Washington – DC – The EPA excluded CNN and other news outlets from a conference exploring the limits of carcinogenic chemicals. – “The Hill”
County Judge Justin Lewis (R) set up microphones in the Courtroom
Get them in your movie before they can get you in theirs. – Ken Kesey, author of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest
Hillsboro – Court recordings that can’t be heard, records that can’t be found – it’s all part of a confusing game that crumbles in the face of any honest and forthright request.
The Hill County Commissioners’ Court is scrambling to maintain an even strain.
For instance, in a special meeting called for 8:30 am on Tuesday, May 29, County Judge Justin Lewis corrected a chronic problem with videos provided by the Emergency Management Coordinator in which the audio portion is inaudible.
He set up an impressive bevy of goose-necked condenser microphones on tables he personally arranged previous to the meeting.
The innovation revealed an interesting set of facts. First order of business included a re-bid of a single entry in which the purchasers sought prices on auto tires.
Judge Lewis said it didn’t seem quite right, so one of the County Commissioners immediately moved for a renewed request for proposals. The motion carried unanimously.
The tribunal set a new speed limit on three miles of newly paved County Roads of 35 miles per hour, as requested by the contractor in order to cut down on wear and tear on the new surface.
And so, it came as some kind of surprise when The Legendary renewed a request for annual reports required by state law of improvements and maintenance to the road system by the Road Commissioners acting as ex officio supervisors.
No one has heard of any such thing, including the Commissioners. A public information act request pending for many days is still active with the County Clerk.
Precinct 1 County Commissioner Montgomery said he will look into the request. He said he has never known of any such requirement.
The matter is part and parcel of a shift from the traditional method of running the road commission voters demanded in a special election that carried the question 61% to 39%. County Commissioners scrapped the resulting change to a “unit system” of operation in which a civil engineer is responsible for all improvement and maintenance after one biennial through yet another ballot question.
In this audio, one may hear the action taken by the Court through a series of motions:
And the floggings will continue until morale improves.
- The Legendary
PHILADELPHIA – The late great Bud Powell suffered for his sanity after the Philly cops played tunes on his head with riot sticks at a small hotel near the Reading Terminal in The City of Brotherly Love.
He may have been disobedient. Remember, nothing is history until it goes down on paper. He once said, “It occurs to me, all the guys who got out of the Army played be-bop.”
- The Legendary
Hillsboro – County Judge Justin Lewis says 42% of the entire County budget is devoted to the Jail -debt service, staffing, care and feeding – the works.
When the public learned that the Texas Commission on Jail Standards had rated the operation substandard in a report generated after two inmates serving as trusties walked through a hole in the fence, a fuels merchant named Chad Gray reacted in public comments on a Facebook page, Hill County Breaking News.
He appeared recently in a Commissioners’ Court meeting to say that he suspects Sheriff Rodney Watson has retaliated against his criticism by forbidding his Officers to fuel their vehicles at a card lock filling station he operates.
Gray learned that the new way is to use a similar system at stations elsewhere provided by a competitor whose cost plus contracts provide for a provide for a profit margin that is 50 percent higher in some cases and as much as 100 percent in others.
As it develops, both systems are approved by the county’s bidding process, something Gray represented to the court is considered illegal, in the opinion of certain learned attorneys he has consulted.
For some reason, the video recording of these meetings is done by Hill County Emergency Management. Their logo is assigned by the Department of Homeland Security – FEMA. They are part of the National Security apparatus of this nation, the United States of America.
As a result, you cannot hear what Judge Lewis is saying, though it is possible to hear the person making a “presentation.”
That would be Mr. Gray, who was so corrected by the Sheriff and Judge Lewis for his outburst about the jail failure in the Texas Commission on Jail Standards report previously reported in these columns and elsewhere.
Naturally, anything any of We The People say can and will be used against us in a Court of Law. Federal agents’ remarks need not be truthful, but if a citizen utters a falsehood in their dealings with federal officials, that is a felony offense.
I put it to you, dear hearts. Is the Constitutional Court of the County of Hill, State of Texas, not a court of law? That’s why it’s called Commissioners’ Court.
We shall return.
So mote it be.
- The Legendary
Listen to the story: USE EARPHONES
Philip Nolan, Jr.
Hill County – Wearing a red t-shirt, blue jeans and cowboy boots, a frantic man walked the rural road looking for his kids. He truly believed someone had spirited them away.
Philip Nolan, Jr., a 37-year-old man who is 5-3 and weighs in at about 140-50, strode along County Road 1321 with a shovel in his hands on Tuesday, May 15, at about 8 a.m.
He was in a total panic, according to his neighbor, Michael Shane Baxter, who lives just a few doors down from Nolan in the 700 block of CR 1321.
Nolan was convinced his kids were not on their way to school, that they were missing, and he demanded Baxter cruise the rural road in search of them, according to an affidavit written by Deputy David Gray.
Baxter told Gray and Sgt. Orban that he drove the road as far as the pavement and when he got back to his house, he found Nolan on his property, in the carport, where he demanded to look in the trunk of Baxter’s car for his children.
According to Baxter, he had not found Nolan’s kids, but he did find a strange black car up the road.
When Deputy Gray found Nolan at Baxter’s house, he noted that, “He was irrational, agitated, and paranoid. I have seen other individuals exhibit similar behavior when under the influence of methamphetamine.”
Gray concluded, “He was detrmined to be a danger to himself and others and was arrested for Public Intoxication. He admitted to Sgt. Orban that he had taken meth two days earlier.”
An affidavit written by Deputy Kalyn Pavlas Caldara observed that Nolan had called earlier to report his kids were missing; while enroute, they received word he was at his neighbor’s house accusing him of hiding them.
When she and Deputy Castro arrived, they listened while Nolan “started telling me how he heard knocking on Baxter’s vehicle and wanted the trunk opened because his kids were in there.”
Baxter opened the trunk; Nolan wouldn’t believe the kids weren’t in there until Baxter took items out to show him there were no kids there. He also refused to believe the officers when they told him Dispatch had confirmed through Hillsboro Elementary and Intermediate schools that his kids were safe and in attendance.
Baxter demanded the cops arrest Nolan for trespassing. They booked him into the Hill County Jail for that offense and public intoxication. The magistrate set his bond at $1,000.
Two days later, on Thursday, May 17 around 9 a.m., corrections staff called for backup to put Nolan in a restraint chair “for his safety” after “he had injured himself by repeatedly striking his forehead against the metal drain in the floor of a holding cell,” according to a statement written by Officer Scott Robinson.
“Inmate Nolan struck his head against the drain with enough force that it broke the skin on his forehead, resulting in his face being covered in blood.”
A nurse tended his wound where he was strapped into the restraint chair, and “Nolan continued to act in a manner consistent with being under the influence of narcotics, specifically methamphetamine,” the officer wrote. “He appeared to be oblivious of his self inflicted injury, was speaking irrationaly and did not appear to be aware of his surroundings.”
On Sunday, May 20, Nolan obtained his freedom on bond, and his parents took him to Hillcrest Hospital in Waco, where he received treatment for his injuries. The hospital released him on Monday, May 21.
Delinda Nolan Cargill said she thought was going to die
According to investigators, Nolan spent the weekend alone at home while his wife and kids were out of town. Seeking drugs to ease his back pain, he went to Gholson in McLennan County and obtained a marijuana joint when he couldn’t find pain medication.
Insiders believe the cigarette may have been laced with a strong narcotic.
His family lives in the area, and they have been facing a lot of trauma for the past year.
The end to this family drama played out in a Waco District Court on Thursday, May 24, when Nolan’s sister Delinda addressed her husband Donald Cargill in a victim impact statement following his guilty plea for multiple felonies.
According to published reports, she said, “You robbed everything from my life.”
He rode the docket for a year and intended to go to trial in June, but opted for a guilty plea in return for a 50-year sentence instead of a possible life term had a jury convicted him for the multiple offenses for which the Grand Jury returned an indictment.
Hillsboro – Let’s put it this way, on a general no-name, no-knock warrant obtained instanter in the middle of a night-riding black mare.
My man is a soldier who toted a brace of pistols for the Provost Marshal while overseas in the service of his country, and did some of the same kind of work in a municipality when he returned home.
Somehow, he injured his spine and suffers from chronic pain, which is medicated with opioid preparations from the VA pharmacy. That relief is not always available. due to various well-known considerations and professional constraints.
And, so, he sought solace in the stinking fumes of the smoking yerba buena.
Somehow, the chaps from 911 became involved and he found himself imprisoned in the County Jail for a time that ended Sunday evening when his people bonded him out of the lockup and they adjourned to an out-of-town hospital where he reportedly passed blood in his urine. His body is covered with bruises.
He reportedly received no medical attention while at the jail, nor was he allowed to contact family, a lawyer, or anyone else. He was alone and suffering from what he thought were the effects of dusted grass – just flat-out tripping.
Naturally, he’s in fear for his life and will not even give his right name or age so the official record may be consulted.
– Silence Do-Good, as related to Constance Makepeace
SCHOFIELD, THE NAME, THE CAVALRY’S BEST INNOVATION
Reporting by Brent McCain, Story by Legendary Jim
Teague, TX – Cops are scared to death of armed motorists. It’s the truth. Most hassles are about the gun; so, let’s just cut to the chase. Where is it?
Police charged this motorist with unlawfully carrying a weapon.
He didn’t carry it far. He stepped out of the car, as he was told to do. Then they cuffed him once they found the gun. One, two steps at the most, and, like, there it was!
Although the total time devoted to arresting this man exceeds an hour and a half, this half-hour video segment could be worth a motorist’s time to watch carefully for the first few minutes. They tell the story. The rest of the street drama is highly repetitive.
At a little after 2 am on April 1 of this year, the Teage Police pulled the driver over for excessive speed – more than 60 miles per hour in a 45 mph zone.
When a female officer approached his vehicle, she asked him for his driver’s license and proof of insurance.
The ensuing hassle is based on what a male officer who came on the scene later termed his unwillingness to behave in an obedient fashion.
The trouble started when motorist being detained asked the female officer just who had pulled in behind her. She said it was another officer. It turned out to be a male officer, her backup.
The motorist gave the officer his license, but had trouble locating his insurance card.
When the cops asked him to step out of the car, the male officer asked “Where is the gun, man?” First time that came up, right off the bat. Apropos nothing so much, just where is the gun?
The speeder said it was in the car.
It was in his back pocket.
That’s not illegal until you are out of the car; if you have a concealed carry permit, it’s still okay.
Then there was the hassle over whether he said they could search his car. First he said yes; then he changed his mind.
That led the male cop to say he thought he might be messed up because of medication. All the facts surrounding that have been redacted. Apparently, there was no particular evidence regarding any of that.
When they searched, they found an AR-15 style M4 patrol rifle with multiple magazines and a supply of green tip 5.53 ammo, which the Chief of the Teague Police termed armor piercing, though it’s not classified that way.
His argument to Legendary Reporter Brent McCain, “Marijuana pipes aren’t illegal until you smoke marijuana in them.”
The upshot is this: The DA refused to prosecute the case. He wasn’t drunk, and they did no blood analysis.
The matter is likely to see federal court scrutiny due to an illegal arrest and a denial of civil rights.
Do we really need all this? Speeding is a misdemeanor; you receive a court summons, and either you show up, or you don’t.
Insurance? All that is on the computer.
Gun in a hip pocket?
That’s legal as long as you’re in the car. If a cop tells you to get out of the car, it could be a communication problem if he doesn’t know you have a gun. Maybe. Maybe not.
It could also be an obedience problem.
The matter is likely to see the inside of a courtroom as a federal civil rights case. An Austin law firm is handling the affair.
Do we really need this?
Like, all this?
No, but it’s time-consuming, tedious, and, well, very dangerous to POP (piss off police).
We probably need the man’s name, all that, but the key to this is his Cause Number, the one that would go on a District Court File. He doesn’t have one. Can’t tell the players without a number.
This brief recording speaks volumes about the logic of aggressive, proactive police work and the determination to file serious charges. Pay close attention to what the Chief of Police tells an inquiring reporter. It speaks volumes about power relations with the cops, and the gender politics in dealing with female police officers.
Conversation begins at 2:03
And the floggings will continue until morale improves.
So mote it be.
- The Legendary
BULLETIN: SOME ASPECTS OF THIS ACCOUNT ARE SERIOUSLY DISPUTED BY MS. EMILY SCHMALL OF THE AP. SEE COMMENTS
Click Image For Full Size
Point Blank, Texas – A bevy of documents obtained through order of the Attorney General has prompted a serious legal challenge to murder indictments against three men arrested at Twin Peaks on May 17, 2015.
AP Staff Writer Emily Schmall has covered Twin Peaks extensively
In an Associated Press article reprinted in a news magazine, Staff Writer Emily Schmall details the facts of just how shaky McLennan DA Abel Reyna’s case against these individuals really is.
The documents were obtained by Steven C. Watson, the publisher of the Sentinelalert.org news blog.
This is his summary of the material:
WACO 5/17/2018 ANNIVERSARY OF TWIN PEAKS BIKER SHOOTING
In an article linked to the headline above, much is attributed to the Associated Press reporter, Emily Schmall who has been writing about the Waco Twin Peaks case as long as The Sentinel Alert has, May 18, 2015. The quote below is from the story:
“Prosecutors have charged Walker in the death of Richard Kirschner, a Cossack. But police records previously reviewed by the AP show a Waco SWAT officer, Michael Bucher, shot Kirschner twice with his rifle. An autopsy report says there were three gunshot wounds. Walker’s pistol was later recovered from a pile of weapons police reports and dashcam footage shows were tossed into the back of Bucher’s vehicle by officers. The ATF wasn’t able to positively identify any fingerprints on Walker’s pistol.” – Ms. Schmall’s lead
Richard ‘Bear’ Kirschner died from the sniper shot to his right thigh, period. The left knee wound, as any can see on video, made a two inch round blood spot on his pants while the right thigh wound had drenched his entire pants leg and the ground underneath Bear within one minute of him being shot by the sniper. What Emily Schmall is not mentioning in her article is that she has conversed with The Sentinel a few times and reviewed our evidentiary spread sheet that we provided to her to help clarify the forensic numbering system so you can make sense of the reports. We proved their were snipers but no one wants to use that term when discusing the biker deaths EXCEPT The Sentinel.
WACO PD LAYS FALSE BLAME – DUCKS THE TRUTH AGAIN
Charges of murder have been leveled against a Bandido biker who was involved in the rioting at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas on May 17th, 2015. The victim was Big ‘Bear’ Kirschner who was a Cossak biker and a Dart afficinado from the Dallas area. The video shows Bear and two Bandido bikers fighting in the parking lot after shots rang out and bikers began dying. Bear can be seen in the video backing the two up striking them with some hand held weapon until he is shot through the left buttock and right thigh by LEO sniper fire from the roof of the Don Carlos. Bear can be seen hobbling to the base of the Twin Peaks sign where he laid and bled extensively from those wounds until he was moved to the hospital where he later died.
The spreadsheet above was compiled based on the autopsy report and photos and the forensics ballistic report that is part of the evidence discovery package. The light brown color code shows all the shots fired by one of the Waco PD LEO sniper rifles. It shows that the fatal wounds were inflicted by the sniper, not the Bandido. The top line of entry shows that the .38 caliber pistol round the Bandido is accused of firing was removed from the left knee wound. The autopsy report only notes muscle and bone damage from the knee wound. The video show plaily that the massive bleeding was caused by the buttock and right thigh wound inflicted by the Waco PD sniper. The manner of death was ruled Homocide.
Though involved in the intelligence gathering before the event and called in for backup after the incident, none of the DPS Troopers were involved in the shooting. All the snipers were Waco PD officers.
The corrupt DA Able Reyna quietly had the Grand Jury exonerate the officers who fired from sniper positions while totally denying they were deployed as snipers or fired before calls for help came in. According to the AP reporters narrative, she was told by Waco PD that the bikers pistol round killed Big Bear. That is just another lie formented by the Waco PD and lame duck Able Reyna.
And the floggings will continue until morale improves.
So mote it be.
- Legendary Jim
Prisoners of a 71-Second War Bowed Their Heads For The Exact Time Shots Rang Out At Twin Peaks on May 17, 2015. At right is Sandra Lynch, who called for the 71 seconds of silence. (wearing yellow)
“…But today you just read that the man was shot dead by a gun that didn’t make any noise…” – Traffic, “The Low Spark Of The High-Heeled Boys”
Waco – Judy Bergman said it best. “These guys are innocent,” she said, and it’s true. Her husband “Scooter” of Desgraciados MC had every chance in the world to plead guilty, and he refused.
He didn’t want to tell that lie. He went to a political meeting and wound up in jail for 20 days under a $1 million bond before reaching a bond reduction to $80,000.
“Juntos Estamos” proclaims a patch on Scooter Bergman’s vest
Years later, the prosecution gave him a chance to walk away if he would just say he was guilty of assault, felony, misdemeanor, whatever. He refused.
“That would have been the first lie I told,” he said.
Then the judge ordered him to keep his mouth shut pending the production of further evidence in a federal trial of yet other defendants charged with other offenses tried in a court more than 200 miles distant, in a different jurisdiction.
Bergman recalled how he begged a deputy to uncuff a man bleeding from a gunshot wound to his arm so he could apply a tourniquet. The reply: “Stop your whining or you’re going to jail.” He did, for 20 Days in the Jack Harwell Detention Center.
And so they gathered on the steps of the McLennan County Courthouse to smile and shake hands and commemorate a 71-second war in which shots from battle rifles wielded by Waco Police and DPS agents rang out under the decreased muzzle blast provided by “suppressors,” a military term for silencers.
Sandra Lynch had people remember just how long 71 seconds lasts
A survivor of the quiet war wield by silent weapons, Sandra Lynch beseeched the small crowd of veterans to bow their heads for 71 seconds, “…so we’ll remember just how long that lasts.”
She and her husband Mike were taken prisoner under the same charge and $1 million bond after members of the Cossacks MC ran over her foot as she confronted them in preparation for a Confederation of Clubs Meeting – a political meeting.
Police charged no one for that vehicular assault on her person, just as no one faced charges for stabbings, beatings, attacks with ball peen and claw hammers, and other assorted mayhem in the months leading up to the blood bath that left 9 dead, 20 wounded, and 177 under arrest for the vague offense of “engaging in organized criminal activity.”
When the one trial held on any of the indictments came, Jake Carrizal found himself acquitted by a worn-out and bewildered jury who signaled the judge they didn’t need to hear any more evidence.
Truth was, they had heard no evidence of exactly how the Dallas Bandido President had caused the murder or aggravated assault of anyone – anyone at all. They said they were ready to go home; they couldn’t reach a verdict after 5 weeks of testimony by “gang experts,” medical examiners, and firearms experts who were not allowed to present their evidence because it would have been hearsay for an ATF Agent to present evidence based on a Waco Police report.
So much for that.
The only really definite evidence presented in those five long-suffering weeks was the fact that nine men had died, four of them from gunshot wounds from the rifles of three Waco Police Officers.
“Popeye” Moss of Sons Of Liberty Riders MC addresses the crowd
Now three men formerly indicted with an offense of engaging in organized criminal activity are charged with the murders previously attributed to police who fired in the name of law and order and received no true bill of indictment from a Grand Jury.
The rest of the 25 indictments for various degrees of the misdemeanor offense of rioting aggravated by enhancements involving degrees of mayhem and assault are familiar names, most of whom fired in self defense – or didn’t, as the case may be.
One shudders to think of the complication of the jury instructions that will no doubt result should those cases come to trial.
The verdict of the people who lived through the ordeal: “As everyone knows, the Federal Government has trampled on the rights of the people charged at Twin Peaks,” said Sandra Lynch.
Mel “Popeye” Moss, president of the DFW Sons of Liberty Riders MC, said in an introductory speech that motorcycle profiling is a terrifying prospect, especially when you consider, “This guy who pulled you over thinks you are suspicious, that you’re probably a criminal, and who does he report it to? Some Fusion Center way down the highway…Those are the people who organized this whole thing, the Fusion Center.”
The multi-agency task force Fusion Center is indeed a creature of the Department of Homeland Security, staffed with DPS, local police, federal agents – a clearing house for information of all types in the Global War On Terror, gang task forces, narcotics squads of all descriptions, and military responders from the Joint Special Operations Command to the FBI, CIA and the rest of the “intelligence community” so tasked by the Patriot Act since the 9/11 attacks of 2001.
Judy Bergman, wife of Desgraciado “Scooter”
Said Judy Bergman, whose husband refused to tell a lie on himself, “All of them (law enforcement officers )are the gangs, and you can see that the way they’re dropping these cases.”
It’s true about the cases. There were 154 outstanding just a few weeks ago. All that is one for the history books, now.
As the observers and veterans of the 71-second “quiet war” brought their third year anniversary meeting to a close, a U.S. District Court jury returned a verdict of guilty on all charges in a multiple count indictment of former Bandidos U.S.A. President and Vice President Jeffrey Pike and John Portillo in San Antonio.
Their guilt was proved up to the jurors by prosecutors who relied upon the testimony of their former associates, also members of the Bandidos, who agreed to testify in return for a guilty plea and the expectation of lighter sentencing on narcotics, murder conspiracy and other serious federal offenses.
All including Pike and Portillo, are yet to be sentenced following their allocution hearings to be held in the future.
So ends the operation one very aggressive and very effective defense counsel termed a “frontal assault on the Constitution” by Elected Criminal District Attorney Abel Reyna.
So mote it be.
Lauren Daugherty, candidate to replace Justice of the Peace “Pete” Peterson (2nd from L) has her associates respond with “YES” At right is Mark Tippets, Libertarian Candidate for Governor of Texas
F. Clinton Broden, (C)
Dallas – The only attorney truly “gagged” by court order during the continuing Twin Peaks saga other than prosecutors – in one case only – offered a third anniversary critique of the sorry performance by the State of Texas in this mass arrest that took place on May 17, 2015.
F. Clinton Broden has been the second-most outspoken lawyer – right behind DA Abel Reyna, who was also precluded from speech about the cases of 155 indicted, but chose to blab every chance he got. He became a “necessary witness” when he personally took charge of a police investigation of just how 9 persons lost their lives, 20 were wounded, and 177 arrested for being present and wearing certain colors on their clothing.
According to Broden’s arguments, which fell on deaf ears in the criminal justice system, that act disqualified Reyna and his staff from prosecuting the cases, according to the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.
The key difference between Reyna’s pronunciamentos and Broden’s pleadings are that the defense counsel made his remarks truly effective by couching them in court documents, pleadings not covered by the order of 54th Criminal District Matt Johnson because they are part of the public record, as defined by the Constitution of the State of Texas.
It is also part of the public record that Reyna committed aggravated perjury, a felony punishable by two to 20 years in the state pen, when he testified falsely as a public official as to his preparation of the officer, Detective Manuel Chavez of the Waco Police, as to his complete lack of personal knowledge of the events charged in a “complaint” that was non-specific as to the actual illegal acts of the accused. Each affidavit he signed was completely identical, and did not make specific allegations other than that the accused was either a member of the Bandidos MC or the Cossacks MC or a support club, and wore their colors when the police ambush of an attack on the Bandidos took place.
Hear his remarks about the miserable failure of the “frontal assault” on the United States Constitution by Abel Reyna here:
Thursday, May 17, 2015, marks the third anniversary of the Twin Peaks tragedy and the frontal assault on the United States Constitution by the McLennan County District Attorney. We must never forget that nine people lost their lives that day. We must also never forget the horrible constitutional abuses inflicted upon hundreds of innocent motorcyclists for the past three years.
Thankfully, this year has brought a sea change to the Twin Peaks cases. Of the 177 people arrested three years ago, only 27 still have charges pending. It is truly staggering to consider that 85% of those arrested that day have had their cases dismissed or declined for prosecution within the past few months. Moreover, the only Twin Peaks case that went to trial resulted in an embarrassing repudiation of the State’s theory of prosecution and the idea that people can be guilty for being merely present at the scene of a crime and wearing a certain type of clothing.
Broden & Mickelsen has represented three of the 177 persons arrested on May 17, 2015: George Berman, Matthew Clendennen and Richard Luther.
– Earlier this year, in a shameful attempt by the District Attorney’s Office to save face, Mr. Bergman was offered a misdemeanor plea instead of the life sentence he was facing. Mr. Bergman essentially told the District Attorney’s Office what it could do with its plea offer. Then, shortly before the McLennan County primary election, the State offered to completely dismiss Mr. Bergman’s case with prejudice as long as he agreed to wait for the dismissal.
– As to Mr Clendennen, the District Attorney’s Office recused itself from prosecuting his case this past October and on the eve of trial. The recusal marked the first time a Twin Peaks case was finally being reviewed by prosecutors outside of McLennan County. Four prosecutors pro tem undertook a through review of Mr. Clendennen’s case over several moths and ultimately determined that there was no probable cause to bring the case against Mr. Clendennen in the first place. Moreover, in a rebuke to the McLennan County District Attorney, the prosecutors pro tem made clear in their dismissal motion that the case was dismissed because of lack of probable cause. This language differed greatly from the cowardly language used by Abel Reyna’s office in dismissing the 126 other Twin Peaks cases.
– As to Richard Luther, the charge of engaging in organized criminal activity was reduced last week to a third degree felony charge of tampering with evidence. That charge is particularly ironic in Mr. Luther’s case because of the fact that there is unequivocal video evidence of a Waco Police Officer attributing a pair of brass knuckles to Mr. Luther that did not belong to him. In other words, it was the Waco Police Department that tampered with evidence in his case. Ultimately, the handling of Mr. Luther’s case will likely turn out to be yet another embarrassment for the District Attorney’s Office.
VOTERS RESTORE CONSTITUTION IN A LAND SLIDE
Meanwhile, in this past year, the voters of McLennan County voted to restore the Constitution to McLennan County when they overwhelmingly voted the incumbent District Attorney out of office this past March. It is hoped that the new District Attorney will act swiftly to review all of the Twin Peaks cases and make the determination, as did the prosecutors pro tem in the Clendennen case, that a large majority of these cases were brought without any probable cause whatsoever.
TO SEND MESSAGE TO “SMILEY” PETERSON, J.P. PRCT. 1
* Regrettably, the McLennan County voters did not have the same chance to send a message to Justice of the Peace Pete Peterson because, unlike Abel Reyna, Peterson did not face a primary challenge this past March. Nevertheless, Peterson is the reason that almost all of the motorcyclists languished in jail for several weeks on unconstitutional $1,000,000 bonds only to see their cases dismissed three years later.
MEDIA ‘BLINDLY DRANK’ THE KOOL-AID
The public should also not forget that, three years ago, most of the media was bamboozled by Reyna and Waco Police Department Spokesperson Patrick Swanton with multiple press conferences about roving biker gangs who did not come to Waco to “drink and eat barbeque.” Media outlets around the world were quick to regurgitate this “fake news” and to repeatedly publish and broadcast mug shots of those being arrested without probable cause. Nevertheless, now that the truth has been exposed, most of the media outlets that were so eager to presume guilt three years ago have lost interest. Amazingly, even today, some media outlets continue to publish or broadcast mug shots of bikers as their cases are being dismissed and continue to use the term “gangs” to refer to the motorcycle clubs present at Twin Peaks on May 17, 2015. It is truly unfortunate that, for the most part, the media outlets that blindly bought into the law enforcement narrative that was being spread three years ago have yet to look inward and start to own the part they played in allowing the prosecution to run amok in the days following the Twin Peaks incident.
VALUABLE LESSONS TO BE LEARNED
Looking back at the past three years since this tragedy, there are valuable lessons to be learned. First, it is hoped that this incident serves as an abject lesson to prosecutors that, in America, you are supposed to investigate first and charge later; not the other way around. Second, it is hoped that the results of the March primary election send a clear message to district attorneys that their job is to serve justice not to seek to advance their careers on the backs of innocent men and women. When they do so, the electorate will not be kind. Third, it is hoped that judges learn a lesson from the travesty that was caused by JP Peterson in the setting of unconstitutional and unconscionable “one size fits all” bonds and that judges help advance the bond reforms that are being promoted around the country. Fourth, it is hoped that the media learns that it is more important to get it right than to get it first and that the media learns a lesson from its zeal to spread the prosecution narrative three years ago.
In the end, justice has begun to prevail in the Twin Peaks saga. Nevertheless, justice was three years in coming and came at a very heavy price to many individuals and their families.