the waitresses dressed in shorts and checked flannel shirts unbuttoned clear to there, which accentuated their boobs.

Check the logic.

Matt Clendennen was once a member of the Scimitars, a club affiliated with the Cossacks, which according to jail records and recent court testimony makes him a one-time member of a club that guaranteed his classification by law men as a “low-ranking Cossack.”

That is, if you speak Martian.

Clendennen is from Waco. His dad is in middle management at Baylor University; he’s an old grad of the green and gold mob with the bear mascots. He operates his own business, a landscaping service for corporate clients.

According to his attorney, F. Clinton Broden, “There is absolutely no dispute that Mr. Clendennen did not have any participation in the violence that occurred at Twin Peaks of May 17, 2015. In addition, Mr. Clendennen possessed no weapon on May 17, 2015 except a small pocket knife which was a Christmas gift from his parents and which he always carried. Mr. Clendennen is no longer a member of any motorcycle club.”

The U.S. Supreme Court has outlawed practices “which pose a threat to the ‘fairness of the factfinding process’” must be subjected to ‘close judicial scrutiny.’”

Broden wants a hearing in the 54th Criminal District Court to provide that close judicial scrutiny. What will the judge be looking at?

Check the logic.

Clendennen rode his motorcycle up to the restaurant, alighted and sat down at a table on the patio reserved for a Confederation of Clubs and Independents meeting, of which his former club is not a member, and ordered a bottle of water.

When the shooting started, he hit the deck, went into the low crawl and made it to safety under cover where the furious gunfire from police rifles could not find him.

So, why are there at times as many as 8 uniformed officers in the courtroom?

Broden has an answer to that question, too. (click the underlined copy to read the motion) 

He says that the state wants to prejudice the jurors by making them think there is an imminent threat of the Bandidos starting a gunfight in the courtroom.

That’s why the judge should make a record of his findings and conclusions as to why he finds it necessary to order extraordinary security precautions in case there is any post-trial appeal which demands such documentation.

There’s something else to talk about, too. During the three weeks he spent in the Jack Harwell Detention Center, he called his attorney on a jailhouse phone and it automatically recorded what he and his lawyer had to say to one another.

There is an audio file of that call, and it got mixed in with the discovery items supplied to the prosecution. When Broden made a motion to get that material, it came to him.

The conversation is privileged because it took place between an attorney and his client. The courts say it can be recorded for security purposes, but not for purposes of discovery by the prosecution to use as evidence. 

He thinks that Abel Reyna should be disqualified, along with his staff, from prosecuting Clendennen for something he clearly did not do.

So, he’s asking that if the judge can’t disqualify the prosecutor, he should dismiss the charges against Clendennen.

Such a deal.

So mote it be.

– Legendary


Agent Provocateur, Narc Incited Twin Peaks Fight


Former Cossack Nomad Owen “Big O” Reeves 

“Criminal cases are like milk; they don’t improve with age.” – Criminal District Attorney Abel Reyna, on the campaign trail, ca. 2010

Waco – Let’s call her Live Wire, a road name earned by her fortitude and stamina on a run, bestowed by a brother biker.

When she heard Assistant Prosecutor Amanda Dillon quiz a witness at a recent recusal hearing about how the Cossacks Motorcycle Club adopted the 1%er patch of the outlaw motorcycle “gang,” she moved fast from her spot on the social network from a spot far out of town to say it just isn’t so.

Her allegation: Only one clique in the Cossacks MC did any such thing, a chapter led by Owen “Big O” Reeves, who allegedly has ties to the Aryan Circle prison clique.

Reeves was arrested at Twin Peaks on May 17, 2015, among 177 persons; his stepson was killed by a bullet to the back of the head.

He had been at the location on a number of occasions in the weeks leading up to the violent confrontation that left 9 men dead and 20 wounded.

According to a blog entry by Amy Irene White, “The Wicked Bitch,” he and a Waco narcotics detective named Jason Barnum confronted members of the Confederation of Clubs and Independents who appeared there on bike nights organized by the owner.

One time, “‘Big O’ Reeves and another Cossack cornered a CofC member and got really belligerent, trying to coerce him into a fight…”

His companion, according to multiple informants, none other than the Waco narc, Barnum, who later lost his job because he punched out a doctor he believed to be having an affair with his wife.

“In the ensuing weeks, Owen and his little friend seemed to be on a mission, privately ‘meeting’ with various members of the Cof C attempting to convince them to abandon the coalition and making that ridiculous noise about ‘paying dues to the Bandidos,’ which, of course, no one except a cop or a reporter on CNN would believe anyway.”

But there’s an interesting twist to the story. Big O never put a 1%er patch on his cut until after he became a Nomad, and that wasn’t until after the violent events at Twin Peaks. When he did, the Cossacks’ national leadership ousted he and his followers, said they would send national sergeants-at-arms to reclaim his colors. All are reportedly out in bad standing, indefinitely suspended from the Cossacks and not likely to ever be allowed back in the fold.

According to an on-line guide to biker lore published by the two-wheeled cognoscenti, By definition a “NOMAD”, more often than not, will be traveling alone and needs an ability to represent, maintain & otherwise survive under circumstances unusual from the norm.”


As to who would believe the allegation about collecting dues for the Confederation of Clubs as a valid complaint from a federal prosecutor’s pen, there is little doubt.

The Bandidos believed it.

In an exclusive interview granted in March of this year, then Presidente of the Bandidos MC, U.S.A., Bill Sartelle revealed that the club no longer helps collect dues from members of the Confederation, that it is now a non-profit 501(C)(3) corporation with a structure similar to that of the NFL, all its appendant clubs being similar to franchises of the professional football organization.

In fact, Sartelle let us know there is no war with the Cossacks – or anyone else – that the notion that the clubs rumbled over a Texas “rocker” on their jackets, territory, or anything of the like, is pure nonsense. 

It looks like the cops don’t know how to make such fine distinctions. Knowing about the friction, and the potential for violence, a Patrol Watch Commander of the Waco Police Department made his move by calling on John Wilson, president of the Waco Cossacks Chapter, at his place of business then located on I-35 in that city.

Reeves and his fellow Cossacks hail mostly from Bell County, and Reeves himself lived at Bruceville-Eddy, near the county line.

According to a police report , the police commander encouraged Wilson to go to the planned COC&I event of Sunday, May 17, in order to spread oil on the waters.


Six days earlier, on March 22, Cossacks had forced a lone Bandido riding his hog to a filling station at Lorena, Texas near the 322 mile marker on I-35 off the road where they beat him in the head with ball peen hammers.

The same day, at Gordon, Texas, on I-20, near the Cossacks’ redoubt at Mingus, motorcyclists at first misidentified by cops as Bandidos had beaten a Cossack as he attempted to fill his scooter with gasoline at a truck stop. They later confirmed their affiliation was that of the Villistas, according to defense counsel Casie Gotro. 

On the 28th, the cops were watching carefully as Bandidos gathered at the Flying J Truck Stop on I-35 at New Road, about a mile from Wilson’s Legends Cycles, which was at that time located near the intersection of Valley Mills Dr.

It was all part of a running battle that had raged up and down I-20 between Odessa and Abilene, one fought with hammers, knives and clubs. The Waco cops, who weren’t having it, were part of a much larger federal task force in which officers from small towns, sheriff’s departments, the Texas DPS, as well as federal agencies such as BATFE, FBI, and DEA worked on federal indictments. The Waco substation of the effort is headed by a Texas Department of Corrections staffer from the Office of the Inspector General, who coordinates his operation with the Lone Star Fugitive Task Force.

That organization is similarly staffed; its members serve arrest warrants on accused offenders and those ordered back to prison on “blue warrants” for alleged parole and probation violations.

“If they had just arrested the ones who assaulted the Bandido at Lorena, the whole thing would have been settled,” our lady biker friend from out of town believes. She’s not alone. There are numerous defense attorneys who are doing some serious investigation into the matter.


It is perhaps entirely ironic that the affidavit of warrantless arrest that led to the jailing of 177 persons at Twin Peaks after the violent ambush of the Bandidos by Cossacks and the shooting from ambush by cops who concealed themselves outside the fracas as it developed while video surveillance cameras took it all down from dashboards and pole-mounted devices alleges the conspiracy offense of engaging in organized criminal activity that led to capitol murder, and/or aggravated assault.

Like the federal charge, it calls for a lifetime behind bars upon conviction for engaging in a felony crime in combination with another person or persons.

Two years prior, the Aryan nations of the penal system had reached a compromise with the federales and locales following a series of events resembling a comedy of errors in a macabre funhouse of murder by arson, assault by a syringe filled with methamphetamine forcibly injected into a woman’s neck, video of the molestation of a child, car theft, and, of course, meth cooking and dope dealing.

When a mother of three lost her life and two of her small children perished in a sudden explosion and blaze at a Bosqueville trailer park, the investigation led to a parallel operation carried out by Waco police looking into just how and why a clique of dopers sold a car to an area dealer, stole it back, then secreted the purloined Mustang under a tarp near Bruceville-Eddy.

Seven people faced an indictment for – you guessed it – engaging in organized criminal activity – until Assistant DA Michael Jarrett demanded to know the names of the confidential informants who provided the information that led to the arrests.

That’s when veteran Detective Sherry Kingrey refused to cooperate, her move backed by the Chief of Police Brent Strohman, and his entire chain of command.

After 19th District Criminal Court Judge Ralph T. Strother, who has been recused in four of the Twin Peaks cases for bias against bikers alleged by their defense attorneys, examined the confidential notes of the detectives, he said that in 19 years on the bench and a long run as a prosecutor prior to that, he’d never seen anything like it in his life.

When he wound up telling the cops and prosecutors to settle their differences in private, DA Abel Reyna announced he was going to decline to pursue the prosecution of the indictments.

We of the Legendary obtained the entire police file in a Public Information Act request following an oversight by the Waco Police to comply with an appeal deadline.

A bad scene, it definitely qualifies as a precursor to what was to come two years later, at Twin Peaks. As a result, a fair representation of Texas’ activist motorcycle enthusiasts have been legally isolated, silenced by conditions of bond, surveilled and prosecuted to an extent unprecedented by anything seen previously.

So mote it be.

  • The Legendary


Safety, Security Comes First At Twin Peaks Trial

Waco – No doubt, it’s possible to get a fair trial in this city, but you’ve got to be willing to fight to get it on right downtown with finesse and all that’s fittin’ and proper.

Casie Gotro ended a love-in between 54th Criminal District Judge Matt Johnson, DA Abel Reyna, lead prosecutor Michael Jarrett, and herself in a mutual atmosphere of commisseration following a visiting judge’s ruling that Johnson should stay on the case, having been found unbiased.

Like Lt. Colombo, she stopped the music, once again, by saying, just one more thing, here.

“We need to talk about the police presence in this case. I count eight armed deputies in uniform in the room. I personally had three sheriff’s deputies following me around all day yesterday. I don’t like the feeling; I don’t understand the purpose for it, and if there is some kind of threat on my life, I’d like to be brought into the loop.”

The judge thought awhile, then said, “I can address that issue with the Sheriff’s Office.” He suggested there must be some solution. Gotro said, “Well, last week you had some guys in here dressed plain clothes. Maybe that would be more unobtrusive.”

Prior to the end – or perhaps the beginning of the end, or the end of the beginning, of the hearing, from which the media was excluded for quite some time because “Someone…” told a Deputy District Clerk  no one is allowed inside, she aired her grievance with that bugaboo of writing about, investigating, or defending any criminal offense in the jurisdiction. Waco “Tribune-Herald” staffer Tommy Witherspoon told her the BS, that if the attorneys are in there, we’re on the record, and that’s that. He made a call and we all trooped in.

Checking with Sheriff Parnell McNamara later, it was learned, “We’re not doing anything to be mean or ugly to anybody. Our main concern is safety.”

So mote it be.

He said the problem had been solved between District Clerk Johnny Gimble an Courthouse Security Chief Lt. Lionel McGhee.

Done deal. But that ain’t all.

For instance, there is the fact that for months, when she visits the property room to see the evidence of audio taped or videotaped statements of witnesses, she is ushered into a room where the computer has no speakers. But that’s better than the way things started out.

At first, there was no chair.

They say in writing that they bent over backwards to provide for her comfort.

She said, “Come on, Judge, a chair? Speakers? That’s comfort?” They must not have heard her the first time.

It’s like this. When you are involved in criminal litigation, both defense and prosecuting counsel are involved in all proceedings, with the defendant, and the client of the State’s law firm, We The People Of The State Of Texas.

Period. Paragraph.

Now, this is an experienced criminal defense attorney on the road out of Houston, talking to a judge for the multiple go-round on thiss ridiculous dispute, about doing that which the State Bar of Texas has certified her to do, a decision ratified by the Supreme Court of Texas, and some clerk at the Waco Police Department can’t guarantee the chain of custody of evidence if she’s left alone with it for even a minute.

They’re a little short-handed, you see.

The judge spoke up and said, well, why not get a hard drive and put all the evidence on it, indexed, so “If we can admit it into evidence on the hard drive, then everyone agree…I would like to have that in the record so everyone can agree that everything has been produced.”

DA Reyna spoke up and said, “We have absolutely no problem with that, Your Honor. We will even furnish the equipment – speakers, whatever it takes.”


Jarrett then spoke up by whispering in the damsel’s ear, saying he has no exception to preparation of an order for Johnson’s signature to the effect that Waco PD, should provide access – the greatest problem being staff on duty to guarantee chain of custody.

That’s easy, said the judge. We can seal it by court order, and then the general public can’t get at it. You go by the index, access, and check it out.

Done, and done.

So mote it be.

“Now, we’re getting somewhere,” as Dr. Hannibal Lecter of Baltimore told Clarice Starling of Hubbard,Texas. Hannibal the Cannibal – the fictional character created by writer Thomas Harris who once worked at the Waco sheet. A psychiatrist, Hannibal the Cannibal only ate the free range rude. Yowza!


I am sincere.

  • Legendary Jim

Johnson Recusal Fails

Defense Evidence “does not rise” to level of a recusal order…

Principals in the case of Bandido Jake Carrizal waited for noon and a visiting judge, The Honorable Robert Stem from Marlin…

Waco – Just as the judge began to laud the venire of about 150 persons by saying it wouldn’t be possible to clear cases in McLennan County’s State District Courts without persons just like them serving as jurors, he was brought to a screeching halt.

Defense Counsel Casie Gotro served him with a recusal motion, and he immediately dropped what he was doing.

When he ordered her to remain in the courtroom, she questioned his authority to do so. “By what authority am I being held?” she asked repeatedly as he left the room to contact the regional administrative Judge to call for a visiting judge to hear the motion.

A rumor rippled through the crowded room that he would have her arrested if she did not obey. She stalked out of the room.

When there was news that a visiting judge would arrive at noon to begin her hearing, she returned.

A court officer explained that the judge had “requested all parties to remain here.”

And so a stormy day of conflict began that did not end until half-past 7 pm.

As District Clerk told the venire to return at 9 am on Wednesday morning, a loud groan filled the room. “I know, we’re just as happy about it as you are,” he said.

After a 7 and half hour legal wrangle, a District Judge ruled the level of evidence presented in support of recusal of 54th District Judge Matt Johnson insufficient to warrant his removal.

Judge Robert Stem promised prosecution and defense counsel as well as witnesses and spectators he would work until he had perfected the record of defense counsel Casie Gotro’s motion.

In the final two hours past quitting time, he repeatedly asked her, “Is there anything else,” as she added items and testimony, waited for incomplete transcripts to be printed, and recalled several previous witnesses to clarify their testimony.

As in the successful motions for removal of 19th District Judge Ralph T. Strother, Gotro’s motion focussed on a “DNA docket” to summon the entire list of accused offenders arrested following an extremely bloody gunfight followed by a police massacre with assault rifles that took place at Twin Peaks Restaurant on May 17, 2015.

Similarly, Gotro’s motion questioned just how did court coordinators in the 54th District know on which list to place the accused – the “B” list (Bandidos), or the “C” list (Cossacks).

Lead prosecutor Michael Jarrett was able to prove up the fact that the Court Coordinator determined their club affiliation from a “bridge” list kept by the McLennan County Jail Classification Officer, who used various clues including the suspect’s statements, tattoos, jewelry and the patches on their jackets.

Not all persons on the lists are patch holders in the Bandidos and Cossacks Motorcycle Clubs – which are referred to by the State as “outlaw motorcycle gangs.”

Many of them are “affiliated” with one or the other, according to the officers, while their peer motorcycle enthusiasts classify them as “support” clubs or merely “riding” clubs.

Through detailed questioning, the state convinced the visiting judge that Johnson and his staff had no ex parte communication with the DA’s staff, nor did the two judges, Johnson and Strother, collude with one another to deny the defendants due process by summoning them to the courtroom and directing them to the DA’s staff to submit tissue samples seized through search warrants.

Judge Johnson testified that he disapproved a request to just some of the defendants in order to serve a warrant. He insisted that all should be treated equally, and the record shows they were.

At 8 a.m., jurors will be qualified and questioned for a venire of 12 persons who will eventually be charged with making a finding that the Bandidos Motorcycle Club is in fact an organized criminal gang, that they came to Twin Peaks on the fateful Sunday with the intent of harming their rivals, and that Jake Carrizal, served as their director. If convicted, he may be sentenced to a minimum of 25 years incarceration and not more than 99 in the state penitentiary.

Under intense questioning, Austin attorney Millie Thompson explained that she signs her e-mails to court officials “In Resistance,” as “part of the Yellow Dog movement against Trump.”

She vowed of the recusal motion she and a quartet of other attorneys argued successfully to oust Judge Strother that “more are on the way.”



Hill Country Judge Ousts Strother in Carrizal Case

Retired District Judge Dan Mills

Waco – When the music stopped in the recusal hearing argued by three beaudacious women with bombastic attitudes to have 19th Criminal District Judge Ralph T. Strother recused, there was no bang, and no whimper.

In a conversational tone, visiting Judge Dan Mills, who is retired from the 424th District Court in the four Hill Country counties surrounding Burnet, simply leaned forward during an argument by lead prosecutor Michael Jarrett, and said, “If I follow my first inclination, you’re going to get a judge in the morning. You’re pitching a battle.”

It wound up appearing that he had formed his ultimate opinion when Region 3 Administrative Judge Billy Stubblefield called to describe the nature of the case.

It has a lot of moving parts – the recusal motion – but one of its key components is a smoking gun, an e-mail from Court Coordinator Ellen Watson to Austin Attorney Millie Thompson, who along with a quartet of lawyers obtained the recusal of Strother last month after arguing visiting Judge James Morgan out of his pre-conceived notion to “get this thing done today” by ruling against the recusal. By the time the day-long hearing was over, he said, “I’m going to have to give this a lot of thought.” A week later, he ruled for Strother’s recusal. 

In the e-mail, the lead staffer for the judge described a decision to create a special docket call requiring both attorneys and their clients to appear in court in order to go to the DA’s office to submit tissue samples for DNA testing.

It was this degree of cooperation that led to complaints by Ms. Thompson and others including former District Judge Susan Criss that Strother was acting as both prosecutor and judge.

In the end, Casie Gotro fairly shouted, “The case is without a judge. We need a judge!” Her argument centered on the fact that she is convinced the judge’s bias rendered him in a dual role as both judge and prosecutor. “I cannot give my client effective counsel,” she said, repeatedly, as a result. Strother had made up his mind that Jake Carrizal would go to trial first, and no one else.

The three lady attorneys insisted that if they were the judge, they would settle the question of which case would go to trial first by having all 155 judges in for a conference to learn who is ready to go to trial, who is not, and go on with it.

Judge Criss said she learned that Strother did not want to put his choice of Jake Carrizal as the first defendant to face a jury in his courtroom in a court order because “The defense lawyers would see it and want to know why.”

Millie Thompson said she asked what happened to her setting to try her client, and the judge told her it had been changed. “Why?” Because it did, she said he answered. She asked what if she filed a motion for recusal, and he told her “I will deny it.” He never read a motion before he made that decision. He just declared he would deny her motion.

There were other arguments, including the appointment of retired Waco Police Detective James Hand as foreman of the first Grand Jury to be formed after the Legislature outlawed the pick-a-pal system in which the judge chooses his friends.

When asked about his choice, Strother sked a local reporter “What better person to serve on the Grand Jury than someone who is familiar with the criminal justice system?”

The prosecution argued long and loud that not one person was indicted for the Twin Peaks cases by that particular Grand Jury panel, and Jake Carrizal’s case had been heard by two other such panels.

At the end of the day, five grueling hours of testimony and argumentative, hostile and sometimes vituperative dialogue, nothing would dissuade the visiting judge from his original inclination.

He recalled his first hint about the DNA docket when Judge Stubblefield told him of the special arrangement with no subpoena by the DA’s office, no order to appear, just a special docket.

He said, “When Judge Stubblefield told me about that DNA docket on the phone, it really stuck a very negative feeling in my gut…There’s a smell test that goes with these things. My inclination to grand the motion.”

Prosecutor Jarrett said “I want you to do the right thing.”

Judge Mills’ reply sent a ripple of laughter through the courtroom when he replied, “I don’t know about right!”

The standard that applies, that of what a common man with common sense would think about a judge based on his actions alleged to show bias, would result in a natural man’s inclination to agree with the motion’s allegation of bias on the part of the judge.

And it was all over, except his remark that the new judge to be appointed will probably be 54th Criminal District Judge Matt Johnson. “They’ll probably just swap judges.”

That’s when Casie Gotro addressed the gallery, saying, “I have been drafting a recusal motion to have Judge Johnson removed from this case, too. It will be filed.”

A venire of what remains of a 600-person special venire – about 160 estimated by the judge – will report at 8:30 a.m. in the auxiliary courtroom to fill out juror questionnaires and go through the process of qualification to serve on the jury.


So mote it be.

Truths To Be Self Evident

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. – Thomas Jefferson, with an assist by B. Franklin, Printer, “The Declaration of Independence”


Grapevine – It’s fair to say that there is a certain place on a hill near DFW Airport where men and women live with their heads in the clouds.

They are makers of things, mostly aeronautical, but nevertheless, the devices that make the world smaller, easier to navigate, and yet somehow harder to understand.

Col. Wm. P. Brandt grew up right around the corner, left his home in a rural farming community for the Air Force Academy, and returned to an international space port, to practice law after his war, a war of terror prompted by terror at which he was present on the day it all started.

Bill Brandt was on duty at the Pentagon when the big jet hit the building in a fireball, just yards from where he stood by, walking his post on a Tuesday morning  in what weather men described as a day in which flying conditions were what they termed “severe clear.”

On Sunday, he stood at the foot of a memorial dedicated to his neighbors who manned that jet, and all the others forcibly taken from their control by terrorists armed with blades smuggled on board, men terribly upset about a fact of business.

Their common denominator – a certain fundamental religious faith.

They forced neighbors of Col. Brandt to their doom, paying the ultimate sacrifice of their lives and the lives of their passengers, under the duress of the blade, a horror to their minds, regarding a mortal torture to their flesh.

The conflict of those terrible moments – in what currency would the petroleum producing mideast nations be paid for crude petroleum shipped freight over bill to the Port of Houston – or anywhere else. As the reserve currency, the dollar is the reserve denomination per an agreement with OPEC, an agreement hammered out by the Treasurer of the U.S., Willam Simon, the President, Richard Nixon, and the then National Security Advisor, Henry Kissinger.

On a table behind him lay eight tiny teddy bears dressed in leather jackets and chaps, each with a biker’s doo-rag and the name of one of   the eight children who lost their lives on board the jets of 9/11 on that fateful day.

Col. Brandt, who is a candidate for Justice of the Peace, Precinct 3 in his home town, returned to the semantics of the law.

He first sang the National Anthem, then he reminded his listeners of the nature of law, of its strict attention to the meaning of words.

He chose the concept of endowment, the origin of the word coming from the root for dowry, the price of so many goats and this many milk cows paid by a father in return for his daughter’s marriage.

But to be endowed by inalienable rights does not mean one may spend his fortune for just anything.

There are rules, rules of law, of common decency, which must be followed, or the community of the world will pay the price.

And so, each of the tiny care bears will be bestowed by a police officer or fireman, or other first responder upon a tiny person who is afraid, alone, in pain because their moms and dads have been injured, their houses burned down, their cars wrecked, their parents taken away due to arrest or depredation.

It’s a small thing, but so is the meaning of any word so inscribed upon parchment, recorded by We The People as the way of our world.

Brandt, who would be judge, reminded the world of that on this day, the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 Memorial Ride by the Sons Of Liberty Motorcycle Club, in observance of a surprise attack on our nation prompted by a commercial dispute over an essential commodity, its value  accounted in terms of the petrodollar.

Look it up. Interesting word – war word.

So mote it be.

  • The Legendary

The 9/11 Flight Crew Memorial at Grapevine, Northwest Hwy at 1000 Texan Trail, overlooking one of our world’s busiest airports – DFW