‘To confirm if I saw what I saw’ – in one fell swoop…

Tiffany Walters, corrections officer who leaked the ‘hold harmless’ agreement in exchange for Twin Peaks bail reduction 2 years ago…

DON’T ELECT A CLOWN IF YOU’RE NOT EXPECTING A CIRCUS  – Clint Broden, Attorney at Law

Austin – Passing mile stones reminds one that all roads lead to Rome, and the reminiscence thereof clarifies the adage that the first will be last; the last will come first.

And so, shortly before midnight on May 17, 2017, the expiration of the deadline to file federal civil complaints under civil rights violations, the attorneys who have filed the most suits against the tyrants who served as stage managers for the cassus belli in the opening skirmish of Waco’s war on freedom for those with the pure dee temerity to rise up in the stirrups of their iron steeds and demand a toe hold in the councils of power announced their last filing just minutes before their last chance to toe the mark on behalf of the defendant who has demanded longer and more loudly than any other his day in court.

Lest we forget, the Confederation of Clubs and Independents meeting scheduled for 1 p.m. on May 17, 2015 at Twin Peaks Restaurant, Waco, was a gathering of motorcycle enthusiasts hell bent on 1) knowing what the hell was going on in the Legislature then in session, and 2) exercising their God given right freely assemble to petition the government for redress of grievances, as provided by the U.S. and Texas Constitutions.

Tell it like t’is.

The first civil rights lawsuit was filed by Matthew Clendennen on May 29, 2015. I just got back from Don Tittle’s office where we filed what is likely the last one at 10:45 pm for Cody Ledbetter…By my count, 131 plaintiffs filed civil rights lawsuits arising out of Twin Peaks. Don Tittle filed 118 of those complaints and I am co-counsel with him on 49 of those 118.” wrote Clint Broden on his Facebook page, an announcement forwarded to motorcycle enthusiasts throughout the area.

Folks will remember Don Tittle as the attorney who took McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara to the wood shed in the early days of his administration under the same civil rights authority afforded by the Title of the same U.S. Code, a law that hit the books during Reconstruction times to guarantee certain parties politically disenfranchised their basic human rights as guaranteed by the Constitution.

McNamara had dismissed some deputies as at-will employees and reduced the responsibilities and pay of others because they helped his rival in the primary race of 2012 put up signs and electioneered against his candidacy.

None of those causes are really and truly illlegal, nor is there legal culpability on the part of any man who erects signs, distributes literature, freely speaks his mind or of his political preferences – though it may be – ah – inexpedient and not at all prudent to talk about his religion in public, and never in a Texas beer joint.

At will employment means that with each re-election of a public official, his employees either write a letter of resignation, which is filed away undated, or it is understood that if the office holder has nothing for them, he is perfectly within his rights to relieve them of all their responsibilities to his office.

Friend McNamara misunderstood and the plaintiffs represented collected several million in damages, in some cases kept their jobs, and in others went on to bigger and better things.

Selah.

And so, as it were, Ledbetter, whose broken arm was in a cast as he watched the events of the “melee” at Twin Peaks unfold and watched in horror as his father’s life blood spilled onto the sidewalk through a quarter-inch bullet hole, has offered the defense through his attorneys, in association with Looney & Conrad of Hempstead, that he actually took no part in the ultra-violent fracas and took no part in anything resembling organized criminal activity, as charged in an identical instrument with those of 177 others arrested that day, their bail amount set at $1 million in order to “send a message.”

He merely avoided the same or similar fate as suffered by his father by obeying police instructions, gave a witness statement clad in zip ties after laying upon the floor of and impromptu prison fashioned from the Waco Convention Center, and the rest is history.

The Honorable 19th Criminal District Court Judge Ralph T. Strother gave him a trial date at one point, then withdrew the order without informing his counsel.

Why the delay?

The Criminal District Attorney Abel Reyna insisted through ex parte communication with the Court that he be given more time to gather and disseminate exculpatory information to the defendants, a delay that has now extended past the two year deadline for filing a civil rights action in federal court.

The Sixth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees, among other things, a speedy trial. 

The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed an appeal of the Waco 10th District Court of Appeals ordering a speedy trial date. Ledbetter’s attorney, Paul Looney, ventured the opinion that “having viewed no inculpatory evidence, we don’t really care about exculpatory evidence.”

That is one of the main points of the civil rights suits filed by Twin Peaks defendants in the U.S. District Court at Austin.

There is no real evidence to support the allegation, that the defendants did, indeed, engage in organized criminal activity.

It is simply and totally legal for a man and his family to attend a political meeting in order to get information about what is happening at the Legislature’s latest session. It is illegal for a man to jerk out his six shooter in a beer joint and get ignert with the trigger.

But, then, you see, Ledbetter is not so charged, and what’s more, the charge would be either murder, capital murder, aggravated assault, mayhem, disorderly conduct, negligent homicide, or all the other stuff these hooligans and philistines think it’s so cute to persuade defendants to accept as a charge in a so-called plea bargain. Such a deal. It’s not what really happened, and it never really happened, anyway, because the person accepting the “bargain” simply didn’t do it.

In some cases, no one did it because it never really happened. Don’t dare laugh. There’s a law against that, too, at least while court is in session.

And that is why what is written is so all-fired important in this world.

Period.

Paragraph.

Many more constitutional arguments accompany Cody Ledbetter’s protest of the violation of his civil rights by the FBI, the Texas Department of Public Safety, The Waco Chief of Police, the arresting officers, and they make interesting reading in the lawsuits filed, all of which center on the same arguments since they complain of the same abuses of the civil rights guaranteed by the Constitution and its Bill of Rights.

Lake Murders: Answer due in suit seeking wrongful death determination

I want you to understand I speak the truth when I say I didn’t kill your kids, anyone. Honestly, I have not killed anyone. I wish you could get the rage from your hearts and you could see the truth and get rid of the hatred.” –  David Wayne Spence’s last words before his execution

Austin – David Wayne Spence died in the execution chamber protesting his innocence in April, 1997 for the July 1982 murder of three teens at Lake Waco. New evidence may give him a chance to speak from the grave.

A first-ever test of new law allowing further appeal of the conviction and death sentence is pending in an Austin Civil District Court alleging the wrongful death of he and his two-co-defendants, Anthony and Gilbert Melendez, both of whom died behind bars after pleading guilty in return for life sentences prosecutors allegedly promised would last no more than 10 years.

The McLennan County Criminal District Attorney’s office is due to answer the lawsuit within days since its filing on April 19. If not, the judge will be obliged to enter a default judgment for the plaintiffs.

The Petition for Declaratory Judgment and Request for Disclosure stems from the Legislature’s 2013 amendment to the Code of Criminal Procedure and a change by the Court of Criminal Appeals to an appellate procedural rule governing applications for writs of habeas corpus.

The two are designed to allow post conviction relief for persons convicted before new methods of determining scientific evidence had been discovered. According to two lawyers who deal with these matters for the Tarrant County DA’s office, the changes came during what is known as “the year of the writ apocalypse” – 2013.

Among the chief allegations of complaint of the suit are that “…The State of Texas, by and through its employees, agents, and representatives withheld evidence, destroyed evidence, coerced untruthful confessions, utilized junk science, bribed witnesses, fraudulently concealed the foregoing and knowingly convicted not one, but four individuals (Tony Melendez, Gilbert Melendez, David Spence, and Muneer Deeb)…”

Chief allegations regard new blood spatter evidence, discrepancies and outright impossibilities as to time line and logistic allegations in the prosecution’s case, and the existence of as many as five separate and conflicting confessions taken from a defendant who entered a guilty plea in return for a promise of a diminished life sentence for the capital crime and an early parole date within 10 years. The evidence of that allegation was captured on tape by a concealed recorder in the conference room of the DA’s office.

To prove those and other allegations, the litigants acting on behalf of the estates of the deceased convicts must obtain from the Court, 345th District Judge Jan Soifer, an order that will allow:

“Determination that Plaintiffs were actually innocent;

“Declaration that Plaintiffs are eligible for statutory compensation for his wrongful imprisonment;

“Declaration that Plaintiffs are eligible for Writ of Habeas Corpus relief;

“Compensation for wrongful imprisonment;

“An award of reasonable and necessary attorney’s fees and costs; and

“For such other and further relief, general or special, in law or in equity, to which he may prove himself to be justly entitled.”

A big part of the controversy is related to the Michael Morton law, which allows the prosecution of legal professionals who have withheld exculpatory evidence of those convicted in error. Judge Ken Anderson of Williamson County lost his license to practice law and received a prison sentence for not disclosing evidence he knew of at the time of his prosecution of Morton. That evidence led to the exoneration of Michael Morton for the murder of his wife.

The Dallas law firm of Jay English, representing Jason Spence, David Wayne Spence’s son, filed the suit seeking relief for the estates of the alleged Lake Waco murderers.

Reading its 38 pages is a minor education on the back room maneuvers by former District Attorney Vic Feazell and his staff which led to the execution of David Wayne Spence, the guilty pleas from his two co-defendants, the Melendez brothers, and the eventual acquittal of Mohammed Muneer Deeb following his successful pro se appeal of the death sentence for which he served 10 years on death row awaiting execution.

All of them are long since deceased.

 

Shots Ring Out – Police fire at unrelated suspect at Twin Peaks happening

Waco – Police gunfire marred the peace and dignity of bikers observing the second anniversary of the blood bath at Twin Peaks Restaurant at the McLennan County Courthouse.

Activist and investigative social media journalist Paula Carroll Swann said the entire biker community is particular that people understand “We (motorcycle enthusiasts) had nothing to do with it.”

In the minutes prior to a scheduled rally on the north steps of the building, Sheriff’s Office SWAT Officers emerged from the annex building that houses the corrections department and pursued a black man who was said to have a knife. He came from an area to the west of the Courthouse office building at the corner of Columbus Ave. and Fifth St.

Small arms fire broke out.

We didn’t see the knife,” she said, as her companions echoed her skepticism. “We didn’t see any blood. We don’t understand why the cops had to go and shoot at that man that way.”

According to Matthew Barnes, a Second Amendment rights activist, motorcycle enthusiast and jury nullification proponent, the snipers had arrived earlier in unmarked vehicles, entered the building through the sallyport in the alley between the courthouse and the old jail building with their rifle cases and equipment, and took up positions in the second floor room overlooking the lawn and the courthouse steps, behind industrial windows propped open.

There were four of them. Two spotters and two shooters.”

Thus, their field of fire was flanking the spectators and speakers at the sparsely attended memorial service.

Sons of Liberty Riders Motorcycle Club President and Legislative Strike Force operative Mel Moss said, “They flooded the street from all directions when the deputy began to chase the man with the knife. They came from buildings all down through there.”

Clearly, the police set-up resembled the L-shaped ambush established on the day of May 17, 2015 when the so-called “melee” that left 9 dead, 20 wounded and 177 persons jailed for weeks broke out.

Why did they find it necessary to train their rifles on us?” asked a man dressed in motorcycle garb, who declined to give his name. His sentiment was heartily seconded by dozens of persons standing near the courthouse steps, all of whom insisted they could see past the glare of the windows to perceive the shooters inside the building wielding AR-15-style assault rifles.

Security Chief L. McGee declined comment on how the shooter teams are employed. “I don’t know. They have nothing to do with my operation. I have my guys I’m in command of outside here on the grounds, and that’s it.”

Experienced operators said they identified the officers as Sheriff’s Office members and that they carried standard tactical shotguns in their pursuit of the suspect. “I’m pretty sure they shot the rubber projecticles,” said one man, who requested anonymity.

Confederation of Clubs activist Sandra Lynch said her attorneys have freed her to talk about certain aspects of the case for which she was arrested along with her husband Mike and other members of Los Pirados Motorcycle Club.

I reserved the patio,” she says in a sardonic tone of voice. “That’s all I did.” The task was performed as a function of the Confederation of Clubs, for an update meeting on activity during the legislative session of the time on May 17, 2015. Those arrested spent 12 hours in zip tie handcuffs, during which time they could not get a drink of water or visit the toilet without help.

One man said, “They put a hamburger in my lap, and me sitting there with my hands cuffed behind my back.” Most folks arrested spent a minimum of three weeks in jail, many lost jobs, and most lost their motorcycles in cases of foreclosure or civil forfeiture. The bond strictures under which they were released called for their complete silence about the case, and they have only recently been released from those controls.

In a Facebook post, she stated earlier today, “We know what happened.”

“We didn’t even see an argument,” said Ms. Lynch. Others in her party agreed. “We mainly saw people hassling in line to get a beer,” she added.

Asked if she were at liberty to say what happened, what would she say, Ms. Lynch answered, without hesitation, “We were set up.It wouldn’t have worked without the Cossacks. They (police, DPS) were after the Bandidos, but they wouldn’t have been able to do it without the Cossacks,” a motorcycle club.

Most mentioned the name of Owen “Big O” Reed, a Cossacks member they believe operated as an agent provocateur for police and “motorcycle gang experts.”

Writing about the shooting incident at the memorial service, John Bostick of Two Million Bikers to D.C. gave this account:

“…As the bikers slowly filtered in, prior to the start of the event there were shots fired by law enforcement. The officers engaged at a jogging pace foot pursuit after what appeared to be a mentally challenged young black man. The pursuit started in the parking lot of the department of motor vehicles that was barricaded off for the bikers parking. The mentally challenged man was followed closely by officers with guns pulled out onto 5th st from Columbus street beside the motor vehicles building. As he entered 5th street he turned and headed North. Immediately, six men in military tactical clothing with M-16s appeared from the west side of 5th street at Columbus, and four shots rang out. It didn’t appear that the suspect was struck by the gunfire and a sheriff’s officer approached the suspect and slammed him to the ground. The six military clad gunmen disappeared as quickly as they had appeared.

“What is the mindset of Waco law enforcement to have full military tactical men in hiding observing a peaceful demonstration through scopes on high-powered weapons?”

The inspection, the investigation and the emperor’s new clothes

WHO BENEFITS WHEN THE EMPEROR IS NAKED IN HIS NEW SUIT?

Fire Marshal Kevin Vranich in conversation with the deposed lead arson investigator Kevin Fisk held forth about a proposed restructuring of the Waco Fire Department’s inspection and investigations staff – only days after ordering Fisk to partake in no official duties…

Waco – It’s an old story. The city dads in Six Shooter Junction just don’t like having to conduct business with the help under the rules and regulations of civil service commissions, the courts, or union contracts.

It’s just not done that way, and at times it puts the people served by the municipal corporation that is Waco, Texas into some funny positions.

The ultimate question is, who benefits? Few are brave enough to speculate on that answer to the unasked question, the 400-pound gorilla crouched in the corner of the room who never quite finds a way to stop beating on his chest.

Ce’st la guerre. As the old time blues man recorded for posterity in his sentiments to Ida Mae, “If you cry the penny, you die by the dime.”

In a candid audio file surreptitiously recorded by former Arson Investigator Kevin Fisk on April 1, 2015, Waco’s Fire Marshal said that in a time of increased blazes of questionable origin, he would like to bring the city’s fire inspection services up to Insurance Service Organization (ISO) standards by staffing his operation with civilian inspectors not under the rules of the civil service commission.

The resulting conversation is very interesting for folks who write hefty checks on a quarterly basis to household, manufacture, warehouse, distribute goods or perform services as a matter of course and the law.

Asked who would benefit from such an arrangement, Fisk, who lost his career after 15 years on the job when former Fire Chief John Johnston and Vranich recommended a leave of absence while experts examined his mental fitness to continue in his duties, declined to comment.

As a matter of record, no expert opinion regarding Fisk’s supposed inability to perform his professional function due to his mental state was forthcoming, and he was reinstated to his position with the stricture that he could still perform no investigative duties.

It is his allegation that he was told that if did not resign, he would be terminated and thereby lose all his retirement benefits accumulated during 15 years of service to the City of Waco.

Welcome to the NFL.

So mote it be.

 

 

Burglary charge ends guns and roses affair

Sherre Johnston (r) chiliing on an excursion to the Cayman Islands

Bosqueville – According to a public document that officials of the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office refused to release to RadioLegendary, a prominent boutique owner had been given a criminal trespassing warning months ago, a document warning her to stay away from Sheriff Parnell McNamara’s home place.

His brother Mike McNamara is buried there and Mrs. Sherre Johnston had visited his grave a number of times, causing complaints by his widow and family. In an exclusive interview at the time, she said she was upset because McNamara was a close friend.

“Why shouldn’t I be allowed to visit the grave of a close friend?” she asked.

She found him suffering a fatal heart attack in the parking lot of an area restaurant, she said, and called an ambulance. “I was just driving by.”

On Sunday, May 5, she reportedly returned to the home place of the McNamara brothers’ father, U.S. Deputy Marshal in Charge of the Waco Division of the Western District of Texas, where the family has lived since antebellum days. While there, people observed her going into a shed on the property, according to reports of an affidavit of probable cause in support of a search warrant for her home that was witheld from RadioLegendary.

Once there, law men say they found an item they allege she took from the shed on the McNamara property and left in another location on the property. This led to charges of criminal trespassing and burglary of a building with intent to commit theft.

In recent years, she has experienced a number of encounters with the law, including multiple charges of DWI and a case of assault in a domestic dispute with her daughter’s boyfriend.

Mrs. Johnston is no stranger to legal controversy. For a number of years she served as an assistant in the law office of Vic Feazell, former District Attorney, and had a place on the slate of associates listed on the Private Investigator’s license of Truman Simons, a former Waco police detective and Captain of the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office who developed the cases used to convict David Wayne Spence and the brothers Gilbert and Tony Melendez in a brutal1982  triple slaying of three young persons who were residents of the Methodist Home at Waco.

Her husband, John Johnston, is an Assistant Chief of the Waco Fire Department who until only recently served as Chief of the department until he took a voluntary demotion in order to be protected by civil service regulations.

During his tenure, he recommended a psychiatric evaluation that the Civil Service Commission ordered for the department’s lead arrson investigator, Kevin Fisk. After Fisk established his mental fitness to continue his duties as an arson investigator, he returned to work, then resigned in order to retain what retirement benefits he had accumulated during 15 years of service at the Fire Department.

In this taped conversation with Fire Marshal Kevin Vranich, Fisk explains what he had learned about the dismissal of the assault case against Mrs. Johnston and the status her daughter’s legal situation.

One may read police records of the November, 2013 drama that occurred between Mrs. Johnston, her daughter, and her daughter’s  boyfriend that occurred at Waco and in Robinson by clicking on this sentence.