Waco – Matt Clendennen is still struggling to get his day in court. He’s charged with engaging in organized criminal activity.
That’s a conspiratorial offense, a charge in which if violent crime led to a killing calls for an enhancement paragraph specifying the offense was aggravated by a capital murder, and/or aggravated assault.
Serious business. That charge can get a malchik a minimum of 25 and not more than 99 years confinement in the casa de calaboose.
The record shows clearly that he rode his motorcycle up to an establishment named Twin Peaks Restaurant in this city, a place where the waitresses dressed in shorts and checked flannel shirts unbuttoned clear to there, which accentuated their boobs.
Check the logic.
Matt Clendennen was once a member of the Scimitars, a club affiliated with the Cossacks, which according to jail records and recent court testimony makes him a one-time member of a club that guaranteed his classification by law men as a “low-ranking Cossack.”
That is, if you speak Martian.
Clendennen is from Waco. His dad is in middle management at Baylor University; he’s an old grad of the green and gold mob with the bear mascots. He operates his own business, a landscaping service for corporate clients.
According to his attorney, F. Clinton Broden, “There is absolutely no dispute that Mr. Clendennen did not have any participation in the violence that occurred at Twin Peaks of May 17, 2015. In addition, Mr. Clendennen possessed no weapon on May 17, 2015 except a small pocket knife which was a Christmas gift from his parents and which he always carried. Mr. Clendennen is no longer a member of any motorcycle club.”
The U.S. Supreme Court has outlawed practices “which pose a threat to the ‘fairness of the factfinding process’” must be subjected to ‘close judicial scrutiny.’”
Broden wants a hearing in the 54th Criminal District Court to provide that close judicial scrutiny. What will the judge be looking at?
Check the logic.
Clendennen rode his motorcycle up to the restaurant, alighted and sat down at a table on the patio reserved for a Confederation of Clubs and Independents meeting, of which his former club is not a member, and ordered a bottle of water.
When the shooting started, he hit the deck, went into the low crawl and made it to safety under cover where the furious gunfire from police rifles could not find him.
So, why are there at times as many as 8 uniformed officers in the courtroom?
He says that the state wants to prejudice the jurors by making them think there is an imminent threat of the Bandidos starting a gunfight in the courtroom.
That’s why the judge should make a record of his findings and conclusions as to why he finds it necessary to order extraordinary security precautions in case there is any post-trial appeal which demands such documentation.
There’s something else to talk about, too. During the three weeks he spent in the Jack Harwell Detention Center, he called his attorney on a jailhouse phone and it automatically recorded what he and his lawyer had to say to one another.
There is an audio file of that call, and it got mixed in with the discovery items supplied to the prosecution. When Broden made a motion to get that material, it came to him.
The conversation is privileged because it took place between an attorney and his client. The courts say it can be recorded for security purposes, but not for purposes of discovery by the prosecution to use as evidence.
He thinks that Abel Reyna should be disqualified, along with his staff, from prosecuting Clendennen for something he clearly did not do.
So, he’s asking that if the judge can’t disqualify the prosecutor, he should dismiss the charges against Clendennen.
Such a deal.
So mote it be.