I HAVE NO RECOURSE. I CAN’T DEFEND AGAINST TWO PROSECUTORS – Casie Gotro, attorney for Bandido Jake Carrizal
Bandido Jake Carrizal (r) with his defense lawyer Casie Gotro (Center) and investigator Kevin Fisk (l)
Six Shooter Junction – 19th Criminal District Court Judge Ralph T. Strother put his head in his hands and his elbows on the bench in the classic “heavy, heavy hangs over my head” pose of gloom.
When he recomposed himself, he beseeched the defense attorney Casie Gotro with palms up, pleading, “For crying out loud, tell us what you want…”
At contretemps with prosecutors, who claim they have given her all the evidence and names of witnesses, statements, reports and information requested, she insisted there are disks in the DA’s “property room” with four conversations regarding statements taken by DPS officers from witnesses who saw what happened at the massacre at Twin Peaks Restaurant which claimed the lives of 9, wounded 20, and resulted in the arrest and murder conspiracy charges of 177 persons after a hail of gunfire from both bikers and police.
Her client, Jake Carrizal, a Bandido from Dallas is the first to be tried on two counts, the original one of engaging in organized criminal activity, and a superseding indictment for directing a criminal enterprise that led to the capital murder and/or aggravated assault.
At an evidentiary hearing held on August 14, the Judge allowed no one to be called to the witness stand, and ordered no one to turn over the information she subpoenaed.
According to lead prosecutor Michael Jarrett and DA Abel Reyna, “She’s been given everything she asked for.”
Au contraire, said Ms. Gotro. “They keep giving me the same things over and over.”
When Jarrett said there are no disks and he has no property room, she told the judge, “I have no recourse; I can’t defend my client against two prosecutors,” meaning that both the state and the judge are acting as such.
With great emotion, Strother said, “How about doing what we asked you to do and tell us what you want?”
In exasperation, Ms. Gotro said she had included that information on the subpoenas he had served on 12 witnesses or their designees. “I don’t have them with me now.”
“Where in the name of God does that leave us,” Strother fairly shouted.
She accused him of not reading the subpoenas.
Again, in total exasperation, he waved his arms and said, “I have no clue what is in those subpoenas!” He then put his chin in his hands and sat for a long moment before saying he would like to see counsel in his chambers.
Ms. Gotro refused to go unless the court reporter and her client Jake Carrizal accompanied the prosecution and defense.
When the judge gave his assent, they all trooped behind the closed door and emerged a half hour later.
Said the judge, “This matter is still set for jury trial at 8:30 am on September 12. The jury summons will be rescheduled for September 1.”
Ms. Gotro made no statement about seeking a writ of mandamus from the 10th District Court of Appeals to order the judge have witnesses produce the evidence she demands, nor did she mention pursuing a motion to recuse Strother, as she had promised earlier in a motion to stay the proceeding and another of noncompliance with preparation of the jurors’ questionnaire and evidentiary procedure.
She claimed she could do no such thing without the pre-trial discovery items she had requested and the evidence she had subpoenaed.
Following the hearing, Mr. Carrizal said, “To them, this is just a game, or just some case; to me, it’s my life.”