Waco – If the DA takes the witness stand in additional disqualification hearings, he will no doubt find himself answering questions about his utterance of a falsehood on the witness stand, something the law defines as aggravated perjury, a felony crime.
The defense bar representing clients in the Twin Peaks cases is eagerly awaiting two hearings scheduled in the cases of at least 10 defendants who seek to disqualify the elected Criminal District Attorney, Abel Reyna, on grounds of multiple acts of criminal misconduct.
Look-see pidgin: They sho’ nuff want to see what happens next.
According to Gary D. Smart, an Arlington attorney, 19th Criminal District Judge Ralph T. Strother has scheduled hearings for Thursday, March 1 at 8:30 am and 1:30 pm in the cases of Jeremy King, Daniel Johnson, Robert Nichols, Raymond Hawes III, Seth Andrew Smith, Brian Logan, Ricky Wycough, Victor Pizana, Gregory Salazar, and Clayton Reed.
Witnesses who have given statements to an FBI agent in which they accused Reyna of dismissing cases for money, drug use, and demanding the cooperation in disposing of cases by special prosecutors, are expected to testify under subpoenas issued by the defense, said Smart in a press release issued on Thursday, February 15.
He said that other defendants may join the hearings by making similar motions for disqualification and that other witnesses who have given statements in the federal probe conducted by the FBI may be summoned to testify.
He mentioned the names of former First Assistant District Attorney Greg Davis, retired Waco Police Detective Sherry Kingrey, former administrative assistant Julissa West, former assistant prosecutor an special prosecutor Brittany Scaramucci, “and others.”
The press statement came in reaction to a release by Reyna in which he told media outlets he is “looking forward” to giving his testimony.
Reyna has withstood two disqualification hearings, maneuvered out of a third by dismissing one case, and recusing himself in another; he also received a favorable ruling in a Court Of Inquiry when a San Antonio District Judge determined there was not enough evidence that he committed an act of aggravated perjury on the witness stand during a disqualification hearing held in August of 2016.
In that hearing, Reyna testified that he had enjoined Waco Police Detective Manuel Chavez to take all available measures to assure himself he was thoroughly familiar with the allegations of an affidavit of probable cause prepared for him to sign by Reyna and members of his staff.
The only allegation of complaint was identical in each of 177 separate cases, that members of the Bandidos and Cossacks and their support clubs engaged in organized criminal activity that led to capital murder and aggravated assault as members of “outlaw motorcycle gangs” so designated by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Texas Department of Public Safety.
In each charging instrument, the detective filled in the blank with the name of the accused.
Earlier, Chavez had previously testified that he had no personal knowledge of the statement he signed as a sworn affidavit of a peace officer, allegedly an act of perjury by a peace officer.
When recalled to the witness stand following Reyna’s testimony, he stated he never saw or spoke to Reyna on the night in question, May 17, 2015, the day gunfire erupted at Twin Peaks Restaurant in the half-hour before a scheduled joint meeting of Region 1 and 2 of the Confederation of Clubs to hear a presentation by Paul Landers, the Texas delegate to the National Coalition of Motorcyclists, a national lobbying organization.
According to Dallas attorney F. Clinton Broden, who elicited his testimony and later filed complaints following the hearing, Reyna committed an act of aggravated perjury. That is defined by the Texas Penal Code as the utterance of a falsehood in a legal proceeding by one who does so knowingly and willingly as a public official. The offense carries a possible penalty of not less than 2 years in the state penitentiary and not more than 20.
In court papers, Broden has included the certified record of Reyna’s testimony as transcribed by the Court Reporter.