Attorney And Judge In Pre-Trial Mano a Mano

This is the second time since Friday a notice/order to appear within less than three days notice has been given. This order could very well cost him his job.” – Jake Carrizal’s lawyer

Houston attorney Casie Gotro heating up pre-trial fight with Judge

Waco – In a sweeping decision, the judge denied a motion to stay the first Twin Peaks trial pending his recusal and ordered the defendant to appear on Thursday, something his lawyer says could very well cost Bandido Jake Carrizal his job as a locomotive engineer.

He is the first of 155 defendants facing indictment and trial for murder conspiracy as a result of engaging in organized criminal activity on May 17, 2017 at Twin Peaks Restaurant.

19th Criminal District Court Judge Ralph T. Strother filed an order for Carrizal and his attorney to appear within minutes after Casie Gotro defied a previous order to report for a status conference he called for today, Tuesday, August 22, at 9 am on this case. She cited her motion to stay the proceedings and the motion for his removal from the case as her reason, and the fact that she has a responsibility to represent multiple other clients at Houston. The order to appear he filed is marked a few minutes after 10 am.

The purpose of this hearing is to discuss the mechanics and procedures to be followed during jury selection and at trial. Failure toappear and comply with this Order will result in the forfeiture of the Defendant’s bond and the isuance of a capias for his arrest. The Court reserves the right to take any further action permitted by law, including contempt and sanctions against the Defense, to enforce the Order of the the Court. – Judge Ralph T. Strother

Strother’s order is defective under the rules of both civil and criminal procedure, according to Carrizal’s lawyer.

“The order to appear doesn’t give Jake the standard “in any event” notice,” Ms. Gotro pointed out. “This order could very well cost him his job.” She cited Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 21, which requires  that any order civil or criminal requires a “bare minimum of three days; in many cases, depending on the type of proceeding, more notice is required.”

An application to the court for an order and notice of any hearing thereon, not presented during a hearing or trial, shall be served upon all other parties not less than three days before the time specified for the hearing, unless otherwise provided by these rules or shortened by the court.- Rule 21, Texas Rules of Civil Procedure

Ms. Gotro also filed a motion for discovery under the Brady Rule requiring all exculpatory evidence that could lead to the acquittal of Carrizal.  Such a motion requires the State to comply with the Michael Morton Law, passed following the finding of a Court that the prosecutor withheld evidence that proved the innocence of the defendant in the murder of a Georgetown woman.  Her husband, Michael Morton, served more than two decades before a judge overturned his conviction and sentenced a District Judge who was acting as a prosecutor at the time of his trial to serve time in the penitentiary. He was stripped of his right to practice law and lost his position on the bench as a result. 

 

 

 

 

Twin Peaks Judge has to go: Bandido’s Attorney

This Court has refused to perform ministerial acts and has abused its discretion so grossly that defendant has no adequate remedy at law. Defendant also believes and affirms this Court’s actions and comments also warrant a motion to recuse the Hon. Judge Ralph Strother from presiding in this case. That motion will be filed immediately.

Without relief, defendant will suffer irreparable harm. – Casie Gotro’s motion to stay proceedings in the first trial of the Twin Peaks cases, State v. Bandido Jake Carrizal

THIS SPACE IS LEFT INTENTIONALLY BLANK BY ORDER OF MR. T. WOODS, CITY EDITOR OF THE WACO “TRIBUNE-HERALD.” EDITOR STEVE BOGGS INFORMED US THAT THE PICTURE OF JAKE CARRIZAL IS COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL, AND HE WILL HAVE HIS ATTORNEY GET A CEASE AND DESIST ORDER IF IT IS NOT REMOVED IMMEDIATELY… (Whee! Fee Fi Fo Fum, etc.)

Bandido Jake Carrizal, charged with murder conspiracy by engaging in organized criminal activity and directing the actions of an outlaw gang on May 17, 2017 – photo by T.Witherspoon of the Waco “Tribune-Herald,” who is allowed to take photos in the courtroom 

Six Shooter Junction – The local court system’s reluctance to make available discovery information that both the U.S. and State Constitutions declare belongs to the defendant before trial has led to a grinding halt in the first of 155 high profile murder conspiracy cases.

19th Criminal District Judge Ralph T. Strother is so biased, he should be recused, according to the defense attorney representing Bandido Jake Carrizal.

Houston lawyer Casie Gotro alleges in one of two motions,  in which she is seeking a stay in the proceeding pending his removal, that Strother has “ruled for the State” and refuses to perform the duties of a Judge.

In another, a motion of noncompliance,  she declares that Strother is making it impossible to formulate questions to ask of prospective jurors in what is known as voir dire  examination – Latin for “to speak the truth.”

So long as the State continues to deny the defense access to records and material evidence, it will never be possible for undersigned counsel or any other lawyer to intelligently question a venire or formulate those questions for submission to a venire.

Absent a court order, undersigned counsel has no reason to believe the State will voluntarily produce or allow the defendant access to material evidence or stop interfering with the defendant’s efforts to obtain this evidence.”

According to the twin motions filed today, Ms. Gotro claims that the prosecution has argued that her client Bandido Carrizal; “1) defendant was not entitled to the records; 2) had already received the records; and/or 3) the records did not exist. The Court blindly accepted the State’s generic argument and ‘ruled for the State.’”

She intends to seek a writ of mandamus from an appeals court ordering the judge to produce the requested information.

The result is that  the Court “grossly abused its discretion leaving the defendant in the untenable position of sacrificing one constitutional right in order to exercise another.”

Only a court order will make it possible to get the information.

Here’s the record of Strother’s performance, according to the motions:

On August 4, the attorneys met in chambers to discuss records and material evidence that was not being made available to the defense. Ms. Gotro states she “explained to the Court, based on the events of the previous weeks and well known to the Court, the only way these items would ever be produced to the defense was if the Court ordered those in possession to produce them…”

In response to 10 of 12 subpoenas filed for state and local officials to produce records, “Not a single responsive record was produced and one elected official (Sheriff Parnell McNamara) declined to even appear in court.

On August 14, 2017, this Court refused to perform certain ministerial acts and grossly abused its discretion…”

In his ruling, Strother “…1) refused to perform the ministerial duty of allowing defense counsel to make a record describing the non-responsive nature of the document production…; 2) refused to read any of the nine of the subpoenas ; summarily concluded without having read either the subpoenas or the documents produced that defendant was not entitled to this evidence prior to trial; 5) refused to make any findings of fact; 6) refused to make conclusions of law, and; 7) refused to take any action enforcing the defendant’s subpoenas.”

Ms. Gotro refused to respond to a question from this mighty organ of public opinion submitted in writing, by e-mail.

It is this: Is she aware that the fast frigate U.S.S. Constitution, which was built during the administration of President Thomas Jefferson, is still in commission as a war vessel of the United States Navy, and that many of her recent skippers have been of the female gender?

We the People are sorely reminded of that fact.

And know ye, one and all, that the floggings will continue until morale improves.

I am sincere.

So mote it be.

  • The Legendary
  • Our readers may find interest in the fact that Mr. T. Woods, city editor of the Waco “Tribune-Herald,” has removed his earlier comment on the article’s use of a picture of Jake Carrizal snapped inside the 19th District Court by Tommy Witherspoon, staff writer. He is the only one allowed to make photos in the Courtroom. Fortunately, Ms. Deanna Jo Robinson of Quinlan, Texas preserved the missive and published it in “All For 1,” a Facebook presentation of the Sons of Liberty MC. She added the notation LMAO. She reportedly has a long way to go, but it IS funny. – Legendary Jim

It’s Always About The Gun

I’ll have that .32, Bob – “Now, Bill, you will leave me at the mercy of my enemies…” Little Bill Taggert v. English Bob at Big Whiskey, Wyoming

El Paso del Norte – Official business in the world of 1% motorcycle enthusiasts includes attending funerals of members cut down by a blazing six gun.

Judges have held the colors of a patch are a reasonable suspicion and a legal reason for the local gendarmes to detain, disarm, and investigate.

So the arrest of five New Mexico Bandidos who came to this city to attend funeral services for Juan Martinez, president of the local Bandidos Chapter who lost his life in an attack by a gun-wielding assailant at a bar came as no surprise.

Authorities allege that his attacker is a member of the Kinfolk Motorcycle Club named Javier Gonzalez. FBI literature designates the Kinfolk, which is allegedly made up of a core group of former Bandidos ejected by that club’s national leadership as an “outlaw motorcycle gang.”

In a news release, El Paso cops identified the Bandidos as Ruidoso, New Mexico residents Zachary Carrizal, 33; Scott Stevens 37; Terry Claunch 55; Charles Newbold, 35; and Alto, New Mexico resident Kaden Hall, 24. 

They are charged with unlawfully carrying a firearm, a Texas Penal Code violation. But there’s an interesting reason why.

To apply the Spanish semantic concept of the dicho doble, where guns are outlawed, only outlaws carry guns – here – in Texas.

Carrying a hog leg in New Mexico is seen as something of a God-given right to self defense. In Texas, it’s not so cut and dried.

There are complications, such as Texas Penal Code § 46.02 (a)(C), which holds that a person carrying a firearm in their auto is guilty of a Class A Misdemeanor if it may be shown at trial it was in plain view, or that person is a member of a criminal street gang. It’s a felony of the third degree if the offense is committed on premises licensed for sale of alcoholic beverages.

Evidence of membership in a criminal street gang is also reason to arrest those who carry a firearm in a shoulder or belt holster, even though they may have a concealed carry handgun license, according to the cops.

But it’s not carrying the gun that matters as much as what happens when you pull the trigger. Tensions are high in Santa Fe following an attack on the home of an unnamed Bandido in a drive-by shooting.

A criminal complaint says a father and son who are members of Los Vagos Motorcycle Club, an outfit with roots in southern California carried out the shooting. David Andrew Cordova, 54, and his son David Ray Cordova, 29, allegedly fired more than 20 rounds at the home of an unnamed Bandido from a pickup truck.

The cops say they don’t know how the elder Cordova suffered a wound in his arm during the incident; it was unclear who fired the shot, Santa Fe police said.

Though they parked a “mobile unit” outside his house, the Bandido was said to be uncooperative, staying home, and keeping his mouth shut.

The truth is, though a person is alleged to have the God-given right to defend himself with deadly force when confronted by the same, the rules are more than a little hincty when it comes to those who fly the patch of a motorcycle club the feds and state police identify as an outlaw motorcycle club.

In the first place, outlawry – literally, the official act of declaring a person out law, or beyond the protection of the law – is an ancient concept once freely practiced by the despots of Europe and the British Isles – is totally prohibited by Sec. 20 of Art. 1 of the Bill of Rights of the Texas Constitution.

The states of the northeastern seaboard and west coast are not so liberal as the sons of the Lone Star Land Grab of 1836.

For instance, a holding in a 2015 case brought to the federal bench by a six-man delegation of the Pagans Motorcycle Club slapped down the concepts of freedom of association and expression under the First Amendment; safety from unreasonable search and seizure under the guarantee of the Fourth Amendment; and the right to equal protection, freedom from abuse of process, and a guarantee of due process of law under the Fourteenth Amendment.

The Chief Judge of the United States District Court for New Jersey reviewed the case of the only biker who remained in the civil rights case brought by three Pagans under Title 42 U.S.C. § 1983 gave short shrift to any such claims in a sweeping decision over a group of five New Jersey State Troopers who pulled them over and detained them for nearly an hour because of improper helmets. They had one man’s bike towed when it was learned his license was invalid; then they what the judge ruled was an “idle threat” to make one guy’s old lady who was riding behind him as a passenger walk because her driver’s license had no motorcycle endorsement.

A video shows that Trooper Carlini repeatedly demanded the bikers take off their jackets or turn them inside out – for the purpose of “officer safety.” Why?

Back in the 1980’s, a Pagan shot a Trooper in the face. He used a gun – a firearm. It’s not clear what he did with his helmet or his jacket, the one with the patch on it.

All that has been lost in the mists of antiquity, unrecorded by the official record.

The judge never mentions that in the act of ignoring Carlini’s demand that “the gentlemen will remove their jackets,” they shot no one. They just stone-faced the rift, faced the music, cooled the phrase, zipped the lip, and went ahead on amidst the sounds of silence, in contrast to Carlini’s repetitively phrased be-bop.

The case is considered good law, and it’s got one of the most complete briefs of the concepts under discussion in an opinion written by Judge Simandle, who held in Coles v. Carlini,162 F.Supp.3d 380 (2015), that none of the civil rights protections of the U.S. Constitution’s First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments apply to men who wear the patch of a club designated by the FBI and state police as outlaw motorcycle clubs.  

The Judge denied every claim the Pagans brought before the Court, mainly because he held that the Constitution of the Pagans Motorcycle Club indemnifies members arrested while on official business “such as robbing a bank.” He noted that the controlling Supreme Court holding on the civil rights of people freely to associate, be safe from unreasonable search and seizure, and due process of law “does not protect violence.”

The most outstanding feature of this elaborate holding on the events described is simple enough. It involves no violence whatsoever, just the potential for violence, based on the surmise of federal officers who have placed a large number of organizations outside the protection of the law through their designation of the members who wear a distinctive patch as part of an “outlaw motorcycle club.”

To set up the scene, picture six Pagans tooling down the boulevard between Trenton and Norristown, on their way to a tavern where more than 90 scooters are parked and people are partying on the occasion of the annual toy run, an event the Pagans have sponsored as a benefit for more than 30 years.

Trooper Carlini and his partner see that these dudes and one dudette are wearing helmets, but in some cases the helmet has no face shield, and in others, they are wearing no goggles.

None of them had reflective tape on their helmets, but – here’s what is most important for officer safety – they are wearing jackets with the distinctive patch of the Pagans, a venerable outfit from the City of Brotherly Love, located just across the Delaware.

And so, the investigation began while Thelma held the magnolias for Miz Scarlet.

According to the video, Carlini’s opening salvo was to say that “the only colors you wear” on the highway are the blue and gold of the New Jersey State Police. He backed that up by saying, “You guys want to leave here, you’re going to turn your – you’re going to take your jackets off.”

Everyone got a ticket because their helmets were unsafe for Trooper Carlini.

For his safety and the safety of the other four troopers who gathered to contain the threat presented by those unsafe helmets, he issued court summons.

He said, “We knew we were dealing with a criminal outlaw gang…When you encompass everything in the – what we knew at the time, for our safety, we wanted those jackets removed.”

Under the legal concept of qualified immunity for public officials, the judge ruled, Carlini’s antics were protected “as long as conduct does not violate clearly established statutory or constitutional rights of which a reasonable person would have known.”

Therefore, the sole remaining litigant in the lawsuit, Pagan Coles, had no standing for injunctive relief.

To sum up his holding, the judge ruled that Coles had no valid claim for equal protection under the law because “Plaintiff has not plausibly alleged that his First or Fourteenth Amendment rights have been violated.”

And the floggings will continue – until morale improves.

So mote it be.

  • The Legendary

 

Ruidoso resident Zachary Carrizal, 33, one of five Bandidos arrested for unlawfully carrying a weapon to a funeral in El Paso.

Of Search And Seizure

RECUSAL HEARING OF JUDGE RALPH T. STROTHER

We had to file an open records request… – Richard Rousseau, attorney for Rolando Reyes, speaking of what it took to see the search warrant

19th Criminal District Court Judge Ralph T. Strother

Waco – As the day wore on through an increasingly precise and pettifogging onslaught of the State of Texas’ constant objection to the form of questions, an ugly story emerged.

The office of the Criminal District Attorney of McLennan County wanted to take DNA samples of defendants charged with engaging in organized criminal activity at a police ambush of a political meeting of the Confederation of Clubs and Independents, a civic association of motorcycle enthusiasts, at Twin Peaks Restaurant on May 17, 2015.

Nine men lost their lives following an all-out firefight in which an uninvited club named the Cossacks, a 1 percent organization not affiliated with the confederation, confronted members of the Bandidos with firearms as they arrived on their Harleys. Twenty men succumbed to their wounds; autopsy reports and video surveillance tapes make it abundantly clear that unseen riflemen firing from a position of L-shaped cross fire to their rear then cut them down with precise sniper fire. Almost every wound was to the rear of the body, in the head, the back, the neck.

As Waco Police investigated, District Attorney Abel Reyna made a decision to have everyone present wearing “colors” on their garments arrested; a justice of the peace acting as magistrate set their bonds at a cool one million dollars.

Each defendant was charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, non-specifically and without any description of the actus reus allegedly committed, other than the accusation that it all somehow led to the capital murder and/or aggravated assault of another human being. The penalty for such a conviction is not less than 25 years nor more than 99. It doesn’t look good on the resume that one was ever arrested, charged and indicted for such an offense.

In November of 2016, Ella Watson, the lead court coordinator in the 19th Criminal District Court arrived at a decision to have a paralegal in the DA’s office send e-mails to attorneys who represent 72 defendants previously not required to appear at “announcement docket” calls.

She testified that Strother was experiencing health problems at the time, and that in between doctor visits, he directed her verbally to take the action required to summon defendants and their attorneys to the courthouse, not necessarily his courtroom. They could have been order to come to any place, anywhere in the county, he later testified.

Said Ms. Watson during her direct testimony, “Judge Strother had never seen that re-set form before. It’s literally Chinese to him.”

Indeed, it was a peculiar occurrence, out of the ordinary, with a demand for defense attorneys to be present with the defendants they represent at 1 p.m. in the 19th District Courtroom on the third floor of this Victorian building with the double dome and Aztec pyramid steps on February 16, 2017.

Ordinarily, witness after witness testified under oath, attorneys would file an automatic “reset form” by computer and the Court would pass the case to a future date. This time it was different.

Only a few attorneys representing three of the 72 indicted in the 19th Criminal District Court, roughly half of the 152 persons  who wound up under indictment, bothered to inquire why.

What they found represents a complete departure from criminal practice guaranteeing a freedom from unreasonable means of search and seizure of items from a defendant’s person, property, and papers. The order finally obtained after a monumental hassle in harmonies of ring-dang-doo contained no specific instruction as to what,items to search for or seize, or exactly where.

Judge Ralph T.. Strother, it emerged through the painful process of direct and cross examination, with all its elaborate and courtly semantic requirements, had ordered the search and seizure of the defendants’ bodies and the seizure of tissue from which the District Attorney intended to have analysis of the ultra-precise genetic markers of deoxyribonucleic acid – which is spelled just like it sounds, and abbreviated as DNA.

That would be the biochemical self-replicating substance that contains the constituent components of chromosomes, nature’s double helix of genetic record that makes it possible to isolate the footprint of a living organism and distinguish tissue from that particular entity exclusively from that of many billions, if not trillions of others.

He did all this “verbally,” but he doesn’t remember specifically when, or how, to whom he directed his order. Other than to assert that he just did it because he wanted to, he answered all other questions with “I don’t remember,” or “not to my knowledge,” or other vague responses.

During questioning in a grueling three hours on the witness stand by former Texas Criminal Court of Appeals Justice Charlie Baird, who is representing an Austin produce merchant named Paul Landers,  Strother became by turns petulant, outraged, commiserative, defiant, and enraged in his various displays of self justification for an act he admits he set in motion, something that is considered totally unconstitutional and completely outside the norms of judicial conduct as an interpreter of the law, a guardian of the requirements of due process.

He said he doesn’t remember if he told the court coordinator to set up the “3A announcement docket,” or if they just worked it out as co-workers, in a text or phone conversation.

Down the memory hole with all that.

Why did he do it this way? He testified he had no idea. His staff takes care of all that.

In the end, he admitted that he ordered the defendants to go to the District Attorney’s office to submit to a search of their bodies in the seizure of tissue samples, “Because that’s what I wanted to do.” At another juncture, exasperated and showing it with an embarrassed expression on his face, glancing sidewise at visiting retired District Judge James Morgan of Comanche, he said, “I wanted the defendants to appear. I didn’t care how they were notified…”

In later questioning, he added, “Look, I ordered people to appear; I didn’t care who sent the notice.”

It is not a comfortable spectacle, this thing of watching a lion as he is bearded in his own den. It brings to mind the famous video clip of President Richard M. Nixon when he told an interviewer, “When the President does it, it’s not unconstitutional.”

This experience is in parallel with the decision of the DA on May 17, 2015, to take over a police investigation and order the arrest of one and all persons wearing club colors, then to be charged with the conspiratorial offense of acting in a combination of one or more others to commit a criminal offense, in this case capital murder and/or aggravated assault.

When placed on the witness stand in the 54th Criminal District Court during a similar hearing in August of 2016 to testify about his recollections of those events, Abel Reyna put on a similar display. He was simply unable to come to grips with the fact that he ceased in his role of a criminal attorney acting on behalf of his client, the People of the State of Texas, and became a police officer directing the evolutions of a criminal investigation. One could see in his facial expressions and demeanor that he had never given it the slightest thought until pinned down on the dissection table – alive and suffering – under the white hot examination of the truth of pure reason, the logic of the absolute semantics of a concept of enlightened liberty.

It’s a fine line, but there it is. Everyone there felt and heard the bump when the ship of state banged into the bluff and jagged shoal; no one wanted to look anywhere but the middle distance or the tips of his boots. It was a moment, painful to behold, even worse to experience, a brief flash of reality that instructs with the precision of a scalpel or a surgical probe that there is no profit or joy in watching the correction of another human being so reduced to such a miserable and sudden change of fortune, so suddenly bereft of his trappings of authority, and thus naked and isolated, unable to accept his error.

And then the reality set in. This is a community that cannot be bothered with the form and function of an enlightened republic; its leaders just don’t care about the rights and responsibilities of the citizens, and they could care less about the niceties of being the guardians of liberty. It is a full-blown police state. Every official is there to punish and correct. There is little regard for the normative procedures of fact finding and due process.

Don’t get locked up in Waco. Period. If possible, fly over it.

It made one remember, in a sick-making rush, that the survivors of the Branch Davidian raid of 1993 all agree. They have to this day never seen a search warrant, from the moment that two cattle trailer loads of armed SWAT officers stormed their communal dwelling with automatic assault weapons until the explosion of the fireball that ended the lives of men, women and children who held out for that document, and even today. No one has been allowed to read the instrument of search and seizure issued by a magistrate to allow such an occurrence.

Quite simply, these people do not learn by their mistakes.

How unfortunate.

THE MORNING STARTED WITH A BANG  when attorneys for the state and the Waco “Tribune-Herald” sought to quash subpoenas for lead prosecutor Michael Jarrett and Staff Writer Tommy Witherspoon.

Attorneys seeking to recuse the judge wanted to question Jarrett about just how the prosecution arrived at the determination to seek the DNA evidence; similarly, they wished to question Witherspoon about just how he learned of the judge’s opinions about such matters as Grand Jury selection in the now defunct “pick-a-pal” system, of the appointment of a retired police officer for the panel that would be asked to indict the Twin Peaks defendants.

Assistant District Attorney Sterling Harmon argued that Jarrett’s work flow involves privileged information regarding his “work product,” which is exempted from discovery or examination under oath.

A Mr. Cosby represented that Witherspoon is protected under the Texas Journalist Shield Act, which renders privileged the news gathering activities of a working reporter.

Both motions went nowhere, though defense attorneys had supplied specific exhibits regarding Jarrett’s practice and the shield law protects only published material, not that which is unpublished.

Judge Morgan remarked, “I hope we don’t have too many of these detours,” and expressed in no uncertain terms several times that he really wanted to “get this done.”

That was a recurring theme, as he prodded attorneys asking repetitive questions to the accompaniment of a steady onslaught of objections by Jarrett with the admonishment, steadily increasing in tempo and volume, “Move on…Move On!…MOVE ON!”

The climax of the day’s proceedings came when Richard Rousseau testified about an ugly confrontation between District Judge Susan Criss and Assistant District Attorney Amanda Dillon.

The conflict was simple enough. The judge wanted to see the order, the legal instrument by which her client was compelled to come to the DA’s office and submit to a tissue swab to test his DNA. There must be a warrant, a court order – something with the judge’s signature, said Rousseau.

But there was none.

Ms. Dillon refused to sign the re-set form to pass the case for a future date until they came to the DA’s office to submit to the DNA collection.

Finally, in frustration, he recounted, Jarrett remarked after long, loud and vigorous arguments that they had a choice.

“Would you rather we come to your client’s house and kick the door down so we can execute the search warrant?”

You could have heard a pin drop; you could have heard time crawl. Suddenly, everyone present was looking into the abyss of the police state. Rousseau’s face was a mask of stone. Everyone else looked a little bit pale, including the judge.

Rousseau answered Jarrett’s question about the sufficiency of the warrant that was issued by Judge Gary Coley, something it took a public information act request to obtain, saying, “I don’t consider that an order; I consider that an e-mail.”

And then it struck like a thunderclap. Everyone involved in that dispute aired in that room, or nearly everyone, is a senior citizen living through their golden years. Some day, the record will reflect that when the crunch came, the bone on flesh thud and thunder of conflict occurred, when push came to shove, it was Mama San and Papa San, the old folks, the gramps and grannies, who stepped up and fought with skill and precision, a dedication to the rule of law.

In their final arguments, Dallas Attorney F. Clinton Broden held that Judge Strother violated the constitution in three ways; he issued public statements published in papers of record about matters which he may one day have to rule upon; he assisted with the execution of a search warrant, a law enforcement function; and he engaged in ex parte communication with the DA’s office.

Judge Baird said he had two objections that would render Judge Strother incapable of being a neutral and balanced magistrate or a judge of the law. First, he assisted the state with their execution of a search warrant that was like Samuel Goldwyn’s verbal contract, not worth the paper it’s printed on; second, he did not recognize the necessity of trying to obtain evidence from a defendant without first talking to the attorney representing him.

The most dramatic and poignant argument came from Judge Criss, whose emotions carried her into the realm of an outraged woman at the well, arguing with a tormenting interlocutor who would not let her speak without interruption. Jarrett constantly objected to her words as irrelevant, and she fairly shouted at him, “Yes, it’s relevant!”

With a great economy of words, she reminded him that these are the underpinnings of the republican form of government crafted by the likes of Benjamin Franklin and John Madison, without which the legislators of the states would not have ratified the basic law of the central government of the United States of America, ordained by We The People, and not a king or queen.

The lady stepped up; she showed her spurs, said “I’ve signed thousands of search warrants in my time!”

At the end, Judge Morgan expressed his extreme disappointment, saying, “This is not the way I wanted it. I wanted to rule on this today, but I can’t. I’ve got to think about it.”

A bluff and blunt spoken West Texan, he was last seen carrying his suit bag and carry-on luggage, strolling across the square toward the city’s premier hotel on the Civic plaza.

He granted Judge Baird time to work up a formal brief of authorities at common law to compel the recusal, a document which is due a week from this coming Friday.

I am sincere.

So mote it be.

  • The Legendary

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mysterious Bullet Clues

Someone (author unknown) suggested this might make a good addition to the article you published today:

 Diagram of the .223 bullet in the tip top of Diesel Boyett’s head 

Waco – When a hearing opens this morning in 19th District Criminal Court, evidence items to be considered include mysteries as yet undiscovered in the Twin Peaks massacre of May 17, 2015.

Defense lawyers challenging the prosecution’s case against 155 men and women, all of whom are charged with somehow contributing to the murders of 9 men through their alleged engagement in organized criminal activity by attending a political meeting of activist bikekrs on May 17, 2015, at a Waco bistro will demand scrutiny of more evidence and answers to questions either unasked, or left up to speculation by the State.

Former District Judge Susan Criss, Millie Thompson, and F. Clinton Broden have all demanded the recusal of Judge Ralph T. Strother.  They, along with Casie Gotro, the lawyer representing Dallas Bandido Jake Carrizal, who is charged with directing the activities of a criminal organization as he rode into the ambush by Cossacks within an L-shaped ambush by Waco police and State Troopers on his Harley-Davidson, have all complained that DA Abel Reyna and staff are dragging their feet in the production of items of exculpatory evidence.

They complain that the judge is acting in collusion with the State through ex parte communication that is prohibited by the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure and the rules of judicial conduct.

In an evidentiary hearing held on Monday, the judge made it clear from the start that he would not allow Ms. Gotro to put any of the witnesses she had subpoenaed on the stand; he also refused to order the witnesses to produce the evidence thus requested in order to defend the accused man.

If only three M-4 AR-15 patrol rifles were used by police, then why is a bullet that seems to have been fired as a coup de grace into the very tip top of the crown of Daniel Raymond “Diesel” Boyett’s head after he was apparently prostrate and face down, already dead from another wound made by a similar weapon that does not match the ballistic characteristics of one of the three police rifles known to have been tested by experts?

Good question? Here’s something that begs an even better one.

DPS Director Steven McCraw or his designee were not required to take the witness stand, nor were they ordered to produce any evidence about that revelation during the Monday hearing, even though all their pertinent records have been subpoenaed by the defense team representing Carrizal.

An anonymous correspondent wrote this narrative to The Legendary. It raises the issues entirely relevant to the controversy as to why Judge Strother should not recuse himself.

So far, the judge has neglected to take any action to help defense attorneys answer this or many other questions that would lead to the discovery of exculpatory revelations.

Boyett was shot twice in the head. Only one of those bullets was linked to WPD; specifically that of WPD SWAT Officer Michael Bucher.  The second bullet was excluded from the 3 WPD guns.

Even though the second bullet  was ‘consistent with .223 caliber, neither law enforcement, nor the District Attorney’s Office have made any attempt to determine where this 2nd bullet came from.

One shot, and likely the first, was to the left side of Boyett’s head; located an inch or two behind his ear. The second bullet entered the vertex of Boyett’s head (See attached).  Eye witnesses have said, and will say Boyett was one of the first, if not the first, to fall that day.

Unless the second shooter was hovering directly above Boyett’s head, the only logical conclusion is that the second bullet entered his head after he was already on the ground. One might question whether this second gunshot wound, was “a cover bullet”?

Crime scene photos have Boyett’s head facing and/or pointing in the same direction Officer Bucher’s police unit; thereby placing him in Bucher’s direct line of fire. Compare this with Butcher’s widely publicized dash cam video. Bucher and his partner apparently sit patiently waiting for something to shoot. This is evident by noticing the in-car camera footage shake vertically as the officers exit the car…well after Boyett would have already been on the ground with someone else’s bullet in his head.

The findings of autopsies on the nine dead men make a clear suggestion to any finder of fact – and that’s what the jurors will be, as under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, the judge is the sole interpreter of the law, its efficacy, morality, justice or propriety.

Members of the jury must decide if the evidence and testimony presented by the State of Texas actually puts a weapon such as a firearm, a chain, a whip, a club or “object unknown to the Grand Jury” into the hands of any of the defendants, and whether that evidence is sufficient beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused thereby contributed to the death by capital murder of the victim.

One may behold many such questions by reading the autopsy reports, ballistics reports being excepted from public scrutiny under the provisions of the Texas Public Information Act. 

A dash cam view of the aftermath of the “melee” at Twin Peaks

Tales From Down Under: Armadillo v. Kangaroo

Prosecutor to Judge: Would you please instruct her to act more professional? Defense lawyer to Judge: Could you please tell him to grow a thicker skin?

Judge Ralph T. Strother, posing in an English horse hair big wig, described as an “additional opponent” in a defense recusal motion – photo by T. Witherspoon

Waco – Pre-trial courtroom drama heated up in the first of the Twin Peaks cases to go to trial. The dialogue got so hot that the attorney representing the first of the defendants charged in the Twin Peaks massacre vowed to file a motion to recuse the trial judge no later than opening of business today, Tuesday, August 15.

The vituperative rupture of courtroom decorum between prosecution and defense was so severe the judge admonished attorneys to direct all remarks through the bench.

Amid a flurry of subpoenas served upon witnesses and agencies for documents in the defense case for Dallas Bandido Jacob Carrizal, who is scheduled to go to trial on September 11, Judge Ralph T. Strother reportedly did not call to the witness stand any of those summoned by defense attorney Casie Gotro. The judge further allegedly refused to issue capias warrants for the information many of the witnesses failed to produce.

Among witnesses subpoenaed, McLennan County Sheriff Parnell McNamara failed to show up altogether. A defense subpoena also summoned Steven C. McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety, to answer questions about ballistics testing, especially on the bullet that killed Daniel Boyett, which reportedly does not match those fired by other police rifles.

Members of the defense bar including former District Judge Susan Criss have filed motions for the recusal of Judge Strother, amid allegations of ex parte communication between the bench and the prosecution.

That motion alleges on behalf of Rolando Reyes that Judge Ralph Strother be disqualified because his bias against the defense is of such a degree that it has resulted, and will continue to result, in Due Process violations.”

Judge Criss has also challenged the method of issuing search warrants for DNA samples. 

Those motions have been added to one previously filed by F. Clinton Broden, who represents a former member of the Cossacks support club, Scimitars, Matthew Clendennen, who was arrested at the blood bath gunfight and police raid on May 17, 2015, which claimed the lives of 9 and the wounding of 20 by gunshots.

The Court will hear arguments on the recusal motions on Wednesday, August 16, at 9 a.m.

Carrizal is charged with directing the activities of an criminal enterprise, an offense that carries a minimum of 25 years to 99, and another count of engaging in organized criminal activity that led to capital murder and/or aggravated assault.

A sampling of reader comments gleaned from an early report published in The Waco “Tribune-Herald” expressed much skepticism:

THE COSSACKS AMBUSHED THE BANDIDOS. SELF DEFENSE! Do your hear me Waco? SELF DEFENSE! – Chris Gore

I certainly hope that the 600 folks who are summoned to be vetted for jury duty are intelligent enough to have been truly paying attention to this case, and are aware of how the city and county ‘powers that be’ really work there. – Darlene Kramer

It’s sad when Waco PD, DPS & many undisclosed Cossacks planned the ordeal, & executed it as a cops day of target practice, & now want to play games on innocent victims & their attorneys….It was a meeting to discuss upcoming laws for the motorcycle enthusiast..Geez…Wrong place @ wrong time does not establish a crime amongst motorcyclists or anyone wearing a patch, cut or leather! The ballistics prove the sniper fire was not by any club members but instead by law enforcement…You have to look at the massacre & Waco’s background & ask 1 question: “Is this another Branch Davidian type ordeal that will be swept under the rug again?” I sure hope NOT!!! – James Lovelady

Prosecutors Reyna and Garrett were expecting to be negotiating plea bargains, not actually trying to explain the discrepancies and false accusations of the state’s case in the courtroom . Casie Gotro has the high ground. – Albert Stahl

 

 

 

Code Of The West: Do Unto Others – Then, Split

ONLY IN THE MOVIES: GROCER TO GOD, “DID IT REALLY RAIN 40 DAYS AND 40 NIGHTS?  GEORGE BURNS, AS GOD, “WELL, YOU KNOW HOW THE PRESS IS ABOUT THESE THINGS…”

FROM SOMEWHERE IN CYBERSPACE – “To my knowledge there is no war between kinfolk and anyone,” wrote a person who declined to state if he is an officer with that club.

That remark echoes what we have been told by both the present and past president of Bandidos, U.S.A.

An anonymous source close to the confusion between the Bandidos and Kinfolk got in touch. His aim: to try to clear the air about what he claims is media distortion about confrontations that have led to recent deaths in both communities.

In an opening remark, there is a heavy emphasis on an ill-informed media’s characterizations and “some misinformation that has been put out.”

And yet, for this man, though Kinfolk MC had long before been established, the troubles began on February 18 of this year at South Padre Island during a Bike Fest held at the city’s convention and visitors center. It’s an annual event that is termed as a “family” oriented celebration of the biker lifestyle by its coordinator, G. J. Reyna, who is a trustee in the operation of a 503(C)3 non-profit which handles the annual affair.

You can tell by past press and broadcast coverage that the bike fest is something the merchants and city dads, even the police, fully support. The cops even offer a motorcycle escort across the causeway, in and out of town.

Police and press really soft-pedaled the violent confrontation that took place on the grounds and resulted in hospital treatment for one person who ran into a knife blade and two others who were treated and released for contusions and abrasions after they used their heads and faces to stress test someone’s fists.

A fourth party – well – split before the cops got there, or either declined medical treatment, or both. Coverage is fairly murky.

The fight took place in the grassy area, according to one report.

Reporters across the board mentioned no names, pending a police investigation. Ho hum.

The South Padre Island Convention and Visitors Center…

The bottom line is, no one involved, city dads, merchants, cops, bikers – and all – can really afford this. The event is a good thing; most pictures show no one flying patches, no one looking like they’re out for a rumble.

Maybe that’s why the few people who wrote in and commented on social media articles after they got back home to Houston and points farther afield west and north expressed their surprise at the negative press and broadcast coverage – when they didn’t really think it was that big a deal.

But it made an impression in our correspondent’s mind:

February 18, 2017. The day it all changed. All we wanted was to be left alone. And you couldn’t do that. You had to make a different choice. A choice you now know was the wrong one. A choice you now wish you hadn’t made. You tried to intimidate us, it only brought us closer together. You tried to divide us, it made us stronger. You even tried to kill some of our members. But it didn’t work did it. You had 30 to 40 punks jump on 4 of our men. In front of ole ladies. It only shows your fear. You’ve done drive by shootings on houses with women and children. Only to show you for the cowards you are. And guess what. We are still here. Flying our colors with pride. Heads held high. And where are you. Hidden inside your little forts behind pad locked gates. Barricaded inside, behind shielded windows. To afraid to even look outside. And yet we are still here. Riding our bikes, living our lives like always. Watching as you call your little puppets to do your bidding, watching as they fail you in your demands of them. Laughing as you loose members. And all you had to do was leave us alone. But you couldn’t. We warned you. But you wouldn’t listen. You said you where the masters, that only you held power. You know us, our members, and our skill sets. We are not your dogs, to kick and command at your will. We are the wolves that prowl the night, the guardians of the old ways . We will not bow, we will not run, and we will not hide. We are Kinfolk Mc 1%ers, and this is my message to you, all of the red and gold nation, do not cross my path and try me. You have awoken the side of me you should have left sleeping. But now it’s to late. Come hunt me, I beg to all the gods you do. Come test your skills against mine. Let’s see if you can finish what you tried to start. I’m betting you won’t. Your running out of puppets fast. It will be down to only your own men to send soon. Can you feel it. That’s the world getting smaller around you. No support, no back up. Just you. Left for the wolves, that you provoked.

You couldn’t do it could you? Leave us alone, that’s all we asked. Don’t push us, don’t prod us, and we will simply ride our bikes and never utter your name. But you couldn’t, You had to show the world that you had the control of everyone. That no one would be aloud to defy your orders. You told us not to continue our brotherhood, not to congregate together. And we told you, to your faces that our brotherhood and loyalty to each other was a bond that couldn’t be broken at the will of others. We told you we would patch up to create our own. And you said no we won’t. And you watched us grow, and strengthen our bonds even tighter. You trembled at the thought of being usurped and denied. You began to see that we were not mere sheep in your flock of minions. You knew us, personally, some of us were even once a part of you. A part that you used and toyed with. We were tools that gave you your strength and courage. Until the day we awoke and seen you for what you really are. A tyrant, a bully, and a road pirate. We were ashamed of the things we did at your command. And vowed never again to be those men of such evil acts. We wanted the purity and passion for our lives back. To once again live the real outlaw mc life we had admired and longed for as kids. Not the power hungry tyrannical criminal trash we had let you turn us into. So we did what no other had before. We walked away, we turned our backs collectively on your orders. We defied your authority, like no other. You laughed at first, because no one had ever looked at you with contempt before. You were angered by our contempt, when we started our own nation. But once you seen our resolve, you became afraid. Afraid of losing your throne of power. Afraid of looking weak. You begged us to return. Threatened us to obey you. You even tried to kill us. And yet , to your surprise , Our resolve held, our brotherhood remained true and stronger than ever. We reminded you, leave us be. To push us, to try to control us would only become your nightmare. It would unleash the wolves that once guarded your thrones. The wolves that once gave you your strength and might. But now the wolves have a new master, they do their own bidding, and you shall soon see the wrath of our pack. You will hunt us, and we will stalk you and a few may fall. But the fangs and claws that once helped create your illusion of power and control, will now tear you apart. Piece by piece, you will be devoured in the name of our fallen brothers till nothing is left but a faint red and gold memory. And we will still be here. Once again at rest until the next tyrant awakens us. Our brotherhood and love will carry on for eternity as will our name. Some will call us friend, some even brother but all will know us for who we truly are We are Kinfolk Mc 1%er. The guardians of the old ways.

SO MOTE IT BE.

The Legendary

A mural at the convention center, where they say a north wind drives the tide out on the flats and produces really good conditions for wind surfing. – Legendary 

 

Evidence, Jury Questions Taken Behind Closed Door in Twin Peaks Case

THE GUNFIGHT AT THE I’M NOT OKAY, YOU’RE NOT OKAY CORRAL

19th Criminal District Judge Ralph T. Strother has delayed justice in the cases of 177 arrested on May 17, 2015, for more than two years

Waco – As the world awaits the first trial of a biker charged with acting as a king pin mobster in the deaths of 9 and wounding of 20 others, the judge took all arguments about evidence and jury selection behind the closed door of his chambers.

Judge Ralph T. Strother adroitly managed the mood during the earlier hearing session when the drug test of a woman charged with theft showed positive for use of prohibited substances and he found her bond insufficient, ordering her arrest and remanding her to the Sheriff’s Office on an increased bail amount.

“I’m not guilty!” she cried. “I didn’t do it. I’ve got to go home. I’m pregnant! My child is waiting in the car,” she sobbed. The standing room only crowd of seasoned criminal defense attorneys and defendants laughed nervously at her histrionics. She slowed, lingered in the doorway, as the bailiffs led her away in chains.

A number of the learned counsel remarked, “He had to get her out of here…” The tension level of the courtroom rose and fell away quickly with her exit as the judge looked down and to the left, at an imaginary spot, somewhere in space, just in front of the bench.

However painful, it was a moment that did not go unremarked by all in attendance, the clear indication of a game played for keeps, the consequences of win or loss negated by the cruel realities of the circumstances. The mere serious nature of the accusation alone is punishment enough, and to be present at any part of the accompanying ceremonies is a torture to the mind, a reflection of the horrid realities of the conflict, with or without strict proof.

Bummer. Total. A street of no joy, a ville of no happiness.

NEARLY 28 MONTHS AGO, CHRISOPHER JACOB CARRIZAL, a Bandido from Dallas, rode his Harley Davidson into an L-shaped ambush at Twin Peaks Restaurant.

Police and rival biker club members formed the two arms of an opposing force.

Carrizal and less than a dozen other members of Texas’ dominant Motorcycle Club, the Bandidos, thought they were going to a political meeting of the Confederation of Clubs and Independents to hear about actions of the Texas legislature on a multimillion dollar motorcycle safety fund and the profiling of motorcycle clubs flying 1 % patches as criminal street gangs. Cops and prosecutors nationwide are hell bent on reinforcing the outlaw status of men and their women who have been placed beyond the protections of the law ; the media hammers at what is depicted as a sudden crime wave of inter-club warfare between “outlaw motorcycle gangs” competing for territory in armed confrontations at bars and restaurants, parking lots and filling stations.

A member of the national leadership of the motorcycle enthusiast movement was to appear and brief representatives from the north Texas metropolises of Dallas-Ft. Worth and the southern Texas cities of Austin and San Antonio who had met in the central Texas location of Waco, a place where bikers are notoriously unwelcome, especially if they are wearing patches with the 1% diamond.

They were met by an overwhelming force of dozens upon dozens of armed men wearing similar patches – of a different color. An undetermined number of police with AR-15 patrol rifles stood in concealment behind their battle line. There is considerable evidence indicating the probability that they were operating in collusion.

In terms of transactional analysis of human behavior, it turned into the gunfight at the I’m not okay, you’re not okay corral, a setting named for the spooky cult classic cable tv series about a ritual murder of a young lady in the dystopian setting of a one-horse sawmill town of the Pacific Northwest during an economic slump.

Certainly, the only difference in economic terms of the set and setting of the Gunfight at the OK Corral in territorial Tombstone, Arizona, was the central fact of a booming economy of silver mining. All the rest of the elements are there – overarching federal presence, extreme rivalry between local law enforcement agencies, and the attraction to the conflict of hired gun mercenary lawmen who drifted from hell town to hell town in the social uncertainty of an unsettled west.

That gunfight only killed three, but just like the Twin Peaks massacre, there had been a long and serial chain of murder and mayhem leading up to the climactic confrontation of legend.

Authorities charged all persons arrested at Twin Peaks with the murky conspiracy-based offense of engaging in organized criminal activity, a first degree felony that carries a penalty of 25 to 99 years if it can be shown on trial that a combination of two or more persons acted in a way that led to the capital murder or aggravated assault of another human being.

In a multi-count superseding indictment, the state has enhanced its allegation against Jacob Carrizal to a further violation of the same Chapter of the Penal Code, that of “directing the activities of a criminal street gang.” Conviction for that first degree felony carries a penalty of not less than 30 years imprisonment nor more than 99.

A unanimous decision of the jury must hold that Carrizal used a firearm, chain, whip, brass knuckles…or other object “unknown to the Grand Jury” to cause the deaths.

Two members of the Cossacks MC met Carrizal as he and the rest of his party arrived at a parking lot packed with the motorcycles of their uninvited number. What was said or done is a matter of dispute.

Clifford Pearce, a former Bandido who was prospecting in the Hill County Cossacks chapter and had been stationed to watch the bikes, told police from his hospital bed that he has no idea who shot him – or why.

In contrast to other persons’ statements, he told police officers he experienced no collision with his body, nor did anyone run over his foot with a vehicle. He said he did not argue with the other bikers as they arrived over where they intended to park their scooters.

He is paralyzed from the chest down as the result of a gunshot wound.

Similarly, Ray Nelson, president of the Cossacks chapter who had directed him to take that station, told the cops who interviewed him at the hospital the next day that he had no confrontation with anyone, and that he has no idea who shot him in the back, or why.

In contrast, video surveillance of the crowd of Cossacks in the patio of the beer garden as they awaited the arrival of the Bandidos depicts a throng of men openly displaying their weapons, checking their concealed carry holsters, and adjusting their draw.

To prove their most serious allegation, prosecutors must make the jurors perceive a man astride his Harley-Davidson, a machine that weighs more than a quarter-ton, brandishing a weapon of vague description, leading a charge of only a few against a much larger number of antagonists who lay in wait with firearms.

They have summoned 600 prospective veniremen for the case.

As the surveillance tapes released to the public show, events rapidly accelerated, with gun-wielding assailants cut down by withering gunfire from unseen snipers. There is evidence that the police who wielded the rifles held them on the wounded and unwounded alike, forcing them to remain prone on the pavement in their death agony until they bled out, only yards from emergency medical technicians.

Dead men tell no tales.

They do not testify.

They are unavailable for questioning.

The packed courtroom slowly emptied of defendants making a pre-trial appearance as the hour wore on toward 9 a.m., time for the arraignment of Christopher Jacob Carrizal, and Christopher Julian Carrizal, both of Dallas, members of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, both charged with engaging in organized crime.

And then the moment everyone awaited came with the arrival of Carrizal’s defense attorney, Casie Gotro.

Dressed in an off-white linen suit, tanned, fit, lithe and – well – bouncy, she strode into the room in a whirl of stylishly cut hair tinted ash blonde, strappy purse, briefcase, slender arms and legs – and took her seat on the newly vacated front row of a pew reserved for attorneys. The crowd of lawyers who were there for the show lingered in the rear of the gallery, waiting for the curtain to go up following the overture of misery in the long, drawn-out parade of the accused.

He associate, a young man dressed in pearl gray, behaving with the neutral affect of a dude on serious business, sat down with eyes roving all over the room.

They waited, and when their investigator, former Fire Lieutenant and arson investigator Kevin Fisk arrived with a large number of satchels and boxes of files stacked high on a little two-wheel cart, they put him to work pulling out folders, binders, DVD’s, photos and floppies.

In animated gestures Ms. Gotro inquired about other items and Fisk, whose shirt was soaked through with perspiration, left and returned schlepping another stack of wheeled suitcases, attaches, and the odd cardboard folder or two.

He pawed through that stack and found the items requested, and as the three sat and sorted through it all, they reached a consensus.

They were ready.

Fisk departed,  a look of relief on his face. As a certified peace officer, he has agreed with many others behind a badge that Judge Strother is his favorite judge who acts as a Magistrate in criminal cases. This is for one reason and one reason only.

Strother is thorough; he reads every word of an affidavit, offers constructive criticism, and won’t sign off until he’s dead sure that it’s a valid legal document.

He didn’t sign any of the affidavits of warrantless arrest used to charge the 177 people apprehended in the aftermath of the blood bath of May 17, 2015, at Twin Peaks Restaurant.

As if on cue, Judge Strother emerged from his chambers at stage left, like a leading lion of the legitimate theater, and the aborted show began and ended just as quickly as the Prosecutors, Michael Jarret and Amanda Dillon, joined the defense attorneys in filing into his private domain, where they remained for nearly a half hour.

When they emerged, all went their separate ways just as quickly as they had arrived.

It’s not yet clear what, exactly went on in there, but there are clear cut indications from earlier, fiery appearances by Ms. Gotro that there is great concern by the defense that the questions to be asked of prospective jurors in the all-important process of the removal for cause and for peremptory challenge of jurors deemed unqualified or undesirable is paramount to be examined, given a thorough airing in pre-trial hearings. Hurry up and wait just won’t do when it comes to eliminating prospective jurors until the twelve who are least objectionable to both sides are seated by an acquiescence of accommodation under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

She is not without the aplomb of a well seasoned barrister. Ms. Gotro has addressed the Court in public about discrepancies between the discovery of ballistics reports the state has so far turned over to the defense bar. There is the issue of the three rifles tested, which, according to former Police Chief Brent Strohman, who announced to the world press in a statement many months ago, before his ouster as top cop in Waco,  were the only rifles used and were used to fire only twelve shots in the gun fight so often described as a “melee.”

The only caliber 5.56 millimeter rifle recovered from a civilian in the aftermath of the melee was locked in the trunk of a parked car.

Ms. Gotro’s pre-trial preparation has disclosed another ballistics sample, a bullet taken from the head of a biker who bit the dust that day that does not conform to the characteristics of any samples either test fired or recovered from the other three.

Whose rifle is that? Have all the samples been processed? Does anyone know? Fair questions, all. The judge has yet to rule on the issue.

The rest of the defense bar waits – and waits. The trial of Jake Carrizal, who was riding point as the Bandidos arrived at the Twin Peaks Restaurant, is going to take place first. No one has indicated any willingness to plead out.

A well-experienced investigator remarked later that discovery is a foot-dragging death march designed to leave defense teams unprepared and in a constant state of suspense. “They have released this massive amount of material – in six sections. Now, our guy’s discovery is in the sixth section of stuff – and they haven’t released that yet.”

He shrugged, smiling wanly, an upraised palm at chest level, the universal sign of – like – who knows?

Casie Gotro’s demeanor is take no prisoners and direct, and she has repeatedly engaged in vociferous exchanges bordering on badinage with Mr. Jarret over procedural and evidentiary items. Jarret has actually appealed to the judge in open court to “make her” suspend certain behavior that he has complained violates his space.

Judging by the press she has received in the Bayou City of Houston, her performance is not untypical of her courtroom style, which is aggressive, forthright – and extremely effective.

The lady is all about assertion, from the hair flip to the way she shoulders in and out of her suit jacket, cocks a hip and cuts her eyes, then turns on her toes like a hard charging mare lithely dancing out of the paddock.

In the elevator, she told veteran court reporter Tommy Witherspon, who followed along beamishly, searching for a quotable quote, “I’m sorry it wasn’t sexy today.”

They both laughed.

And then she strode away down Washington Avenue, into the forenoon heat of a blackland dog day going into cotton season, a walking exclamation point of expression, all about the new millennium’s professional watchword for working women.

Athletic, toned – physically fit – is the new standard of beauty for today’s professional.

Casie Gotro, Esq., Counselor, Attorney-at-Law…in an opening statement to a Houston jury about a woman, a victim of domestic abuse who allegedly consented to letting her estranged husband torture her with burns to her breasts and genitals during an extended session of rough sex. 

 

 

 

El Paso Cops: ‘Kinfolk MC In Attack on Bandidos’

BULLETIN: El Paso Bandidos President Juan Martinez, 61, HAS REPORTEDLY EXPIRED DUE TO WOUNDS HE RECEIVED IN THIS ATTACK.

El Paso Del Norte – New developments depict scenes from a biker war the Bandidos have declared does not exist. 

Authorities say the President of the local Bandidos chapter, wounded in an attack by a member of the Kinfolk Motorcycle Club on Sunday, is charged and on bond for a shooting that took place in August 2016 at the Hot Chicks Bar in this city.

That shooting involved another club not named in court papers, according to published reports.

Police arrested Javier Gonzalez, 34, a man they identified as a member of Kinfolk Motorcycle Club, in an attack on four Bandidos at Mulligan’s Chopped Hog Bar on Sunday, July 30.

He is held on $650,000 bond.

According to published reports, Gonzalez is accused of firing into a group of Bandidos and wounding El Paso Bandidos President Juan Martinez, 61, Ballardo Salcido, 49, both of whom suffered life-threatening injuries. Juan Vega-Rivera, 35 and David Villalobos, 47, sustained non-life threatening injuries in the shooting.

In a press conference, Bandidos U.S.A. President Clifton ‘Dozer’ Roberts, said one of the injured is possibly paralyzed.

Ins And Outs Of Court: ‘It Took A Time Machine And Jesus Christ,’ Said Movant

Central portico of the street entrance to the Old Bailey, City of London, the central criminal court of the United Kingdom.

In a Houston case, “…the handwritten petition stated she was murdered by defendants, resurrected by God at jail where she had been incarcerated for 330 years. It took a time machine and Jesus Christ to get [me] out of jail.”

Six Shooter Junction – Three kids who had been living at the Methodist Home, a very – ah, Christian institution for troubled youths who had been behaving – well, a little off the beam, died horrible deaths by stabbing one hot summer night 35 years ago.

In the resulting furor, no one in any official capacity – and certainly no crime buff – has been able to accept the simplest, most easily proven possibility.

In fact, people in Waco, Texas freak out totally when confronted with any possibility that anything other than what the cop and the DA built cases for – to convict four men with known modus operandi totally unattractive, socially unacceptable, and certainly not in keeping with the rules for the – well, ah – Christian rehabilitation of youthful drug offenders.

It goes against the grain, the litany of a national mantra of confidentiality, decency, and the hopes that good kids won’t wind up in the kind of bad circumstances to which drug use so often leads.

And everything.

The three teenagers – two of the girls from Waxahachie, one a boy with a drug problem, were last seen alive at a lakeside park where people are known to go to buy and sell dope. Fishermen found their mutilated bodies on the other side of the lake, posed in positions suggesting ritualistic murder most foul.

One of the girls had just come from the Texas Rangers Museum, where she worked as a receptionist and tour guide during her stay at the Methodist Home. She had returned to her home town and was making a visit to see her friends, get and cash her check, and – well, party?

Okay, troubled kids, a sinecure of a job at the show place of the state’s law enforcement community, a building dedicated to the impeccable brand and the exploits of the fabled Texas Rangers?

How would the drug dealing and consuming public likely react to some young folks who looked and could have been easily mistaken for Mod Squad types, working on a dance card to satisfy the man and get rid of some really ugly criminal charges?

Who knows?

Hey, it’s not really that big of a town when you get down to who’s hot and who’s not, who’s holdin’ and who’s foldin’. Out of a population of roughly a hundred thousand?

Want to find out? Really?

Yeah. But is it true, this nightmare of a case that – after 35 years –  just doesn’t go away?

After some hard, serious changes, one of the alleged perpetrators was convicted and executed for the capital of one of the kids.

To give you an idea of the type of trauma this individual was capable of inflicting on innocent people, David Wayne Spence insisted – tres macabre – that his son Jason, on whose behalf the lawsuit has been filed, attend his execution by lethal injection.

His son alleges his father was falsely convicted, that he didn’t do the crime. According to his lawyers, neither of two of his associates who allegedly participated in the killings, and likewise a third who offered to pay half of a life insurance settlement for the death of one of the girls mistaken for another girl.

The State of Texas has responded by saying there is no basis in fact for the allegation under a somewhat new rule used in civil cases of its type.

Rule 91a has been used most famously in a case alleging sexual assault by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

His lawyers used a special provision of the rule that provides for a pleading of no basis in fact, in which no reasonable person would believe that such an event as alleged ever took place.

According to an expert, the Honorable Judge Randy Harris, 157th District at Harris County, a former trial attorney at a Houston firm for nearly three decades who taught many young attorneys before he took the bench, “Rule 91a is a useful tool to dismiss the ocasional nut suits that we sometimes encounter. For example, one Harris County judge recently dismissed a case under rule 91a where the handwritten petition stated she was murdered by defendants, resurrected by God at jail where she had been incarcerated for 330 years. “It took a time machine and Jesus Christ to get [me] out of jail.” 

The motion has teeth in it, built in by the committee who drafted the proposed court rule for the Texas Supreme Court. Defendants have 45 days to file a motion for dismissal hearing.  If the judge finds no basis for the lawsuit, the plaintiffs are required to pay reasonable costs and attorneys’ fees. However, if a judge finds there is reason to believe the allegations of a lawsuit, the defendant must pay the expenses and fees.

The results have so far been mixed, with some holdings favorable to plaintiffs and others – not so much.

In this case, the State of Texas has responded in exactly the same way. According to their motion, which is to argued as to procedure, there is no basis in fact for the allegations in which a reasonable person could place any trust. 

But it’s the nature of police work to go after a credible suspect with a known track record and develop a case. That’s how they do it in downtown Cairo, Hong Kong, London, Paris, Rome – and Okeechobee.

In the Lake Murders, one Waco Police Detective gave up on convicting the alleged suspects, with the approval of the Chief of Police.

At that point, Sgt. Truman Simons guaranteed the tough talking new DA Vic Feazell he could have the case solved in a week.

He asked for and got the job of Investigator of Special Crimes. Feazell alleged financed his salary with a $60,000 seizure from a drug dealer, according to his ex-wife Bernadette Feazell.

Like any pragmatic cop, he went to the files, where he found the cases on two sex offenders – David Wayne Spence and Gilbert Melendez. Spence had just drawn a sentence of 90 years for his part in the sexual assault of a queen who took he and Melendez to his apartment for a party.

Spence, who was handy with a knife, told the old boy if he didn’t go down on him, he would cut him; Melendez said if he did, he would kill him with his knife.

A third defendant, Tony Melendez, was under a charge for sexual assault and home invasion of the residence of a Corpus Christi pharmaceutical warehouse operator. As member of the family arrived home from their day, Melendez and two cohorts who lay in wait waylaid them, allegedly raped the teen-aged daughter – in her mother’s bed – and extracted the keys to the warehouse and the burglary alarm codes from the father.

They tied up the mother and baby brother who were last to arrive home so they could watch all this as it happened.

Both of the Melendez brothers chose to cooperate with authorities.

The rest was up to a judge and jury, and it was a wild a wooly operation in which  David Wayne Spence and a Jordanian national named Mohammed Muneer Deeb, a young computer repair student with a club foot and a long route to get home, were tried for the murder for hire plot of a girl who was not there, and the resulting slaughter of three other kids who were.

Did I mention that Deeb owned a marginal grocery right next door to the Methodist Home, the place where kids from all over board when their lives slip slightly out of orbit, go somewhat askew?

That’s where the entire town of Jerusalem-on-the-Brazos is sleep walking through the drummer’s jingle, “Punch, brothers, punch  with care. Punch in the presence of the pasen-jare,” as Twain once put it so well.

The intended victim was also a former resident of the Methodist Home who had worked for Deeb at his store, a hangout for Spence and others who liked to play coin-operated games.

Deeb had taken out insurance policies on his employees, sureties he described as workman’s compensation, but which investigators identified as life insurance policies. The State alleged Deeb offered Spence half the proceeds if he would kill the girl who had spurned Deeb’s advances. His motive? He need to get married in order to get a Green Card.

Years later, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals reversed and remanded his jury verdict of guilty of capital murder and punishment by execution because the trial judge admitted hearsay testimony of a jailhouse snitch about what David Spence allegedly told him while in jail.

Trouble is, hearsay that includes what someone else said about a defendant is inadmissible. The court ruled the judge erred because the testimony did not directly involve anything Deeb said or did. A Ft. Worth jury later acquitted him. He died of cancer, a free man.

Bernadette Feazell is extremely interested in the case. She has made numerous serious accusations public about what she believes her ex-husband the DA and the investigator Truman Simons allegedly did to bring about the false convictions, including murder of contrary witnesses.

In a public appeal on Facebook, she asked anyone who is going to the hearing for a ride to Austin, but turned down a ride with The Legendary Jim Parks for these reasons:

…Here’s the deal. I want to go but I don’t want to go. I want to go BUT I kind of don’t want to so that those fucking attorneys for young Spence will find themselves having to answer questions that they cannot answer. I want them to need me so I can make the motherfuckers PAY ME. Capisce?…”

One can only agree. It’s understood.

Tu salud, signora!

So mote it be.

Bernadette Feazell gave this interview to the “Huffington Post” –

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/12/18/bernadette-feazell_n_4469116.html