McLennan Criminal District Attorney Abel Reyna faces disqualification
Waco – The lawyer representing two Twin Peaks defendants made a motion to reopen the hearing seeking the disqualification of DA Abel Reyna as prosecutor in the Twin Peaks caes.
Thomas Brandt, an insurance lawyer representing Reyna and McLennan County officials has refused to answer interrogatories ordered by 54th Criminal District Judge Matt Johnson on the grounds that to answer would violate the attorney-client privilege and that he knows of no such provision in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
F. Clinton Broden, who is representing defendant Matthew Clendennen, a former member of the Scimitars Riding Club, an associate club of the Cossacks, and Hill County Cossacks President Ray Nelson, said he will go so far as to subpoena members of the McLennan Commissioners Court as witnesses in the matter.
It is his argument that the attorney-client privilege extends only to consultations and not to the facts in a case. In any case, he further argues, Reyna gave up his privileges by repeatedly answering all questions about the matter by saying Broden should “talk to my lawyers.”
Chapman, on the other hand, was asked for no information that would include that which is privileged on the basis of attorney-client relations.
Broden said that though rare, the rules of criminal procedure do allow for interrogatories in criminal cases in the interest of conserving Court resources.
Both defendants agreed to the procedure with the proviso that if this easier, more expedient remedy should fail, they could reopen the hearing to obtain the information sought, according to Broden’s motion.
The central fact involved is that Reyna has a huge financial interest in obtaining guilty verdicts in the cases of bikers who were charged with engaging in organized criminal activity.
The grounds for his disqualification are that he became a necessary witness when he directed the Waco Police to arrest every person wearing a motorcycle club patch under that charge. His role at that point changed from prosecutor to policeman.
He faces millions of dollars in judgments in dozens of federal civil rights cases filed so far.