Waco – An attorney who is having a heap of trouble getting his client a day in court accused the elected District Attorney of the kind of irresponsible ambition that could bankrupt the taxpayers.
Said Billy McRee’s attorney David Beyer in a press release:
It is unprecedented for an Attorney General to decline a request from a judge to appoint an attorney pro tem. The State of Texas has stated that it is unable to take the case because it frankly doesn’t have the resources. Which validly leaves the casual observer to wonder and question how did Abel Reyna expect the hardworking taxpayers of McLennan County to pay for the prosecution of one hundred and fifty five of these cases when the State of Texas doesn’t have the resources for even one Twin Peaks case.
A special prosecutor will charge legal fees by the hour, and there is no limit on the amount that may be charged, Beyer pointed out.
“…an inevitable blowback on a betrayed population…”
Six Shooter Junction – When the tribal structure of the organizations of men at war with the wolf at the door morphed into the corporate channels of profit centers and revenue streams, motorcycle clubs suddenly occupied a place in the “fantasies of law enforcement.”
They became valuable exhibits in show trials coast to coast, the subject of Racketeer Influenced Corrupt Organization (RICO) prosecutions.
They key difference is this. Instead of being a clique bent on obtaining the maximum profits over costs of doing business, the men and women of the community of motorcycle enthusiasts set their caps for streams of activism, centers of political power – in order to amass political capital.
To be sure, they kept the colors, patches, tattoos, slogans and handshakes of the tribal statesmen who spawned their organizations in the years following their return from the hell of World War Two, Korea, and Vietnam. They were young men and their women, suddenly freed from the nightmare of certain death and dismemberment if the conflict went on long enough, seeking the freedom of the road, a bottle of beer, a dance around a bonfire, the bonhomie of good times, and the sheer, snarling pleasure of territorial dominance. Adult play. Ritual conflict. The gestalt of freedom, exercised in tribal drama.
But the activism that emerged later was different, a pattern of national coalition, with a presence in every statehouse. New channels of influence opened up in a world not so sure it was ready for the cybernetic revolution at hand.
At one point, the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM) promulgated an on-line communications policy that could have come from the board room of any Fortune 500 corporation. In a presentation to a hundred lawyers, a hundred patch holders, and a hundred members of the public, they received a half million “hits” on a website within a half hour. Within the hour, the page had been viewed by more than a million people with access to the World Wide Web.
In any society, the institutions of power and control seek to keep their components divided, fighting each other. It just wouldn’t do for the police department and the firemen to get on the same wavelength and start moving in the same direction. Next thing you know, the suits would be losing control.
So the city dads invent ways to keep them at odds. The same goes for the sales and marketing divisions in any major corporate culture, in an endless battle with production, finance and accounting, and the executive suite.
IT WAS THE LITTLE THINGS THAT BEGAN TO TRICKLE OUT OF THE CORPORATE PRISON, the Jack Harwell Detention Center, erected at taxpayer expense, operated by the LaSalle Corrections Corporation, that told such an alarming tale. The central fact of mass incarceration and a criminal charge straight out of a Kafka novel was immutable, beyond anyone’s control. But the tiny details clearly observable began to emerge in alarming patterns as family and friends reported what they were learning.
The first 177 jailed for the blanket offense of “engaging in organized criminal activity” at a political meeting where a very small number of men chose to fire pistols at their perceived enemies in a crowded bar learned very quickly that the administration of the hell hole had for months been preparing for their arrival.
The slave labor trustees, mostly non-violent offenders who were in essence debtors held for their inability to pay for insurance and child support, and minimum wage “corrections officers” let the newly arrived inmates know all about it. In many cases, they were sympathetic, and they showed it by talking freely about conditions.
The walls of the felony tanks where the red and gold nation, their support club members, and the black and gold tribe were to be held were freshly painted so detectives could study any graffiti they left behind. Authorities laid in supplies of freshly laundered uniforms and shower shoes, stashes of groceries and medical supplies; a beefed up classification system was ordered. Inmates were kept strictly separate, both for security and for purposes of surveillance.
Corporate totalitarianism had showed its true face on May 17, 2015, at an overpriced beer and burgers franchise in a shopping mall named for a weird movie involving the ritual murder of a young woman – “Twin Peaks.”
“Twin Peaks,” the made-for-satellite-tv soap opera, chronicled the fact that the raging west of a golden nation had slipped from its salad days in post-war pax americana to second place in a world economy passing it by – a place no longer head and shoulders above the rest due to its tremendous natural resources. Hence, the seemingly senseless and inexplicable murder of a small town goddess in full bloom found wrapped in a sheet plastic on a pebbly beach, like a macabre exhibit in a museum of horrors. A melodrama about a return to the ancient, tribal ways of appeasement of the gods through ritual sacrifice.
The operation at hand was simultaneous with the announced roll-out of a “training exercise” for the Joint Special Operations Command, JADE Helm 15 – a hands on clambake for spooks, special operators, on-scene commanders at remote “fusion centers,” commo specialists, and media representatives with the story pre-packaged and ready for the 5:30 feed – and it turned out to be a doozy at Waco, Texas – a modified knock-off of the venerable Phoenix Program fine-tuned in Vietnam.
The ensuing 34 months since the gunfight at Twin Peaks have seen a hardened commitment by a national community of motorcycle enthusiasts galvanized by their experience and hell bent to support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America “against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
The true enemies of the Constitution started their onslaught in the days following the “attack” on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon by jetliners hijacked and chock-full of fuel for transcontinental flights, a nightmare sprung at 9 am out of the bluest skies ever on a day described by pilots as “severe clear.”
First, there was the near unanimous passage of the Patriot Act on October 26, 2001. This sweeping measure brought on an increased security function that the legislators who fought the Constitution of 1790 argued against and fought tooth and nail. Surveillance, suspicion, and unconfirmed rumor became the news of the day, the lead story on every network, repeated with mind-numbing precision until it became meaningless – a given.
The key element in getting the assent of the western states to ratify the Constitution was the inclusion of a Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments, guaranteeing freedoms unheard of in the rest of the world or any known in recorded history. None of it is any good unless a man can enforce his political will against the authorities. It’s all meaningless.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
The reality of that provision with its vigilance for security in a “free State” is all too clear when one views the surveillance video shot by automatic cameras during the “melee.”
Though the hundreds of persons detained and arrested were heavily armed with firearms, none had rifles because there is no way to conceal them in an establishment where alcoholic beverages are “sold, served, and consumed.”
Little more than a dozen armed policemen – 14 of them – laid back in sniper positions, and when the time came, they fired with surgical precision, cutting down the key pistoleros, and in most cases delivering a coup de grace to the head to assure the assailants were indeed dead, dead, dead.
It was all over in an estimated 45 seconds. Within minutes, the people who had cowered and hidden from the violence emerged, docile and unwilling to show any further resistance to authority.
In the single trial that has been held, a five-week affair ending in the mistrial of Bandido Jake Carrizal, the single impression to be gleaned from the rambling, ridiculous case presented by the State is that authorities had been in preparation for many months to make their move against what they perceive as a despised, feared minority of “outlaw gangs” systematically precluded from the protections of the law.
That is a medieval concept prohibited by the Texas Constitution since 1836, the notion of declaring a person “out law,” that is beyond the protection of the law. Similarly, the practice of “transportation” to a foreign state as punishment for any offense has been returned to the real of the possible by the amendment of Article 1, Section 20 of the Texas Constitution in 1985.
So the emergency passage of the “patriot” act merely signaled what was to come in 2012, the conversion of a republic to a totalitarian, occupied nation dominated by a standing army operating within its borders – something completely prohibited by the U.S. Constitution.
The increased militarization of police and the melding of the Army and elements of the special ops community followed close behind.
The National Defense Authorization Act has been in place in each biennial since 1961, but its modification to “increased surveillance and the militarization of police” resulted in indefinite imprisonment of Americans without charges and without trial.
.To learn more about how the seemingly innocent act of funding the Armed Forces every two years to comply with the constitutional requirement that the nation have no standing army, one may watch this YouTube presentation:
In the ensuing 34 months since the alarming event at Twin Peaks, the single message delivered by the authorities is a simple one, unrelenting, and on-message.
The goal of obtaining convictions is not anywhere near as important as the ability to completely control the accused offenders in rigid lock step.
Over a varying period of a fortnight to a month, the accused were held in lieu of a million dollar bail bond.
When bond reductions were obtained, the conditions required excessive fees for electronic monitoring, drug testing, and a stricture enjoining the accused to not return to McLennan County unless summoned by the Court, a remarkable requirement. In most cases, persons who have demonstrated they are not a flight risk are prohibited from leaving the jurisdiction where they were arrested.
When on February 8, the Court “dismissed” the cases against 13, the reality is that the so-called dismissal actually binds the accused offender to the Court for a period of natural life because the prosecution elected to tick off a stipulation that probable cause does exist to pursue the charge, but at a later date.
There is no statute of limitations on the crime of capital murder, something the indictments hold is the direct result of the criminal conspiracy of acting in combination with others to cause the deaths of 9 and the aggravated assault of an additional 20.
To learn more about the battle still raging against the NDAA and its assault on Constitutional principles, one may view this YouTube presentation:
Six Shooter – Barry Johnson wants the job. It shows. He sneers when he mentions the name, the one he wants to defeat in the DA’s primary race.
A hundred black leather-clad, patched bikers listen intently, men who once served the nation in military regalia, in war.
Johnson, a seasoned courtroom trial litigator, back from the wars at Dallas and elsewhere can’t keep the sneer from his face when he points in the general direction of downtown, somewhere down the freeway from Elm Mott, and says, “That law office down there belongs to you.”
For a moment, the room is in shocked silence, and then there is applause. These men and women are in trouble deep. The state is after them – has been for nearly three years since a pistol riot at a local restaurant on May 17, 2015, ended in rifle fire that left 9 dead, 20 wounded. The relentless legal attack is led by a lawyer named Abel Reyna, who was elected to prosecute criminals. Instead he has taken on the role of a secret police commissar, someone who commands the investigators just how to charge, what facts to use, how to word them in an affidavit, and then how to conduct the investigation. That makes him a witness, the lawyers say, but the courts do not acknowledge their words.
Johnson wants the job. He is willing to call the spots on the leopard for what they are. The worm has turned. The jig is up, The game is on.
As the meeting started, Sandra Lynch announced the beginning. She is the wife of Mike Lynch, and as the COC&I representative in the area, she reserved the patio at the Twin Peaks Restaurant. When she tried to explain to Cossacks who took up the parking places and occupied all the seating, she recalls she was cursed, spit on, her foot run over by a motorcycle, and called a “cunt.” She is surprisingly reasonable today. All things considered.
When it’s time for questions, a member of one of America’s most venerable motorcycle clubs, Boozefighters, est. 1946, steps into the middle of the room and asks what can be done about police infiltrators who come into their ranks and advocate actions that will put them in courts and prisons for the rest of their lives.
The candidate responds, saying he will not take a charge to court unless he is sure it is based on fact, the complaint secure as one grounded in reality.
When all is said and done, a co-founder of the sponsoring club, Sons Of Liberty Riders MC out of the DFW Metro area takes the stage.
Mel Robins is Vice President, and he has something to say based on his personal experience. He speaks of people who have been convicted of other offenses, sprung from their cages and let loose in the community to be handled by detectives who demand to know what’s going on, and if there is not enough action, they demand their charges make something happen.
“That’s what happened here,” he intones after a meaningful silence. The room erupts in agreement. Many respond with remarks, some applaud, few disagree.
Boozefighter Jedi, George Horsley, is a huge man dressed in black, his goatee massive and spear-pointed like Mingus’, head shaved clean.
He explains how they are being ripped off by a good old boy system that controls the real estate game and the assessed valuation of real property by formula designed to line their pockets, and not to create an equitable and systematic way of administering the tax rolls.
When the assessment district lost many lawsuits over complaints as to their shoddy work, he recalls, the County Commissioners Court, led by ex-banker Scott Felton, bestowed $650,000 upon the appointed authority – for purposes unexplained, but defined by common sense as means to make up the shortfall.
An ex-employee, a professional assessor by training, he moved his employment to Travis County, and commutes daily from Waco. If elected, he promises to take up his duties as County Judge on a full-time basis.
George “Scooter” Bergman is a beat character from the great American road, a truck-driving man out of Big D who got popped for being at Twin Peaks. He gives The Legendary that way out look reserved for situations beyond explication, says, “I can finally come back to Waco – McLennan County – for something besides Court.” He is at long last freed from his bond restrictions. His crime? He drove into the parking lot at the Twin Peaks “melee” and surrendered to cops who wanted to be sure of his safety. When the DA changed his mind and ordered everyone arrested who was wearing a patch, he spent three weeks in the jail for the fact he was wearing the colors of Los Desgraciados. He has been under indictment for the first degree felony of engaging in organized criminal activity since then, an offense that carries a penalty of 15 to 99 years in the penitentiary.
The brothers and sisters of the road stand with caps doffed, heads bowed, as their chaplain prays for the beneficence of a merciful God, and they adjourn.
TWIN PEAKS DISMISSAL ORDER SIGNED IN DISTRICT COURT
(click on image for full size)
Six Shooter Junction – The motions for dismissal approved by 54th Criminal District Judge Matt Johnson offer defendants no possible avenue for expunction of their record, nor does the language of the order hold any hope to recover damages in a civil rights case.
Notice that the reason ticked off in the form is “other,” and adds the missive,
and for cause would show the Court the following:
While probable cause for the Defendant’s arrest and prosecution remains, based on continued investigation, the State is exercising its prosecutorial discretion in dismissing this matter in order to focus its efforts and resources on co-defendants with a higher level of culpability.
“People are entitled to an expunction (expungement) of their arrest record if the DA dismissed a case stating that there was no probable cause. Here, the language on the dismissals prevents expunction. The probable cause language on the dismissals is also aimed at the civil rights lawsuits. If there was probable cause for arrest, they can’t recover damages in a civil rights lawsuit for false arrest,” said Millie Thompson, an Austin attorney who is representing defendants arrested at Twin Peaks on May 17, 2015, who were charged with engaging in organized criminal activity that led to capital murder, and/or aggravated assault.
Obviously, the industrialists, merchants, and developers who actually grease the wheels and stoke the economic engines of the City of Waco and the County of McLennan have stepped in with some heavy handed demands to protect the treasuries of their municipal corporations from the fall-out of a catastrophic series of decisions and their related events following the debacle of a government operation gone completely berserk and out of control.
You would expect more rational behavior from a Mardi Gras parade or a gaggle of revelers in bikinis and baggies at a Spring Break bash on South Padre.
I have spoken.
“The lawyers clean up all details since daddy had to lie,” said Don Hensley. And so, as the players throw the swag in the bag, make their break for the bank, and the cut or the hut, let it be remembered that when we inquired of the District Clerk John Gimble when we would be able to access the record and what if anything would be done about future access to his office while trials are in session, he had a secretary return the message that he would “get back with” me on Thursday, February 8. He was right, and I haven’t had to chance to talk to him. In fact, I’ve had warmer receptions in meat lockers.
And I sure as hell didn’t get any facts or documentation from his office. That was reserved for the news organizations that drank the Kool-Aid on May 17, 2015, before the blood on the pavement had dried and the arrestees were still sitting sans boots, belts, and billfolds on the parking stripes while they waited to catch the chain.
Billy McRee (2nd left) and Jorge Salinas in news conference at the same place chosen by DA Reyna to announce indictments of Twin Peaks defendants nearly three years ago as lawyers explain
Waco – To keep from having to testify in a hearing as a witness in cases he sought by indictment as a complaining witness, Abel Reyna dismissed one case and recused himself in another.
The symbolism of the moment came to light when Dallas attorney F. Clinton Broden stepped up to the microphones and explained the irony of the situation.
The climactic moment of the affair came when Brian Bouffard, the attorney for a Marine who did two combat tours in Afghanistan before his arrest at Twin Peaks, explained that he took the same oath as a Navy legal officer as his client – to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution ‘against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
When the question period came, Salinas when asked if he considers the DA an enemy of the Constitution, say, simply, “Yes.”
That was the flavor of the unusual occurrence.
We bring you the entire news conference, unedited, beginning to end. It is an interesting experience, to say the least.
Waco – It is impossible to confirm reports gleaned from the area’s two Mockingbird CIA front publications – KWTX and the Waco Tribune-Herald – because even though 19th Criminal District Court Judge Ralph T. Strother signed the orders of dismissal in a reported 20 cases, the information will not be available for several hours.
This is typical of intelligence operations such as the Twin Peaks massacre – both inside American borders and overseas. Only approved media outlets have any version of the news event until well after it has ceased to be news.
Court Coordinator staff and the District Clerk’s Office are very uptight, in fact right ugly in the face of a polite inquiry about any of the facts concerning this latest evolution in the debacle of brutality that commenced long before May 17, 2015.
There will be a press conference at 1:30 p.m. held by Ft. Worth attorneys Brian Bouffard and David Beyer, who represent Jorge Salina, and Billy McRee.
The District Attorney recused himself in the McRee case and the judge reportedly dismissed the case against Salinas.
Watch these columns for a report about the news conference.
This is their joint press release:
We will hold a press conference in the courthouse rotunda at 1:30pm today, and will take questions.
On May 17, 2015, nine people died violently at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas. There are men responsible for that violence, and they should be held accountable. Unfortunately, the deeply misguided decision by McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna to arrest 177 people and indict 155 of them, rather than simply indicting those who engaged in this violence, resulted in almost three years of injustice to the very many who did not. And all the cases, righteous and unrighteous alike, may now be unprosecutable. The man responsible for this is Abel Reyna.
Today, the McLennan County District Attorney’s office has dismissed the cases against Jorge Daniel Salinas and others, and states it is “re-evaluating” still others for dismissal. The office also recused itself in the case against Billy Jason McRee. Both these actions by Abel Reyna effectively ended the pending hearing into his political corruption and other official misconduct before it could begin – a hearing in which he would have been placed under oath and required to answer hard questions about his long-standing political corruption. Credible, honorable witnesses have sworn under oath on these matters. Abel Reyna calls them “liars,” and the FBI investigation into his public corruption “fake news.” The voting citizens of McLennan County will make of that what they will. They, and all of us, will continue to make decisions at the ballot box that define us as citizens, for good or for ill, and we will continue to get the government we deserve.
But the Twin Peaks dam has now broken, and with each new dismissal that may come, the public will see clearly what Twin Peaks defense counsel have known for almost three years – that Abel Reyna arrested, charged, and indicted a very large number of these men for purely political reasons, apparently without any intent to take them to trial. Though it took far too long, we pushed Mr. Reyna’s back to the wall and he finally had nowhere else to run. As defense counsel, all of us in this matter have honored our oaths as Texas lawyers. At least that important part of our justice system has worked, and worked well.
Though McLennan County prosecutors are “re-evaluating” the cases, the fact is that an ethical district attorney’s office evaluates cases BEFORE they are indicted, instead of indicting people just to see if they will be intimidated enough to plead guilty. To the great credit of these innocent men, none of them, and none of us as their counsel, blinked. Jorge Salinas, a decorated United States Marine with two combat tours and an honorable discharge, an innocent man, did not blink. As his lawyer and his friend, I could not be more proud of him.
And the fact remains that the civil rights of these men were violated. As the case dismissals and recusals continue to flow out of the McLennan County courthouse, it is now time to change focus to the civil lawsuits to hold Abel Reyna accountable for his actions, so that a federal jury in Austin can determine the amount of damages that Abel Reyna should be ordered to pay those wrongfully arrested based upon his political aspirations. Unfortunately, Abel Reyna has already testified elsewhere that he expects county taxpayers to foot the bill for any such damages, since he was elected by county residents. And again, McLennan County voters will pass their own judgment, one way or the other.
Something like justice is now finally happening in McLennan County. Far too late, and at far too high a cost – in lives, money, and broken faith by our elected officials – but happening.
VENIREMEN CROWD INTO JURY ASSEMBLY AREA ON A MONDAY
Six Shooter Junction – One gathers from the dialogue generated by our previous article on an outreach program of more than a year’s duration to fully inform veniremen in McLennan County that matters in the ongoing dispute between leafleters and the authorities stand this way:
The Officer in charge of the Courthouse Security Detail promised to bring a written statement on Monday, Feb. 5, to activists passing out leaflets to prospective jurors at the entrance to the auxiliary courtroom, the Jury Assembly area.
They have been enjoined by the County Judge to not enter an alleyway between the Courthouse and the Courthouse Annex Building. The City of Waco closed the alley to traffic and deeded it as property to McLennan County. The Commissioners Court promptly declared the area part of a “secured campus,” and prohibited traffic on jury call days to all but those bearing a jury summons card.
In the absence of a written order, members of the Fully Informed Jury Association defied the verbal orders of the Sheriff’s Office security detail.
Apparently, the Lieutenant in charge never showed up with the written statement, and two of the activists made themselves scarce when told to beat feet by the Sergeant.
Matthew Barnes stayed, and in defiance of the orders of the officers, he continued to pass out the leaflets while armed with a .45 cal. ACP handgun holstered on his hip in open fashion.
Kirsten Tynan, who appears to be an operative of the Fully Informed Jurors Association operating in Denver, engaged him in a dialogue on a Facebook page, which might be of note to our readers.
Matthew Barnes on Lt. Lionel McGhee and Sgt. Steve Janics:
Kirsten TynanIt sounds like this Sgt. Steve Janics of the Courthouse Security detachment was involved somehow. Did he give you any particular orders?
Matthew Barnes He hates “civilians” that are armed. Main thing from him is fear of a trustee doing slave labor around the courthouse disarming me and going on a killing spree. If I was the only armed person there I could understand. He worries about firearm retention; something I used to teach, that I look like a cop; not in this century. I wear work clothes 7 days a week and have done so for over a decade. Look more like what border patrol wears than local police.
Kirsten TynanOur guidelines, by the way, are not to break these orders. That is something that puts you at risk of arrest, and FIJA can do very little for you if you are arrested. We don’t have attorneys or funds for legal defense.
Matthew Barnes Understood. To be arrested I would have to break the law. If they could find one I am breaking I would have already been arrested.
Kirsten Tynan Unfortunately, that is not accurate. Police arrest people all the time who have not broken the law.
See the cases of Eric Brandt and Mark Iannicelli who were both arrested and charged with 7 felony counts each of jury tampering for handing out FIJA brochures in Denver. The charges were thrown out by the state court, the dismissal of the charges was appealed by the prosecution, the dismissal of the charges was upheld by the appeals court, and now the prosecution is considering appealing that dismissal to the Colorado Supreme Court.
During our First Amendment legal battle in Denver, both Eric and Mark were falsely arrested AGAIN—still not having broken the law—for allegedly assaulting and/or harassing a woman. The incident was caught on video, and it turned out that Eric was not even present at the time the woman alleged she had been assaulted. The video further showed that Mark did none of the specific things she alleged he had done. Nonetheless, this didn’t stop the police from continuing to hold him in a jail cell in the basement of the courthouse, with a toilet overflowing with excrement, and then turning him over to the Sheriff’s Department before, if I recall correctly, the prosecutor’s office finally told them to knock it off and relase him.
Legendary Jim Ms. Tynan, were either of these individuals armed with a handgun during their ministry to the uninformed jurors of Denver? Furthermore, if so, do you think that would have an effect on the social transaction in play at the Courthouse between security officers of the Sheriff’s Office and the members of the association?
As Mr. Tom Robbins wrote, “This is the room of the wolf mother wallpaper.” We of The Legendary are loathe to add, “…in which fear and loathing follow close behind in order to control, in control, of control in the place in which there is no darkness – the place of utter and abject fear of fear, in fear, for which there is no known antidote but to face fear and loathing for what it is, and forge ahead insouciant and prepared for what awaits.
So mote it be.
Lt. K. Ferguson at Sheriff’s Office HQ, informing Fully Informed Jurors Association that he has no intentions of arguing about the Judge’s order not to trespass in the alley. It is what it is – until next week…
David Beyer and Brian Bouffard will call witnesses who have given statements against DA Abel Reyna in a federal probe tomorrow
Waco – When the gavel drops tomorrow in a district court, the public will have a chance to see just who is lying – and who is telling the truth – about the Twin Peaks prosecutions of 155 bikers charged with engaging in organized criminal activity on May 17, 2015.
David Beyer and Brian Bouffard, who represent Billy McRee and Jorge Salinas, will have a chance to prove serious allegations they believe will lead to the DA’s disqualification, if not his conviction for criminal offenses committed as a public official.
Almost three years after he made the decision to charge 177 people with a felony offense punishable by as much as 99 years, DA Abel Reyna is still withholding evidence from defense lawyers, the two Ft. Worth barristers allege.
They again subpoenaed witnesses who gave statements to a FBI Special Agent that could incriminate the elected official for public corruption. In a previous hearing, their clients lost an estimated $1,500 in court fees to have the summonses served when the prosecution kicked the can down the road to have the hearing postponed.
In that hearing, the state first sought a continuance. When 19th Criminal District Judge Ralph T. Strother denied the motion, prosecutors served him with a motion of recusal, seeking his replacement. In a ruling by a visiting judge, that motion was denied.
Many days later, the matter is to be heard once again, on Thursday, Feb. 8, at 1:30 pm.
This is what the public will likely hear, should the hearing be allowed to go forth:
Mr. Reyna is aware that we intend to call witnesses tomorrow including former First Assistant Greg Davis, former administrative assistant Julissa West, retired Waco Police Detective Sherry Kingrey, former special prosecutor Brittany Scaramucci, and current assistant district attorneys Michael Jarrett, Amanda Dillon, and Sterling Harmon. Mr. Reyna has called most of these witnesses liars in the press and in his campaign rhetoric – disparaging them and much of the press as “fake news” to anyone still impressed by that – so Mr. Reyna will also be called to the stand tomorrow to testify, under oath and under penalty of perjury, why he thinks they’re the ones doing the lying. We welcome his testimony and the opportunity to examine him under oath.
The object of the hearing is three-fold. In oder to have the DA disqualified, the two attorneys intend to prove these elements:
We intend to make three things crystal clear to the court and to those citizens of McLennan County who are paying attention, (1) that Mr. Reyna made himself a material witness in the Twin Peaks cases by choosing to act as an on-scene police commander instead of a prosecutor, (2) that Mr. Reyna has a long-standing history of official corruption as the elected district attorney, which in May 2015 animated him to arrest 177 people, not based on evidence, the law, and the prosecutor’s oath to do justice, but rather to advance his personal political ambition, and (3) that Mr. Reyna has an impermissible financial interest in the outcome of these cases because he is being personally held accountable for his violation of these motorcyclists’ civil rights as Texans and as Americans. As a result of all these bad choices by Abel Reyna, all of which he should have easily foreseen, he and his office should be disqualified from prosecuting these cases and forced to provide all evidence material to the defense of these cases – evidence Mr. Reyna still, almost three years later, refuses to provide.
MATTHEW BARNES CARRIES HIS .45 CAL. ACP AT JURY CALL (CLICK IMAGE FOR FULL SIZE VIEW)
Waco – An ongoing dispute between jury selection activists and local criminal judges heated up on Monday, January 5, at a jury call.
Members of the local chapter of Fully Informed Jurors Association on Monday defied an order of the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office when they handed out brochures to prospective jurors in an alley leading to the jurors entrance.
At least one member, Matthew Barnes, carried his holstered .45 ACP semiauto pistol.
According to Sgt. Steve Janics of the Courthouse Security detachment, the chief concern is that members go armed in the alley between 5th and 6th streets that divides the Courthouse from the Courthouse Annex and Jail buildings.
“I don’t care if he carries it concealed, but I don’t know if he’s been through a retention training program, as we have. If someone gets the gun away from him, there wouldn’t be any telling what might happen. I don’t want him getting hurt, don’t want a juror getting hurt, or any of our men getting hurt,” said Sgt. Janics. “He looks like a cop.”
Leafleting may take place outside the alleyway, around the sidewalk perimeter of the courthouse complex, which has been declared a “closed campus” by order of County Judge Scott Felton.
Sgt. Janics reported that his superiors took no immediate action.
When contacted, Barnes did not comment, nor did he reply. In previous conversations, he has mentioned his handicapped status, and the lack of handicapped parking spaces now that the order is in effect.
To alleviate safety concerns, the City of Waco closed the alley to traffic and turned it over to McLennan County; the Commissioners Court declared it closed to foot traffic on jury selection days to all but those carrying juror summons cards.
The brochures explain to veniremen called for jury service the process of selection – or deselection – of a panel of 12 from a venire summoned as to who will decide to either convict, or acquit on the basis their finding of facts, as presented.
According to the literature, the Judge and members of the prosecution and defense will prepare a set of jury instructions interpreting the law and instructing the jury that if they find a certain set of facts, they will convict on each count; if not, they are to acquit. The brochures explain the Code of Criminal Procedure and give citations of case law related to a venireman’s rights to ask questions in return.
Attorneys examining the venire are allowed an unlimited number of strikes for cause, and a finite number of peremptory challenges, which provides more in capital cases. Following their examination, the first 12 veniremen who are not stricken from the list are then empaneled as a jury.
All verdicts must be unanimous in criminal cases, the finding beyond a reasonable doubt, unlike civil law, in which a majority of votes based on a preponderance of evidence will suffice to arrive at a verdict.
The agenda of the FIJA is to nullify indictments in cases in which they believe the law is unjust. Offenses such as marijuana possession should be acquitted, they hold. Such associations have sprung up all across the nation. They have been especially effective in the western states of Montana and Idaho.
Emerging from the warm cab of the pickup, the world gains a certain clarity in shades of a wintry gray afternoon, amid the sporadic fall of sheets of cold, driving rain.
Surmounting a small rise above the square, crowded half-block of parking, the oddly designed palazzo, part pyramid with steep Aztec steps, part rusticated Italic fortress, part roccoco bauhaus, and topped with a cylindrical double dome complete with rampang eagles and heroic statues, dominates amid a lush landscape studded with pecans.
At the top of the steep steps, on a landing that emerges from the third floor, jurors huddle to take the air and smoke in the chilly air. They look so forlorn.
Stepping out of the elevator and rounding the railing of the rotunda, one may see the judge on the bench, a witness giving testimony, and finally the jurors, back from their cold and forlorn break, seated in the box.
Inside, the witness, a spare black man with a constantly surprised smile and a soft-spoken demeanor, explains the testimony given by a victim of ongoing sexual abuse, a girl who has testified that her ordeal began when she was just 14.
At the extreme right of the defense table, the accused is seated, slightly apart from the legal professionals involved in his case, impassively staring into the brave illumination battling the slowly diminishing grayness from the windows visible through the open door of the judge’s chambers.
A tall lady prosecutor made taller by heels questions him about how a professional may gauge the veracity of a child’s testimony – one of three years of age, or four, compared to a young lady in her mid-teens.
“Does a three-year-old know the difference between the truth and a lie?” she asks. How can one tell when one so tiny is telling an experience that it is accurately described, she follows up after he has agreed it is not a problem
“We use pictures to distinguish their descriptions,” he replies. What about young adults? “Their stories are consistent. This witness’ story was consistent,” he assures her.
Is the witness able to accurately describe what part of her anatomy and where she was hurt, and what part of his anatomy he used to hurt her,” the tall lady asks.
“Yes,” the doctor replies.
When the defense counsel cross examines him, he is equally agreeable, answering a question about how a little child can easily tell the difference between a red and blue crayon, and will tell you when you say otherwise.
When the man finishes his questions, he adds “Ultimately it’s up to 12 people on the jury to determine the truth.” He gestures expansively toward the jury box.
The forensic psychologist smiles, nods, and agrees readily, saying yes.
Following this interchange, the prosecutor stands tall in her heels, her hair braided and circling her scalp, and explains. “Some things came up and the trial progressed must faster than the attorneys thought it would. We have no more witnesses to examine today, but we will tomorrow.”
The judge instructs then what time to return in the morning and all rise as they file out.
Then the judge touches a button at the bench and the projector screen whirs and the electric motor whines gently as it winds the screen up into his housing.
A diagram on a white board mounted on the wall behind the projector screen, drawn in royal blue marking pen, suddenly dominates the room. It is an elevation of a naked female with legs spread, feet presented heels down, toes up, and the vulva starkly defined, the inner and outer labia, sketched in intimate detail, the clitoral hood and clitoris atop the urethral opening and vagina, anus represented by a dot below. An inset illustration makes a clock pattern, 12-3-6-9, indicating certain parts of the anatomy and marked with ticks where the victim sustained certain injuries. The judge sits at the bench, seemingly bemused, staring at the wall, and, thinking of nothing further, stands and walks the few steps to his chambers, closing the door softly.
The drawing on the white board remains a center of focus, something entirely out of place in this quiet bastion of rectitude, a state district courtroom. The drawing is something you would expect to find scrawled in a toilet stall, the back of seat of a city bus, an item of spray-painted graffiti in an alley.
The attorneys sit and look at one another for a moment, and then the two bailiffs take charge of the defendant, escorting him to the passage that leads to the holding cell at the rear of the courtroom. He appears detached from the reality of the moment, a person present, but already forgotten in the rush of reality toward kingdom come. He is soon gone, the bailiff returning alone, shutting the door.
In the world, rain pelts the pavement, streams across the windshield, puddles in ruts on the highway and makes the vehicle dance a bit as it hydroplanes through the ruts and back in contact with the surface of the pavement. The day has turned dark in early afternoon. Night cometh.