‘…having viewed no inculpatory evidence, we don’t really care about exculpatory evidence’

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Daniel Boyette, regional road captain of McLennan County Cossacks

Waco – The primary issue is control – control of peoples’ lives, their associations with whomever they may choose, what they are allowed to say and do, and where they may go and not go.

To that end, the assault on the First Amendment rights of the nearly 200 people arrested and charged following the attack on bikers at Twin Peaks on Sunday, May 17, 2015, is a total success. (Cue the music, keep on reading…)

PEACE FROG…

 Bond conditions dictate that those awaiting trial  – and that’s everyone charged and indicted for the blanket, non-specific offense of engaging in organized criminal activity – may not come to Waco for any other purpose than to attend court on a regularly scheduled appearance, must not discuss their case with any other than their legal representation, and are precluded from associating with members of “criminal street gangs” if they hope to stay out of jail, their bond conditions remaining inviolate.

Meanwhile, the contents of their phones, statements they gave at the time of their arrest, surveillance video – all remains at the disposal of a multi-agency federal, state and local task force headed by the FBI and ATF called “Operation Rocker Arm.”

HOW IT WORKS IN McLENNAN COUNTY 

Both  Criminal District Attorney Abel Reyna and his father Felipe, a former State Appeals Court Judge and DA who was appointed by Governor Dolph Briscoe to fill out a deceased DA’s term, are on record with their philosophy of how to run a jail and a criminal investigation.

Reyna told Tea Party activists several years ago that his office serves as the peoples’ law firm, and that includes offenders who aren’t necessarily guilty of anything until they are convicted.

If they serve the big end of their time in an air conditioned jail close to home, where their wives and girlfriends, buddies, mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters, can come see them – so much the better.

Who cares if they plead out to some other offense than that which is charged and grand jurors have indicted?

And though he didn’t say it, the truth is, sureties go off bond at the drop of a hat, arrest warrants are served, and offenders turn around and pay the bond fee multiple times in order to stay out of jail – if possible. It’s just a cost of doing business for a professional criminal.

With taxpayers footing an overflow bill of $45.50 per diem to LaSalle Corrections to house prisoners at the bespoke built, privately operated Jack Harwell Detention Center, it’s a win-win situation for business, all the way around.

Nothing to see here, folks. Keep moving.

Besides, the practice known as “riding the docket” has led to  historic budget overruns for jail staff overtime and subsequent tax raises, to the consternation of conservatives and budget watch dogs such as The Tea Party.

THE CASE FOR THE ACCUSED AS CRIME VICTIMS 

When Cody Ledbeter and his father got caught in the so-called “melee” outside Tin Peaks, he watched as Danny Boyette collapsed, shot in the head.

With his arm in a sling, Ledbetter was in no position to do much else but try to make himself as small a target as possible and stay safe.

He and his attorney Paul Looney have been campaigning for a speedy trial for the past year.

In fact, at one point, he had a trial date of May 31, 2016, set by 19th Criminal District Judge Ralph Strother on December 7, 2015.

Within days, he had rescinded his order at the insistence of prosecutors, who said they need more time to examine evidence for possible exculpatory items.

At a rehearing on January 8, Looney argued that, “…having viewed no inculpatory evidence, we don’t really care about exculpatory evidence.”

The colloquy between attorney and the Judge has become surreal, at times:

Court: Let me ask you, are you claiming that the right to a speedy trial entitles you to a specific trial date?

Looney: You Honor, what it entitles you to is a swift trial…The State can dismiss this case without our participation…

In further argument, the Court denied the demand for a swift trial in this way – (click image for full size)

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To that end, the raid on bikers that took place of May 17, 2015, at Twin Peaks Restaurant is totally effective in denying First Amendment rights to wear items of adornment such as patches, to associate freely with whomever one may choose, to freely express one self or gather to petition the Government for redress.

More importantly, by using certain legal strategies, the police and prosecutors have found a way to collude with the Courts in order to deny defendants the right to a speedy trial.

Ledbetter has repeatedly asserted that he needs no further discovery of the evidence and witnesses, that what he needs is his day in court.

For one thing, he could then qualify as a crime victim in order to claim compensation for what happened to he and his family at Twin Peaks.

To that end, the Court has demurred, the ruling of the 10th District Court of Appeals stayed by the Court of Criminal Appeals, and the writ for leave to file for mandamus relief in seeking a trial setting dismissed without argument or written report by that Court a year hence.

All of this has been accomplished without the presentation of any specific complaint against Cody Ledbetter, who watched in horror as his father’s life blood spilled from a quarter-inch bullet wound that pierced his head on May 17, 2015.

So mote it be.

  • The Legendary

High court denies court date for Twin Peaks case

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Texas Court of Criminal Appeals ruling in summary e-mail form

Austin – Cody Ledbetter watched in horror as his father bled to death from a quarter-inch gunshot wound to his head on May 17, 2015.

With one arm in a sling, Ledbetter had no part in the so-called melee that preceded his arrest. He merely avoided being shot and obeyed police instructions, only to be charged with engaging in organized criminal activity.

He was once given a trial date by 19th Criminal District Court Judge Ralph T. Strother, who then withdrew his order without notifying his counsel, Paul Looney.

Looney appealed to the 10th District Court of Appeals at Waco and received a favorable ruling before the Court of Criminal Appeals struck down that order.

The motion for mandamus relief seeking a trial setting by the Judge failed last week. Looney is considering an appeal of that decision through the federal court system.

Ledbetter is stuck waiting for his trial date. His attorney has publicly stated numerous times that he needs no further discovery or analyses of video evidence because there is no evidence that he did anything other than to try to survive the onslaught of bullets that rained down on the patio of the restaurant.

33 Federal drug arrests based on 41 indictments

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One kilo of yegua – U.S. Attorney – ‘MORE TO COME’ 

Midland-Odessa, TX – The U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Texas announced that of 33 arrested for cocaine trafficking on Thursday, 8 were previously apprehended, 25 were arrested at locatiions throughout the Permian Basin, and 8 more are still at large.

Some are patch holders in La Familia Motorcycle Club, according to federal authorities.

Federal agents seized more than three kilograms of cocaine, one residence, three motorcycles, four cars and approximately $195,000 in U.S. Currency.

A federal grand jury returned the indictments that stem from two separate investigations in operation since 2014, according to authorities.

Allegedly, these defendants are responsible for the distribution of multi-kilogam quantities of cocaine and ‘crack cocaine’ since January of 2014,” according to a news release. Seven were arrested in “Operation Buying Pebbles” and the remainder were the subject of “Operation Glittery Bowtie.”

Acting in concert with the DEA, FBI, and DPS, members of the Odessa and Midland Police helped track suspects in Operation Glittery Bowtie, according to DEA Special Agent in Charge Will Glaspy of the El Paso Office, who said, “Based on the efforts of DEA and our law enforcement partners, the citizens of Midland and Odessa will be safer in their homes this Memorial Day weekend.”

Upon conviction, the defendants face sentences of between ten years and life in federal prison; between five and 40 years in federal prison; or, up to 20 years in federal prison depending on the amount of controlled substances involved. All of the defendants remain in federal custody. Detention hearings are scheduled for next week, in Midland before United States Magistrate Judge David Counts.

Operation Glittery Bowtie defendants

Name Age *Elijah George Pena 33 *Jim Paro Jones 33 *Mathew Reynaldo Rodriguez 29 *Brandon Joe Jerrell 33 *Steve Maurice Tyler 48 *Stephen O’Brien Tyler 26 *Clarence Edward Stephens 25 *Andrea Nicole Skaggs 24 **April Elizabeth Dixon 27 **Clarence Edward Green 33 *Darrel Shamarr Green 37 **Brandon D’Morris King 27 *Derrold Glen Hunt 26 **Andrea Deshawn Boyd 28 ***Makayla Ynette Young 20 **Barry Wayne King 23 **Jaylon Samuels 21 *Albert Urcelo Llanez 48 *Maedella Adama Brignanc 42 *V arrick Jafate McDonald 46 *Kimberly Nicole Phillips 37 *Sharla Ann Mitchell 30 ***Megan Michelle Blackwood 29 ***Brittany Tra Lea McDonald 24 *Derrick Deondre Price 33 *Jason Mims 28 *Shambernyka L. Montgomery 23 *Tamika Lashell Ray 24 ***Kion Dequann Spears 20 *Zandra Beshaw 28 ***Patrice Michelle Berry 42 ***Izaihll Jerome Jackson 30 *Robert Winszel McAfee 22 *Nathan Darnell McDowell 24 *Dorothy Norris 61 *Randon Sean Prince 25 **Jade Danielle Roberts 19 **Raymond Glynn Sanders, Jr. 37 ***Ennis Shedwin 43 ***Kevorick Tivellua Shedwin 26 *Dashia Marie Williams 24

* arrested today ** already in custody *** fugitives

Operation Buying Pebbles defendants

Name Age *Paul Reyes Rodriguez 35 *Patrick Amalio Carrillo 26 *Roy Christopher Rodriguez 27 *Ruben Rodriguez, Jr. 30 *Nicholas Domingo Rodriguez 23 *Renato Souza Paz 31 *Ryan Frausto 29

*arrested today

 

Double D, et. al., unifying bikers’ voices in Natl. COC

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David Devereaux and bikers from all over announcing an NCOC

Round Rock, TX – This is the Vimeo of an hour-long statement of the goals and policies of a new, national Council of Clubs aimed at unifying bikers’ voices throughout the U.S.

Many remarked this past week that the personalities seen at this press conference have never before been involved in a cooperative operation of this type – to defend against profiling of motorcycle enthusiasts, and the challenge media to expand its previously one-sided and biased coverage of events in the biker world.

Inmate tipped law to IED intended as a booby trap

Mutt and Jeff

Bomb Disposal technicians on the job handling explosive charge

Kosse – The snitch was very insistent. Someone was making bombs and leaving them in out of the way places for officers to deal with after folks found them.

The confidential informant, an inmate at the Limestone County Jail, told Sergeant Chris Winkler there was an improvised explosive device in a known drug house located in 7400 block of Highway 14 outside this central Texas town.

Though Winkler searched for it, he could not find what he was looking for, so he told the McLennan County Bomb Squad to stand by, that he was going back to the jail to talk to his man again.

On his second trip, he found the bomb in a yellow mop bucket on the back porch near the door.

He texted pictures to Investigator Hunter Herring of the McLennan County squad, who was en route to the scene; he reported, “…it appeared to be a Coleman Propane Fuel Cylinder” wrapped in blue Saran wrap.

Herring was taking no chances because the informant had assured Winkler there were BB’s, black powder, flash powder and Tannerite inside the cylinder. He drove a robotic device up to the porch and focused the automatic camera on the item.

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An explosives robot shifting a suspicious package to a safer place

The robotic arm grasped the bomb and dragged it to an open area on the property where Deputy Derek Russell, clad in the “poopy suit” of an explosive ordnance disposal technician, set up the x-ray board and made a picture of its interior. The image showed a powder mixture with BB’s.

They went back and dug a hole “2 to 3 feet down in the dirt,” placed an explosive tool on top, filled the hole back in and detonated it.

When they opened up the hole, they found powder, BB’s and shrapnel from the propane cylinder.

The officers turned the evidence over to an ATF agent the next day, May 18.

It’s an open case, part of an ongoing investigation.

Sheriff Dennis Wilson declared the incident “a booby trap situation” for his officers. He feels they were targeted, and told area newsmen his department has developed a “person of interest” in the case.

But it’s only one of three such cases, one of which has the same trappings of civil war against civil authorities through the stealthy location of improvised explosive devices, either as actual implements of destruction, or as devices of psychological warfare.

The sheer viciousness of the design of the bomb found under a bridge on FM 1963, Falls County, on May 4 rivals that of the bomb someone left at the drug house outside Kosse.

It’s in the details of the bomb maker’s art that the elements of the crime begin to take place in terms of the terror intended.

According to Deputy Derek Russell, when he and his three fellow bomb squad officers arrived, Detective Graham showed them what “appeared to be a 2 liter plastic bottle with a liquid inside, as well as what appeared to be shotgun shells inside the bottle of liquid.

They made x-rays of the bottle and a cylindrical item next to it, took samples of the liquid in the bottle as well as that which was found inside a cooler that “appeared to be filled with water.”

They got samples of the liquids before they used a “popper” round loaded on a “PAN disruptor” to split the assembly open.

The bottle contained gasoline, as well as 20-gauge shotgun shells, M-80 firecrackers, and a shredded Winchester 20-gauge shotgun shell box. A sample of the liquid from the cooler proved to be ethanol.

The material was stored for ATF agents, who took it to the lab for analysis.

The case is still active.

On May 18, Crawford resident Gary Gohlke called to say that his grandson found what “appeared to be a very big bullet” in a barn on their property at 1432 High Bridge Road.

The big bullet was painted red and had a serial number and “M79, CFS Co.” printed on a black band around its circumfrence.

Investigator Hunter Herring determined it was a 90-millimeter anti-tank round of the type used at the Ft. Hood Tank range.

According to Burt Gohlke, his son found the round during a ramble at the barn and placed it there as a dangerous keepsake.

The disposal technicians had Burt Gohlke dig a hole about four feet deep with his tractor; they placed it in the hole, covered it with dirt, and used a counter charge to detonate it from a spot more than 500 feet away.

They waited 30 minutes, then dug it up only to find “there was nothing left of the ordnance.”

He concluded by remarking that “this case will be carried as closed.”

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A portable explosives magazine 

Waco biker who found Mammoth Site feels old

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During the bitterly cold winter of 1978, Paul Barron brought an armload of firewood into his sister’s house on the Bosque River bottoms near its confluence with the Brazos.

A poisonous copperhead came slithering out, so he and his sister’s old man Eddy Bufkin were duly dispatched into the country with rat shot and instructions to kill snakes as soon as the weather warmed up.

That’s how the Waco Mammoth Site was discovered. Barron remembers his career as a construction worker:

I worked on the Washington Avenue Bridge , both of the new IH35 bridges, Mayborn Museum, Tx Ranger Hall of Fame , the Convention center,the Freedom Fountain, the VA hospital , the Zoo, went to TSTC, and discovered the Mammoth Site. Wow … makes me feel old!

His remembrance of the discovery is still as surprising to him today as it was in that long-ago spring of 1978.

It was spring of 1978, and we had a fairly chilly spring.I was carrying an armload of firewood across the living room of the house my sister was leasing, and a 2 foot long copperhead jumped out of it.My sister had 2 little boys, about 4 and 10 years old, and asked her boyfriend, Eddy Bufkin, and me to kill any snakes we could find when it warmed up. A few days later, we loaded up a .357 magnum with rat shot and went around turning over rocks and stumps looking for snakes. We ended up in a creek bed, and followed it upstream, unwittingly passing the property boundaries. When I’m in the woods, especially when snake hunting, I keep my eyes on the ground. Im naturally curious, so, when I see something different or out of place, I check it out. We were climbing up an elevation change in the creek bed, when a piece of rock, bone, broke off. in my hand. It was light and porous , and looked different than the surrounding soil , so I studied it a little closer. Looking around the sides of the creek bed, I could see large amounts of the same material protruding from the banks, somer eadily identifiable as bone. Judjing from the size, I was pretty sure it was either modern elephants or mammoths.There was a zoo nearby. I knew the folks at the Strecker Museum would know for sure.

If you listen carefully, you hear a man talking with deep respect for knowledge and the authority it carries. He’s a working man with a deep respect for family and the values that carries. What’s more, he is the kind of dude who wants the rest of the community to benefit from his luck. It’s a valuable commodity, and it’s not really for sale.

That’s what you hear when you listen to Paul Barron’s memories.

Jurors are conditioned to violent police force

DUELING VIDEOS TO CLASH IN A HOUSTON COURTROOM

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Four officers wrestle oil executive to the ground in 2013 arrest. Houston Police complaint alleges bodily injury when his hand touched the officer’s head, bottom right of frame, holding him a choke hold

 Domed City – An oil well service company executive will get his long-awaited day in court on October 24 of this year, nearly four years after his arrest for assaulting a Houston cop.

His lawyer didn’t look all that happy as he walked away from a status conference today in court, where he was ready for jury selection and to defend the case. It’s a doozy.

The cops didn’t shoot William D. Driver with firearms as they wrestled him to the ground outside a tent at the Houston Rodeo on February 22, 2013.

After they bulldogged him and laid him out prone, they jolted him four times with a TASER, he said.

In his day job, Driver is one of the Executive Vice Presidents of C&J Energy Services, where he ramrods fracking operations for the outfit. He was 46 on the day the cops jolted, choked, and bulldogged him into submission. In April, he turned 50 years of age.

That’s how long he’s waited for his day in court, his opportunity not to prove that he did not commit the act for which he is charged and indicted, but to sit by his attorney in silence while the Houston Police, with the assistance of the competent and formidable counsel of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office try to prove that he did, in spite of the statements of numerous witnesses.

That is, they must prove to the satisfaction of a panel of twelve jurors that he did then and there intentionally and knowingly assault a public servant in retaliation for the actions of that servant’s efforts to bring his actions under control.

Tres drama, ami. 

A video of the arrest shows a fifth cop piling on after Driver’s body is rigid from the thousands of volts of electricity coursing through it. A bystander made the motion picture with a cell phone, and the police confiscated it in an effort to erase the video.

They were far too late to effectively oppose today’s technology. The images were already on the cloud, where the owner transmitted them as soon as the depiction ended. Cynthia Zamora uploaded it to YouTube on Oct. 14, 2013.

Although the images are blurred, their contrast murky, excited kibbitzers in the crowd may be heard shouting that Driver is being “tased.”

According to his defense attorney Paul Looney, Driver and his companions were walking out of the tent when the officers working a private security job began to clear a path for musicians to walk through.

When they shoved Driver back, he said, “Hey, tell me. Don’t push me,” and the melee was on.

He just kept walking,” said Looney.

Police alleged in their official complaint that Driver hit one of the officers in the head with his hand as they wrestled with him. Indeed, one may see his hand brushing the shiny billiard ball surface of the shaved head of a Houston cop as he begins to fall to the ground.

When they reached the magistrate’s bench, prosecutors charged him with the third degree felony of assault of a public servant – retaliation, a third degree felony offense that carries a sentence of not less than two years and not more than 10, as well as a fine of $10,000.

That’s what it costs a man to raise up his hand to defend against the blows dealt him by rampaging cops.

How scary is that?

But, wait, there’s more.

The grand jurors who indicted him were part of a program paid for by the District Attorney’s office that uses “shooting simulators” intended to train policemen when to fire and when not to fire their weapons at persons in situations that either do, or do not require the use of deadly force.

A clue.

In a “Houston Chronicle” series that appeared later that year, Staff Writer James Pinkerton reported Harris County grand jurors cleared every officer who shot a resident in 2014 in a string of no-bills that dates from 2004.

“Last year, local grand juries chose not to charge 47 officers from nine agencies, including 20 cases in which civilians died and 19 other cases involving wounded civilians…”

Activists came to the forefront alleging that Grand Jury Commissioners appointed by Criminal District Judges routinely picked ex-police, probation officers, and former criminal justice system staffers to do the job of hearing presentations by Assistant District Attorneys and the testimony of police officers.

During grand jury sessions, attorneys for the defense are not allowed to enter the star chamber, and if a defendant is called to testify, they may answer questions yes, no, would you repeat the question, or take the Fifth Amendment. They cannot refer to notes or reference matieral, and If they have a question for their attorney, they must leave the room to ask before returning with their answer.

If a jury is seated and his case goes to trial in 182nd State District Court on Monday, May 23, it will be after his attorney has continuously answered docket calls since his indictment in 2013.

Driver has had numerous opportunities to cop a plea to the charge, or something of a “lesser” nature, something else that did not, in fact, ever happen. According to court papers, there are far too many witnesses who know better, many of whom are ready to testify.

Nevertheless, his attorney has been busy in pre-trial maneuvers.

In a January, 2014, motion, Looney pleaded for the dismissal of the indictment because of the alleged taint of Jurors having been trained not as neutral observers and finders of fact, but as potential police officers, placed in a position to make a decision between use of lethal force, or an attempt at de-escalation of a potentially deadly situation.

Court papers do not reveal if in a final motions hearing Judge Jeannine Barr denied the motion, of if it has been argued.

The training sessions, which are held in the basement of the courthouse, lead grand jurors to identify with the officer, and that dehumanizes the other party to the dispute, he argued.

I’m strongly of the opinion that makes it a flawed grand jury process,” he said.

District Attorney Devon Anderson defended her practice of paying for the use of simulators for grand jurors who volunteer for the police training sessions. She told newsmen that the practice applies to both self-defense claims by police and those of citizens.

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One may watch a television report depicting actual demonstrations of the grand jury’s use of shooting simulators by clicking here.

Twin Peaks’ slightly icky legacy in a police report

SPUR OF THE MOMENT DECISION HAS A STATEWIDE EFFECT

Screen Shot 2016-05-19 at 1.27.31 PMThe Texas Biker Shootout Is Too Much for Waco to Handle – “The Atlantic,” May 20, 2015

Detective J.R. Price’s report on the aborted capital murder investigation in which he played a walk-on part as Six Shooter’s most experienced detective in officer-involved shootings is like reading a script writer’s treatment of a sequence from a horror show.

First of all, consider the setting.

David Lynch makes movies about murder, dismemberment, mephistophelian strangers haunting lost highways, all with a lilting and understated sense of menace.

Charming.

He set one of his most successful efforts amid the snow-capped peaks of Washington’s Snoqualmie Valley, and the concept became so popular among cult film devotees that a group of franchisers marketed a chain of bistros featuring large-breasted young ladies in skimpy costumes, brewskis guaranteed to be 29 degrees, hamburgers so thick you need a jack to get your mouth around them, and a reputation as a slightly raunchy spot to kick back and watch a ball game with the guys – a ballsy string of joints suitable for gentlemen fresh from the deer lease, the trout stream, the golf links, bass tournaments, and the odd dove shoot.

Bikers riding hand made assembled, custom built Harleys worth in excess of $20,000 became attracted to the Twin Peaks locations, too.

Add gallons of gore, bodies sprawled amid dumped Milwaukee iron, dudes in black-t-shirts and blue jeans with no boots or belts sitting cross-legged on the white stripes of a parking lot – and you begin to get the picture.

But it doesn’t gel until you get a load of Price’s narrative about what he obviously considered el mondo bizarro about the presto-change-o nature of a DA’s investigation derailing a cop shop intent on nailing the perpetrators of a brutal mass murder touched off by a violent confrontation between burly mesomorphs laying around the lick log for an opportunity to stomp the jelly out of an enemy – a happening he considered a slam dunk case of capital murder.

It was a Sunday, so Price begins by saying that when he arrived at 2:45 p.m., his first order of business was to meet with the officers who had busted caps in the “shootout,” the “melee,” the “massacre,” the “gang fight,” or whatever description the gifted gabbers of the small screen and the black & white prints both slick and news sheet are calling it after 52 long weeks of waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I was able to meet with the officers and their legal representatives that had arrived from CLEAT (Combined Law Enforcement Association of Texas), as well as Sgt. Holt who was also present and had remained with the officers until such time I could arrive…”

Before he met with each officer – he doesn’t say whom or how many their number – “I secured their rifles that were used in the shooting.” They were examined by ballistics experts for evidence to be presented to the Grand Jury as a matter of routine. All that was done under a separate investigation.

Because ballistics evidence is excepted from the Texas Public Information Act, we the people will never know much about the results of tests ATF tool mark examiners did on the weapons unless that information is elicited from expert witnesses as court testimony.

If – that’s the biggest word in the English language – like the fella said.

After watching the crime scene video, most combat veterans see a pattern of dudes going down bloody and shot while those around them fight on, unconcerned. They suspect sniper fire from concealed positions fired from rifles outfitted with suppressors. The wounds match the autopsy reports.

At 10:30 p.m., his fellow detective Alston called to say it was time to wrap it up and report to the Waco Convention Center downtown on the banks of the Brazos for a meeting with the prosecutors.

When he got there an hour later, he noticed that not only were there loads of investigators from the Waco Police Department, but also the Sheriff’s Office, DPS, and other agencies from the surrounding area.

That is code for a well-known fact among cops that is not so well-known among the public. When people are killed by police gunfire, the law enforcement agency by which they are employed customarily turns the investigation over to investigators from another agency, such as the Texas Rangers, or the Internal Affairs Bureau. Ask any harness bull if that’s not a separate agency. 

You will get a quick assurance that it sure doesn’t have much to do with what he and his brothers in arms do every day on the job.

Senior law enforcement officers with long-term experience say they have long considered the Waco practice of investigating such matters in-house as a sign of arrogance, if not just plain old poor judgment.

You might say it wasn’t Price’s first rodeo. He may have had some ideas about what he was looking at, and it kind of sounds like it, reading his narrative. In fact, it seems to have attracted the attention of an experienced criminal defense lawyer from the metropolitan Philadelphia area, Abigail Anastasio.

She is representing a defendant charged – along with all the rest of them – with engaging in organized criminal activity. His name is Ray Nelson.

Ms. Anastasio told the ladies and gentlemen of the media on Tuesday, May 17, 2016, at high noon – about the same time of day when shots rang out at Twin Peaks on Sunday, May 17, 2015 – that there is a big difference in a prosecutor’s office advising law enforcement during investigations and “commandeering” them.

She wants the Judge, Matt Johnson of the 54th Judicial District, to disqualify the top three prosecutors in the McLennan County District Attorney’s office because they adamantly demanded the cops change their minds about the entire affair and so charge everyone with a patch – Cossacks or Bandidos, or support clubs, or patches that say “I support the Fat Mexican,” or bear the colors red and gold or black and gold, or basically, any sign of representing what they decided to call a “criminal street gang” because there is a manual published by the DPS that says that’s how things are.

In fact, Price was pretty sure they had already talked it over between all the detectives from the Sheriff’s Office, the Waco Police, the DPS – and come to that decision.

You can’t miss the surprised tone in his narrative.

I did confirm that detectives had already started the process of interviewing members of not only those two motorcycle clubs as well as others that were present at the Twin Peaks Restaurant. I was given information that at least one City Bus had left the Convention Center with individuals that had already been interviewed, indicating they had been released after items such as their ‘colors’ and other personal property that would be released after investigation.”

And then comes the clincher: I also confirmed that a representative from the District Attorney’s Office had asked all of the detectives to stop their interviews and go to one of the conference rooms for a meeting.

There, he learned, DA Abel Reyna and his assistants Michael Jarrett and Mark Parker had reached a decision to charge everyone with the first degree felony of engaging in organized criminal behavior that led to capital murder and/or aggravated assault.

He added that DPS “had classified these two motorcycle clubs (Bandidos and Cossacks) as Criminal Street Gangs. I was aware of an ongoing investigation and intelligence that had been coming into their agency, that DPS had been sharing with other local Police Agencies, since at least February or March of 2015.” Anyone documented to have supported them by wearing a patch should be charged with “ENGAGING IN ORGANIZED CRIME,” a charge which carries a penalty of from five years to life in prison upon conviction.

Everyone was charged with an identical affidavit alleging no specific complaint other than the foregoing, he noted – more than once.

Price also made it clear that the affidavit was written by the DA’s staff and that Detective Chavez of the Special Crimes Unit, a part of the Criminal Investigation Division, was directed to sign the documents.

It is no secret among law men that Price objected to the practice at the time. It is rumored that other investigators were loathe to sign the affidavits.

It is also no secret that purveyors of alcoholic beverages are at pains to keep motorcycle enthusiasts wearing anything indicating a motorcycle club affiliation out of their places of business due to a movement to report them to the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission for investigation.

That recommendation carries an automatic 28-day suspension of their license to operate as a tavern, ice house, cocktail lounge, bar, restaurant or whatever else the legal types at the state house choose to call their operation if it sells any beverage containing alcohol.

Tough to make it in a cold beer town if it be that way, huh?

Hey, Mr. Bartender…etc.

So mote it be.

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To see justice done, WWBD

Matthew Barnes

WWBD (What would Barnes do)

Central Texas Marketplace, Waco – A key battle in a quiet war of  nerves concluded just in time for the mainstream media’s quitting time feed yesterday, May 17, 2016, the one-year anniversary of the slaughter at Twin Peaks Restaurant.

A disabled biker named Matthew Barnes stood a lonely vigil at the site of the former breastaurant where 9 lost their lives, 20 were wounded and 177 arrested with no real regard for due process of law.

He was determined that the day not pass unnoticed by the public, but in the end, the television satellite trucks and stand-up commentators did their thing about 150 yards distant from his location – in complete isolation from We The People.

Stand back, m’boy. Y’bother me…

One newsman from KXXV Channel 25 interviewed Barnes.

The tense stand-off proceeded from the Twin Peaks parking lot to a parking space at Don Carlos next door, where police informed Barnes he was trespassing. So he moved to a shop where construction workers were busy remodeling .

A Sgt Vrail, who was an active shooter in the May 17 massacre, stopped to ask, “Are you shopping?” according to Barnes.

He added that Vrail has the reputation of brandishing his AR-15 at waitresses inside the restaurant on that fateful day, threatening that he would shoot them if they did not get on their bellies and give up their phones – the all-important, de rigeur item of females in 21st century global culture. It’s as serious as taking away a man’s boots, belt and billfold.

Questions to be asked, but since there is no one to do so, we will throw them to the winds here.

Were the media representatives afraid of Barnes’ “pup” Kalashnikov AK-47 clone swinging at his belt from a bolster?

Did they fear interference from bikers?

Do the owners of the former restaurant building anticipate undesirable publicity would equate to defacement of their valuable property?

Reached for permission to film from the patio of the Don Carlos Restaurant, a man who identified himself as Pete Caldwell said, “We can’t allow that, sir.”

Promptly at about 4 p.m., members of the Waco P.D. SWAT team arrived to take down the signs advising all intruders that to step foot on the property of Twin Peaks would be considered criminal trespassing.

And the news cycle continued while the world watched.

In conclusion, we wish to note that Mr. Barnes complimented the Waco Police in a backhanded way when he said that as of a year later, they have developed the “presence” to react without escalating hostilities.

After viewing thirty to forty minutes of video of their efforts, one would conclude that they displayed a great deal of patience in their day-long dealings with Barnes.

The pipers played “The World Turned Upside Down” as Cornwallis tendered his petition of surrender at Yorktown. The World has turned around many times since then.

T’is true, oh, America, they’re going to love you; we daresay they will not leave you – for anyone, or for any reason.  Like any gang, it’s blood in, blood out, you see.

So mote it be.

  • Legendary Jim

DA commandeered cops’ Twin Peaks investigation

Anastasio

Abigail Anastasio, attorney who seeks prosecutors’ disqualification

Waco – The two attorneys defended their pleading with the conviction of those who know the rules and play by them.

Abigail Anastasio, a New Jersey transplant from a Philadelphia suburb who now practices criminal law from Houston, filed a motion seeking a ruling that will declare Criminal District Attorney Abel Reyna, First Assistant DA Michael Jarrett, and Mark Parker, the Assistant DA who handles Grand Jury presentations and scheduling – as witnesses in the Twin Peaks investigation that led to 177 identical affidavits of warrantless arrest for engaging in organized criminal activity.

Rule 3.08, Texas Rules of Professional Conduct, disallows a lawyer from employment in a case “if the lawyer knows or believes that the lawyer is (or) may be a witness necessary to establish an essential fact on behalf of the lawyer’s client…”

Ms. Anastasio knows that Mssrs. Reyna, Jarrett, and Parker did exactly that.

She bases her opinion on a police report prepared by Waco Police Detective V. Price.

In that report, Price stated he and his colleagues had “elected to 1) question those present, and 2) release them to be recalled later, except where particularized facts justified an arrest.”

All of the affidavits of warrantless arrest are identical. None of them offer any particularized information whatsoever alleging any facts of a complaint.

Someone stopped the music and told the cops to come to the Convention Center, that the trio of prosecutors had made a decision.

Their decision: “…if it was learned that they (the accused) were members of the Bandidos or Cossacks; that they would be charged with  ENGAGING IN ORGANIZED CRIME based on the wording of an affidavit that had been prepared by the District Attorney’s Office.”

What’s more, anyone who wore a patch “indicating support for the Bandidos or Cossacks, or who in any way indicated support either the Bandidos or Cossacks, would be charged with engaging in organized crime pursuant to the affidavit the District Attorney’s Office had provided.”

Chief among the grounds for their recusal, argues Ms. Anastasio, is that “investigative decisions were not made by law enforcement officers, but by prosecutors.”

By so depriving the cops of that function, the lawyers became necessary witnesses because “They, and only they, are competent to speak of what decisions were made in directing the investigation in this case…they were the ones ones who made those decisions and directed the actions of the officers at the scene.”

As a result of “tampering of the investigation, exculpatory evidence went undiscovered.”

She and Mr. Looney are seeking a hearing before 54th District Court Judge Matt Johnson “as soon as possible,” and if the prosecutors are declared as necessary witnesses, she intends to subpoena them for their testimony. If her motion is denied, she may “possibly” appeal the ruling to the 10th District Court of Appeals at Waco because “a material witness cannot be used as an attorney for any party, including the State, to litigate its case.”

Looney told gathered media representatives that his client, Cody Ledbetter, was in attendance with his arm in a sling on May 17, 2015, that had Reyna and his staff not intervened, “he would not have been charged in this case.”

Looney

‘The cops were doing what they always do,” said attorney Paul Looney – until the DA told them to stop doing it…