Lawyers’ amici brief – DA’s words ‘foul odor’ to deprive 33 of fair trial

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‘The Fact that the District Attorney Has No Intention of Honoring His Proposed Gag order is Evidenced by the Fact that he Won’t Stop Talking’ – from the argument in the brief

Waco – For defendants in the Twin Peaks case, freedom of speech under the provision of Article 1, Section 8 of the Texas Constitution is their only hope. 

Attorneys for 33 persons accused of engaging in organized criminal activity following a mass shooting by police, and the arrest of 177 persons at a political meeting to be held at Twin Peaks Restaurant on May 17 said so in a friend of the court brief filed late Friday afternoon, September 25.

The only way for persons accused of first degree conspiracy felony crimes in the wake of police shooting a large number of persons attending a political rally in this city on May 17 is to exercise their right to freedom of speech, a team of lawyers told the highest criminal appeals court in Texas. Their only hope of gaining a favorable disposition to their cases is to be realized by “sanitizing the foul odor of public perception” they claim has been created by police and prosecutors in the public mind.

The brief states, “District Attorney Abel Reyna does not speak on our behalf,” and further alleges that since the prosecutor continues to give statements to the press, he has “in the public eye, lumped all 177 of the accused together, without taking into consideration any of the circumstances of their individual cases.”

Arguing on behalf accused who wish for the Court of Criminal Appeals to lift the gag order imposed by 54th Criminal District Judge Matt Johnson, the lawyers furthermore stated “…the State has not acknowledged that its statements were improper attacks on the constitutional right to a fair trial. Therefore, it is is disingenuous for the State to now assert that its primary motivation for the proposed gag order is to ensure that the State can act as the guardian the accused’s right to a fair trial.”

Because Reyna continues to talk to the press, the accused asserted, “it is painfully obvious that the state’s true motive is to create jurors who will come to court ready to convict. That is not justice.”

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