Cite trashy talk from city dads for change of speedy Twin Peaks venue

Scimitars

Waco – F. Clinton Broden, the Dallas lawyer who is defending Matthew Clendennen for being a “witness to something he did not see” at the Twin Peaks massacre on May 17, asked the 54th District Court for a change of venue.

In addition to examples of prejudicial and sensational interviews given to national media by local officials, Broden cited case law that holds a failure to cooperate with law enforcement not chargeable as a criminal offense.

Clendennen, a Baylor grad and the operator of a lawn service company, is a member of the Scimitars, a support club of the Cossacks Motorcycle Club. That club is implicated in a federal investigation of an alleged gang war with the Bandidos Motorcycle Club for dominance of Texas and the right to identify as the sole “1%” club on their colors. FBI agents code-named their operation “Rocker Arm,” and coordinated their efforts with Texas Department of Public Safety Criminal Intelligence Division and the Waco Police. DPS classified both clubs as criminal street gangs.

Their efforts culminated in a violent confrontation outside Twin Peaks breastaurant in this city on May 17 followed by the rapid response of the local gens d’armes, who lay in wait with assault carbines at the ready in an L-shaped ambush. Nine died, 20 lay wounded, and police arrested 177 after the estimated 90 seconds of resulting carnage. Justice of the Peace Pete Peterson, a retired State Trooper, set bond at $1 million in order to “send a message.” He explained this to the attentive ears of reporters who in turn flashed the news to a shocked nation awaiting word of what happened to these dear little children.

Chief among Broden’s allegations in papers filed with the 54th District Court Judge Matt Johnson, who is the former law partner of Criminal District Attorney Abel Reyna, is that his client is denied a speedy trial. He claims that video surveillance evidence in hand will prove to a jury that Clendennen was nowhere near when bullets began to whizz and fists began to fly, that he sought shelter in the low-crawl position of prone inside the building as soon as he saw this deadly scuffle-in-the-making.

Broden recently made a motion to discover the names of confidential informants and undercover officers who mingled with the bikers then convened for a Confederation of Clubs and Independents meeting to hear an update from legislative monitors during the waning days of the 84th Texas Legislature.

He has also alleged that a polygraph examination shows Clendennen had no prior knowledge of a violent confrontation, did not participate in violence, and is not an eye witness to what happened. He wishes to enter the examiner’s testimony on the record of the trial.

In a pleading filed by the prosecution, Reyna bids au contraire, saying that Broden’s gambit is merely a pre-trial strategy designed to create a reversible error by the Court, a point on appeal.

Clendennen, like all his co-defendants, has been indicted with the identical offense of engaging in organized criminal activity leading to capital murder and/or aggravated assault. The allegations are supported by an affidavit of warrantless arrest sworn by a Waco Police officer who was not present and cannot testify as to his personal knowledge or observation of what actually occurred. Reportedly, many officers who were there passed on swearing to the allegations.

Twin Peaks Biker lawyer signals gung ho strategy

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Waco – Defense lawyer F. Clinton Broden filed a battery of aggressive pre-trial motions aimed at breaking a discovery logjam he claims is blockading a speedy trial for his client, Matthew Clendennen.

The operator of a lawn service business and one of nearly 200 charged with the identical offense of engaging in organized crime that is allegedly connected to acts of aggravated assault and capital murder because of his membership in a motorcycle enthusiasts’ club affiliated in support of the Cossacks Motorcycle Club, Clendennen is tarred with the same brush as those who actually pulled triggers and threw fists, according to an affidavit of warrantless arrest and indictment.

DPS agents allege that membership in such clubs signifies participation in a criminal culture of street gangs and that attendance at a Confederation of Clubs and Independents meeting scheduled to take place at Twin Peaks Restaurant in this city on Mary 17 is proof of the offense.

Broden has argued repeatedly in court appearances and in motions that evidence already in hand will prove that Clendennen was not present when the alleged offenses took place, that in fact he took cover inside the restaurant immediately he saw violence erupt.

Prosecutors have moved for a lengthy continuance, arguing that video, audio and witness statements will prove otherwise following further analysis that precludes going to trial immediately due to the strictures of discovery rules laid out in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. McLennan County Criminal District Attorney Abel Reyna is on record saying that to proceed to trial without further lengthy analysis of the evidence could be a trial strategy in and of itself, something that is by design planned to lead to allegations of reversible error.

In three of eight motions filed, Broden lays out a strategy of countering that logic, first by seeking the testimony of an expert witness who established through polygraph examination of his client that he had no intentions of engaging in violence and had no previous knowledge that any violence had been planned, participated in none, and are not in fact eye witnesses to any alleged acts of violence.

In a second motion, he is seeking to learn the identity of undercover officers and confidential informants involved in a combined federal, state and local investigation code-named Operation Rocker Arm that has so far led to indictment of three national officers of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club. That case alleges that a dispute over members of Cossacks MC and its support clubs were engaged in a deadly struggle with the leadership of the Bandidos over the right to identify themselves as a Texas club on the rocker arms of their colors displayed on the back of their leather riding vests. Federal indictments allege that the Bandidos leadership had declared war on all Cossacks and their supporters.

In a comprehensive discovery motion, Broden is seeking full disclosure of all video, crime and ballistics reports, witness statements and autopsy records – all of which he says will prove that Matthew Clendennen was seeking refuge while taking cover in a prone position inside the building at the time acts of violence took place that left 9 dead, 20 wounded, and 177 initially detained and charged with the identical offense of engaging in organized criminal activity, a conspiracy charge that does not require that co-defendants knew one another, only that two or more acted in combination to produce criminal results.

In examining trials, Texas DPS Lt. Schwartz has testified that in fact the Bandidos Motorcycle Club is an alter ego for the Confederation of Clubs and Independents, that among other indicators, collection of dues paid by other clubs defines that role.

Established in San Antonio by a Vietnam Veteran in 1966, the international one-percenter club claims the exclusive right to identify itself as a Texas club by proclaiming the fact on the rocker arm of its trademarked colors.