Waco – Two defendants in the Twin Peaks cases moved for recusal of both the DA and the Judge, who are former law partners, in their trials for engaging in organized criminal activity.
Matt Clendennen saw a previous motion to recuse DA Abel Reyna go down to defeat after the trial Judge Matt Johnson of the 54th Criminal District Court denied the motion, the 10th District Court of Appeals reversed the decision, and the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed Johnson’s original ruling.
In a new motion, Clendennen and another defendant, Burton George Bergman, have made the motion to remove both DA Abel Reyna and Judge Matt Johnson from the case.
Dallas attorney F. Clinton Broden argues that in the original appeal, Judge Johnson abused broad discretionary powers by denying the motion in the face of clear evidence that the DA engaged in falsehood when he testified that he had personally admonished Detective Manuel Chavez to assure himself he could swear he had personal knowledge of the allegations in an affidavit of warrantless arrest prepared for his signature by a member of his staff.
When recalled to the witness stand, Chavez said he never saw or spoke to Reyna on the day in question, May 17, 2015.
In a memorandum of law, Broden explains that not only did Reyna lie on the witness stand, he has a financial interest in the conviction of Twin Peaks defendants because he has been named in a large number of federal lawsuits filed by defendants who allege he deprived them of their civil rights by having them charged in a non-particularized, broadly based fill-in-the-blanks probable cause affidavit of a non-specific complaint, that of engaging in organized criminal activity.
Reyna and his staff are in the position of being “necessary witnesses” in the prosecution as complainants and as prosecutors are precluded by the Code of Criminal Procedure from serving as officers of the court, according to the legal memo filed with the Court.