Paul Looney, Houston attorney representing Cody Ledbetter
Waco – Cody Ledbetter watched in horror as an unidentified man wearing a cap that was imprinted, “I support the Bandidos” pumped two bullets into his father’s head, execution style.
That was 9 months ago, on May 17, as Danny “Diesel” Boyett’s life’s blood pumped out on the concrete of the Twin Peaks parking lot. He was one of 9 bikers who bit the dust from gunshot wounds.
His son Cody is one of 177 arrested on that day for engaging in organized crime, a first degree felony for which he is indicted under an enhancement that his alleged offense led to the capital murder of his fellow bikers, one of whom was his own father.
According to a petition for mandamus relief seeking a trial twice denied – once scheduled, then canceled – Ledbetter is not seeking a dismissal of the charge.
He is looking forward to his day in court, according to his lawyer, Paul Looney of Houston.
Ledbetter totally denies he was there on that day to engage in violence, that both he and his father were in a low crawl position, seeking safety between parked motorcycles, when the assailant directed his pistol fire at the his father’s head and murdered him in cold blood, Looney told the justices of the Texas 10th District Court of Appeals in the petition seeking a trial date.
Looney alleges that 19th District Court Judge Ralph Strother has refused to perform a ministerial duty – that is, a required function of his constitutional office as a District Judge – and that prosecutors including Criminal District Attorney Abel Reyna are in concurrent “combination” to refuse to do so.
Until he is cleared in a court of law, Looney asserted, Ledbetter is prohibited by law to collect death benefits that are rightfully his for the because of his father’s demise.
An aggravating circumstance includes the setting for jury trial in a December 7, 2015 arraignment hearing for May 31, 2016.
According to Looney, Judge Strother withdrew the setting without consultation, notification, or setting a hearing into the dismissal because prosecutors say they need more time to analyze evidence sought in discovery motions by defendants. “The State of Texas did not appeal this Court’s scheduling order in Defendant’s case,” Looney wrote in his motion for a rehearing for a speedy trial.
He noted then that the case will have to be disposed by a jury trial or dismissal because the defendant is in no position to accept any plea arrangement offered by the State. Looney wroe that the state’s case is based on a theory that has not been previously addressed in Texas law.
According to the mandamus petition, Looney argues that “To arbitrarily erase a trial date set in open court, without setting a new, specific trial date, after a hearing on the issue is an abject denial of due process and denial of the Relator’s right to a fair, speedy and public trial.”
He has requested oral argument before the appeals court.
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