SECOND TWIN PEAKS TRIAL HEADED FOR A JURY
Scooter and Judy Bergman just said no
Waco – Prosecutors, defense counsel and the defendant had just emerged from the judge’s chambers in 54th Criminal District Court when F. Clinton Broden told the judge he wanted to put it on the record his client Scooter Bergman had rejected a plea offer proffered by the DA.
All ears were on the dialog.
At one point, when Broden brought up discovery problems in the previous Twin Peaks jury trial of Bandido Jake Carrizal, lead prosecutor Michael Jarret began saying, “You Honor, I must object,” when Judge Matt Johnson said in a sarcastic tone, “You are saying there were no problems with discovery? Were you and I in the same trial?”
Jarrett’s voice and his objection seemed to just trail away like a vapor trail in the sky.
After his lawyer gave him the green light to discuss his rejection of the deal, Bergman summed it up with an economy of words startling in its directness.
Why did he turn down two separate proffers involving deferred adjudication in return for a guilty plea?
“Because didn’t do it,” he said, his nostrils flared in disgust, as if smelling something dead and stinking of putrefaction.
“And that would be just the first lie I would be telling.”
His implication is clear. Why should he tell some lie about something that just like the charge he was indicted for, engaging in organized criminal activity that led to capital murder and/or aggravated assault, he not only did not do, but no one did – because it never really happened?
They told him he could plead out to a reduced charge not involving murder, but only aggravated assault in return for a suspended sentence and deferred adjudication upon successful completion of his sentence.
When he rejected that, they offered a year’s misdemeanor probation and deferred adjudication .
“It was a sweet deal, but not for us,” said his wife, Judy.
In an hour’s time, F. Clinton Broden had taken the judge and jury over all the hurdles and stumbling blocks that stymied the Carrizal trial during 5 grueling weeks of argumentative testimony, explosive objections, and wrathful trips to the judge’s chambers – all over the same issue, by and large.
The State of Texas withheld as much information about the alleged offenses as possible, and offered no testimony o direct evidence that would tend to lead to the conviction of the defendant for the offense for which was charged.. When the case came out in dribs and drabs, the defense had no choice but to raise hell and fight over the opportunity to memorialize the errors while demanding access to the information brought up on the prosecution’s direct examination of witnesses or introduction of evidence.
These are some of he highlights from the pre-trial hearing:
Defense counsel for Scooter Bergman has withdrawn a motion for the disqualification DA Abel Reyna.
Jurors will report on Tuesday, Jan 12 to fill out a questionnaire that is “substantially the same” as in the Carrizal trial but with one question deleted and one question added. The trial will begin on Jan 22
Judge Johnson expressed concern that social media journalists be prevented from depicting members of the jury. “They are volunteers,” he emphasized in his remarks.
Jarrett denied he told his associate prosecutor Amanda Dillon he is writing a book about the Twin Peaks cases. Discussion Abel Reyna’s alleged remark that he intends to use his Twin Peaks experience to take up residence in the Governor’s Mansion suddenly fizzled out in desultory fashion. Judge Johnson promised to have a list of the names of undercover agents present at the Twin Peaks ambush
With regard to discovery, Broden said “Obviously I don’t know what I Don’t have.” When lead prosecutor Michael Jarrett objected, the judge interjected, saying “You don’t think there were discovery problems,” and the issue suddenly evaporated.
Jarrett denied he told his associate prosecutor Amanda Dillon he is writing a book about the Twin Peaks cases. Discussion Abel Reyna’s alleged remark that he intends to use his Twin Peaks experience to take up residence in the Governor’s Mansion suddenly fizzled out in desultory fashion. Judge Johnson promised to have a list of the names of undercover agents present at the Twin Peaks ambush.
After 32 months, Judge Johnson denied a pending motion to dismiss the charge due to an “egregious violation of the speedy trial provision of the US Constitution and state constitution.”
“We’re going to trial,” said Scooter Bergman. He and his wife expect to be in Waco for at least a month extricating themselves from this exended nightmare.