Twin Peaks: Cops Knew Of Violence Hour In Advance

Cossack Big Jake preparing to shoot Independent Mohawk on patio – photo gleaned from a DPS video surveillance pole camera

Waco – There is new evidence on the table that implicates prosecutors with withholding “Brady material” that is exculpatory in the Twin Peaks cases, a possible violation of the Michael Morton law.

According to an eyewitness, the armed conflict between members of the Cossacks MC and the much smaller number of Bandidos they confronted upon their arrival at Twin Peaks Restaurant during the noon hour of Sunday, May 17, 2015, could have been easily stopped if only law enforcement had acted.

Speaking on the record for the first time, Sandra Lynch and her husband Mike released their story through an on-line publication on Saturday, September 8.

According to the couple, when they arrived at the location to set up for the Confederation of Clubs and Independents meeting to be held there, about 75 Cossacks sporting barely concealed handguns were dominating the patio and parking lot reserved for the political meeting.

Sandra Lynch, who had arranged to reserve the patio area of the restaurant, had arrived earlier than her husband, and she let him know of the potential for danger. He texted Precinct 1 Constable Walt Strickland, requesting backup by armed police, but received only noncommittal response.

Mrs. Lynch alleges in the interview that at least one of the Cossacks who surrounded her menaced her with billards cue balls he carried in a sack on his belt.

She said, in an exclusive interview with The Legendary, “Forty-five minutes earlier it all could have and should have been stopped…At that point there was only 2 clubs there, 6 of mine (Los Pirados) and 75 of the other (Cossacks).”

LEGENDARY: So you and Mike have been unable to comment on any of this now for 29 months, and all the while the exculpatory evidence has been available to the prosecutor?

She replied, “Yes.”

Authorities arrested the Lynches among 177 persons who fled for their lives and took up positions on their bellies on the floor when the bullets began to fly and police armed with AR-15 style assault rifles poured many rounds of suppressed fire into the crowd, killing at least four of the assailants and wounding a number of the 20 felled in the fracas.

They have filed a federal lawsuit that has been on hold pending the forward progress of the Twin Peaks prosecution.

Local judges hearing the cases in State District Court have expressed their opinions that the matter should be held in reserve until there is a resolution of the pending RICO anti-racketeering cases against members of the Bandidos MC in U.S. District Court at San Antonio.

These articles are cited in the motions for recusal. Visiting judge James Morgan ruled during a hearing that yielded the recusal of Judge Ralph Strother in three cases that Tribune-Herald staff writer Tommy Witherspoon should be shielded by law from questioning about his sources for his articles.

Strother’s recusal from the first trial and to be scheduled so far against Dallas Bandido Jake Carrizal is the subject of a motion hearing before visiting Judge Daniel H. Mills of Burnet County on Tuesday morning at 11 a.m., according to the court coordinator.

Jury selection in the Carrizal trial is set for Tuesday morning, September 12 at 8:30 am. He is charged with engaging in organized criminal activity and directing a criminal organization in the original and a superseding indictment.

Attorneys representing multiple members of biker clubs involved in the prosecution have filed motions for their recusal and the recusal of the McLennan County Criminal District Attorney, citing news articles published by the Waco “Tribune-Herald” as part of their evidence.

Recused Judge Seeks Delay In Bandido’s Trial

Bandido Jake Carrizal digs into chorizos and eggs with a smile

Waco – The curve balls thrown by practitioners of good old boy justice in this tight, dry, polite, cruel smile of a university town surprise no one, whether the saliva-soaked screwballs, sliders and sinkers come over the plate – or not. 

Most people among the internet keyboard cognoscenti greeted the news that 19th Criminal District Judge Ralph T. Strother would force a hearing into his recusal in a fourth case – the first to come to trial of 155 indicted stem from a police massacre at Twin Peaks Restaurant on May 17, 2015, by saying it is nothing more than a holding action to delay the start of the first case.

This is the beginning of the 29th month since that fateful day, more violent that the gunfight at the OK Corral, in which authorities charged all the defendants with a single, non-specific violation of a murky  conspiracy charge at the order of the Criminal District Attorney, Abel Reyna.

Social media has been abuzz with the opinion that the judge has been delaying justice since the community of motorcycle enthusiasts caught the drift of his conduct in refusing to read 18 subpoenas or order compliance with them – or to even put those summoned on the witness stand to answer questions from Casie Gotro, the Houston attorney who is defending Dallas Bandidos Chapter President Jake Carrizal on two counts of conspiracy – engaging in organized criminal activity, and directing the actions of a criminal organization.

Parnell McNamara, Sheriff, neglected to even show up. Steve McCraw, director of the Texas Department of Public Safety sat out the hearing without so much as a how do. Assistant Prosecutor Amanda Dillon hid out in the Grand Jury room for an entire business day dodging service of her subpoena.

No one so ordered has turned over any of the evidence sought.

Carrizal’s trial is scheduled to begin with jury selection on Tuesday, September 12.

When part of a special venire of 600 persons arrived – about 200 of them who crowded into the auxiliary courtroom of the McLennan County Courthouse on Friday, September 1, the judge had only just begun to brief them on the qualifications for jury duty and what would be expected of them when Carrizal’s attorney had a bailiff hand him a handwritten motion for his recusal.

Visibly shaken, he read how he is accused of assisting the DA’s staff to prosecute her client. And then he had the procsecution, defense and Carrizal join he and the court reporter in private for a quick conference.

According to rules of procedure, he had no choice, other than to decide he will not simply sign the recusal order and have done with the matter.

Ms. Gotro aired her complaints during numerous appearances, all of which saw a defiant judge who refused to bend to her arguments.. Without reading a motion for recusal, he stated at one point in advance that he would deny any such, and plowed ahead.

All the while Gotro protested that she cannot give her client adequate legal counsel while defending a case against two prosecutors, both the DA and staff, and the Judge.

There are numerous citations of his alleged misconduct in her motion and supplemental arguments, many of which were previously argued before visiting Judge James Morgan of Comanche in a grueling day-long hearing that led to his recusal of the judge in the cases of Rolando Reyes, Paul Landers, and Burton Bergman, all of whom were arrested the same day in 2015, as was Carrizal.

Central to the allegations of complaint in those motions are the fact that Judge Strother scheduled a court appearance for both attorneys and defendants at a docket call, and his staff then directed the defendants and their legal representation to proceed from the courtroom to the DA’s office in order to give tissue samples for DNA analysis.

When the lawyers asked for a court order or a search warrant, the DA’s staff at first could not produce one; they demanded that the lawyers see Judge Strother about that. When a warrant was located, it was three days out of date, or “stale”, and therefore invalid.

The ensuing arguments between prosecutors and defenders turned ugly, according to testimony given in the hearing before Judge Morgan.

Lead Prosecuting Counsel Michael Jarrett asked one of the attorneys, former District Judge Susan Criss of Galveston, “What do you want us to do, break down his (defendant Rolando Reyes’) door in the middle of the night and serve the warrant then?”

At the conclusion of the hearing, Judge Morgan remarked, “I came in here ready to finish this thing today, but I can see now, I’m going to have to give this a lot of thought.”

On August 30, after days of reflection, he granted the three motions for recusal in the three cases.

On Wednesday, September 5, Judge Strother filed a statement with the District Clerk saying he will not recuse himself.

That means that Judge Daniel H. Mills of Burnet County will have to hear the arguments both for his recusal and against it, and then everyone concerned can wait the requisite number of days to see if there will be an appeal to the 10th District Court of Appeals, with all the attendant paper and procedure that entails.

The gavel will drop on the hearing at 1:30 pm on Friday, September 8. Jurors have been ordered to phone the Court Coordinator’s Office after 5:30 pm on that same day to learn their instructions as to when to appear, either on Tuesday, September 12, or at a later date.

And, as usual, here in Six Shooter Junction, there is little doubt that the floggings will continue – at least, until morale improves.

At one point recently, following a frustrating day in court, Carrizal told The Legendary, “To them, it’s a game; but for me, it’s my life.”

He faces not less than 25 years or more than 99 if convicted for engaging in organized criminal activity. If convicted of the charge of directing the activities of a criminal organization, he faces not less than 30 years behind penitentiary walls or more than 99.

No doubt that’s what he means by that remark. We asked no follow-up questions.

So mote it be.

– The Legendary

Public Info Is A Terrorist Threat For Local Official

This is what public information terrorism looks like – at least to the Angelina County Judge, who called an inquiry ‘public info terror’

Lufkin – On Thursday, a citizen looking for answers to his questions about the county budget will meet with the Criminal District Attorney in order to sort out his complaint – that the Angelina County Judge committed an offense under the Local Government Code when he and the County Auditor failed to list the amount of reserve cash on hand in the 2018 County Budget.

David Stua is the kind of man who when thwarted by a public official, turns to the law, the Texas Open Records Act, of the Government Code to obtain the information the legislature has plainly stated is the property of the people, not of officials.

His demands are earnest enough that at one point, he sent 28,000 public information act requests in the space of an hour, prompting the Angelina County Judge and other local officials to labeled him as a “public information terrorist” in a legislative committee hearing at Austin.

Take a look at what passes for terrorism when a citizen takes his requests seriously enough to back them with a criminal complaint:

(click here)

David Stua’s criminal complaint regarding the format of the budget 

The people, in delegating authority, do not give their public servants the right to decide what is good for the people to know and what is not good for them to know. The people insist on remaining informed so that they may retain control over the instruments they have created. Section 552.001, Texas Open Records Act

Strother To Defy Recusal

“I WILL…NOT BE VOLUNTARILY RECUSING MYSELF FROM HEARING THIS CASE (BANDIDO JACOB CARRIZAL)

19TH CRIMINAL DISTRICT JUDGE RALPH T. STROTHER

Six Shooter Junction – When Judge Ralph T. Strother announced over the noon hour on Tuesday to the local CBS outlet, KWTX Channel 10, that he will defy a recusal motion by the defense counsel of Bandido Jake Carrizal, he sent lawyers all over the state into a pow wow by fax, phone, and text.

Only one of three attorneys who had previously obtained his recusal in other cases was available for comment.

Former Galveston District Judge Susan Criss, who is defense counsel for Rolando Reyes, was thunderstruck.

“I am shocked,” she said, beside herself….”I don’t understand. Why would he think that this case is any different that the three we presented? The circumstances are the same…He’s still subject to the rule” – [Rule 18(a)(b) Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, which requires a judge must immediately proceed to a hearing on a recusal motion, or turn the entire case including all notes and exhibits, over to the Regional Administrative Judge, in this case District Judge Billy Stubblefield at Georgetown.] – “Judge (James) Morgan signed the orders. We sent him a letter, and he said they are on file in the Clerk’s Office.”

She hurried away from the impromptu interview to read the exclusive KWTX interview.

According to the docket for this coming Friday, September 8, Carrizal’s counsel will be in the 19th District Court and need not bring the defendant for a final pre-trial conference preceding jury selection, which is scheduled to proceed on Tuesday, September 12.

A Court Coordinator’s staff member and the lead Bailiff both said it is an unknown quantity if any case scheduled for trial will go forth as planned.

“There are many moving parts, and many more variables,” explained the uniformed Deputy. “No one knows.”

He did agree to go the the Judge’s chambers to query the Judge if The Legendary will be allowed to listen to the void dire examination of the venire and see how the jury selection process proceeds from the questionnaires to the prosecution and defense counsel’s inquiries of the prospective jurors and their strikes for cause and for peremptory reasons.

Judge Strother has previously denied a motion by Carrizal’s defense counsel Casie Gotro for an emergency stay of further proceedings, and a motion for recusal.

Her motion for recusal brought to a stop the examination of a 600-member venire at a previous hearing as the judge was briefing prospective jurors on their qualifications, what is to be considered evidence, and the scope of their task in returning a verdict.

 

Overdue Info Request On DA’s Pre-Trial Releases

GOOD OLD BOYS HOLDING FACTS HOSTAGE FOR $5,100 CASH

HUNDREDS RELEASED ON SERIOUS CHARGES WITHOUT TRIAL

Waco – Before close of business today McLennan Criminal DA Abel Reyna will field a demand for response on 4,300 public information act requests.

A duo of public information act specialists – one of whom has been labeled by an east Texas DA as a “public information terrorist” – obtained a favorable ruling from the Texas Attorney General back in June on a March request for information about a pre-trial intervention program that allows defendants to go free of their charges.

DA Abel Reyna explained that his program began as a way to collect hot checks without putting defendants in jail where they can’t pay.

But at some point, he expanded the program. Records obtained so far indicate that persons charged with felony DWI, abandoning a child,  assaulting a public servant and crimes against nature involving children have escaped their date with a judge.

Ordinarily, since the material regards charges that have been dismissed and resulted in no conviction, the information is private.

But when the DA’s staff did not meet a deadline triggered by the provisions of the Open Records Act, the DA ruled  that all information requested must be made public. The order for release issued more than 90 days ago in OR2017-13053.

In a published report, Reyna explained the program by saying:

This program is not intended to be soft. but it allows you to think outside the box and to not clog up the criminal justice system with individuals who don’t need to be there so we can better focus on the ones who do need to be there. The program is an opportunity. It’s not a right.

An original pubic information act request for names of persons so diverted from the court system resulted in a database of 481 names and their offenses. One may view list that by clicking here.

A trio of public information activists including R.S. Gates and David Stua, who once hit the Angelina County District Attorney’s office with 28,000 PIA requests in the space of one hour, worked through Labor Day weekend to surgically redact the information required by the AG’s ruling. That resulted in altering each of the original information requests into 9 separate requests for each of the original 481 records obtained.

Said R.S. Gates of his motives in making the request, “Because participation most often leads to dismissal of charges, the records are normally beyond the reach of the Texas Public Information Act. Being beyond the reach, the lack of public scrutiny has led to speculation of shady dealings.”

He added that he and his colleagues are expecting loud protests from the DA’s staff and local government officials. Nevertheless, according to the Open Records Act, it’s not up to the government to decide what the people should know because the records belong to the people. Government officials are merely custodians of the records

ONE WILL FIND AN AUDIO INTERVIEW WITH MR. STUA HERE:

 

 

Fired Waco Narc Who Beat Up Doc Watching Carrizal Case in Court

Police Evidence Tech Kalinske pins new badge on Jason Barnum

Waco – Observers in the gallery during the fiery pre-trial hearings held in the first Twin Peaks case against Bandido Jake Carrizal have noticed two plainschothesmen in the mix of bailiffs keeping order.

They are deputies of the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office, dressed in business wear and ties, with noticeable bulges of big handguns in concealment holsters  printing on their jackets.

At times one will sit in the empty jury box of the auxiliary courtroom, and then alternate with a rear corner of the cavernous room, while the other sits in a row of chairs along the wall. Then they sit together for a time before shifting positions for different angles of view.

They keep their eyes on the members of the gallery.

Both were present during the day-long hearing on the motion for recusal of 19th Criminal District Judge Ralph T. Strother from the cases of three defendants, Paul Landers, Burton Bergman, and Rolando Reyes, granted last week by visiting Judge James Morgan.

They are Deputies Blanco and Jason Barnum, a former Waco Police narcotics officer who was dismissed from his job as a sergeant following an altercation in which he forced a local doctor’s car off the road, pulled him from the vehicle and beat him with his fists over his attentions to his wife.

The couple are reportedly going through a divorce at this time.

The arrangement is causing ripples of consternation among defendants who noticed the presence of the officers dressed in plain clothes because they are obviously doing police work, but the conbination of their suits and ties and their implacable facial expressions are somewhat intimidating, it is said.

According to one source who requested anonymity pending the permission of an attorney to speak about the case, “He texted on his phone all the way through the hearing, so someone he was working with would know what’s happening in court”

Barnum is also reportedly one of the policemen who dressed in the garb of a biker and was seen in the presence of Cossack Big Owen Reeves during the time before Bandidos arrived at Twin Peaks Restaurant on May 17, 2015.

Said Sandra Lynch, who reserved the patio at the restaurant for the Confederation of Clubs and Independents meeting and arrived with her husband Mike early, “I say it’s him.” The couple, who were arrested on the identical charge as everyone else – engaging in organized criminal activity – have filed a federal civil rights suit against the Waco Police, the DPS, District Attorney Abel Reyna, and Justice of the Peace Pete Peterson. That case along with all others filed in an Austin U.S. District Court is pending until the result of the criminal cases is made clear in State District Court.

Some have gone so far as to say in private remarks that they saw him with the Cossack at bike nights leading up to the tragic confrontation. Members of the rival club are clearly depicted on surveillance video shooting members of the Bandidos before they are then cut down by fire from gunmen unseen by the camera’s iris.

Deputies Blanco and Barnum standing outside the courtroom

Key Judge’s Role In Evidence Cover-Up

THUGS ARE ONE THING; THEY CAN HANDLE THEM, BUT I GUESS WE JUST KIND OF SCARED THEM… – Paul Landers, political activist, business owner, member of The Escondidos, Twin Peaks defendant

Waco – At the heart of an alleged criminal conspiracy to withhold key exculpatory evidence in the Twin Peaks cases is the man in the cat bird seat.

A supplemental motion to recuse 19th Criminal District Court Judge Ralph T. Strother filed on Friday, September 1 – after the McLennan County District Clerk’s Office had closed at five minutes to five p.m. on the day the long Labor Day weekend  begins – contains the threads of the story.

Filed by Houston defense attorney Casie Gotro on behalf of her client Bandido Jake Carrizal, president of the Dallas Chapter of that organization, the instrument speaks volumes about what a vast conspiracy of public officials have struggled since May 17, 2015 to conceal about the events that led to 9 killings, 20 persons wounded and the arrests of 177 persons on an an identical charge stated in the vaguest of terms – and the concealed exculpatory evidence that subsequent investigation revealed.

Timing is everything, and when investigator Kevin Fisk was unable to gain access to the McLennan County Courthouse prior to closing time, Ms. Gotro directed him to arrange service on the principals of the case by U.S. Postal Service, return receipt requested.

He was able to do it at a self-service kiosk located at the Waco Post Office on the corner of Sanger Avenue at Hwy. 6.

The improvised approach is legal, for the law requires such a motion must be made a minimum of 10 days before a trial is to begin, and the jury trial of Jake Carrizal is set for Tuesday, September 12. Thus, the motion states it is “timely filed” in anticipation of any argument to the contrary.

When a bailiff handed Strother the motion during the jury examination hearing earlier in the day, the act by Carrizal’s defense team stopped the music, under the law.

According to Texas Rule of Civil Procedure 18a, a judge subjected to such a motion must request an administrative judge to hear or designate another judge to hear the pleadings; if not, he must forward all statements to the regional administrative judge, and “except for good cause, the judge shall make no further orders and shall take no further action” – pending a hearing.

If he does so in defiance of the law, that action is void, according to Brosseau v Ranzau, 28 S.W. 3d 235, 238, according to the supplemental motion.

By absolutely refusing to “hear all legal arguments and factual proffers from the defense [he is] thereby allowing the State’s arguments and proffers to go uncontroverted…”

Quite simply, the motion alleges:

JUDGE STROTHER HAS ABDICATED HIS ADJUDICATIVE RESPONSIBILITIES.

That is a major bad act under the terms of Canon 3 (B)(1), Texas Code of Judicial Conduct, and never mind the Michael Morton law.

But it’s the evidence withheld by law enforcement officials, clerks, technicians, and contractors that tells the tale, all of which is meticulously documented in the motion.

At the top of the pyramid sits Judge Strother, whose “conduct also deprives the defendant (Bandido Carrizal) his right to make a record and preserve any errors for appellate review.”

That places a defendant in the same position as if he pled guilty and waived all his rights to appeal – without the permission of the Court of original jurisdiction. No bueno.

Heading the list are nine audio recordings of witness statements made by DPS detective on the day of the legal disaster at Twin Peaks and an additional hour of video footage from a police car.

Through the investigation conducted by the law office of Casie Gotro by Kevin Fisk, a former Waco arson investigator whose sanity when questioned by city officials with a motive to do a similar criminal coverup of a murder conspiracy led to his resignation under duress, the defense “independently corroborated” the existence of the exculpatory material, and obtained it.

JUDGE STROTHER HAS FAILED TO MAKE A SINGLE INQUIRY OF THE STATE REGARDING THIS MATERIAL AND FAVORABLE EVIDENCE.

In fact, he has informed Ms. Gotro on the record that he has no intention of doing any such thing.

“Rather he continues to blindly accept the State’s illogical and preposterous excuses,” thus “failing to enforce constitutional protections” on four separate occasions.

The motion concludes:

DEFENDANT HAS NO CHANCE OF A FAIR TRIAL SO LONG AS JUDGE STROTHER IS ALLOWED TO PRESIDE, REFUSES TO ALLOW THE PARTIES TO BE HEARD.

Perhaps most interesting is the list of witnesses or their designees subpoenaed to produce items of evidence who then failed to do so.

One of them, Sheriff Parnell McNamara, did not even appear in response to the summons, nor did he, like Texas Department of Public Safety Director Steve McCraw, have the requested items, allegedly seized by Deputies on the fateful day of May 17, 2015, delivered to the defense.

No one was required to produce the items subpoenaed, and Judge Strother did not allow the defense counsel to call them to the witness stand in order to show through direct examination the cause of their defiance of the subpoenas.

McCraw is the subject of multiple such orders seeking audio and video surveillance, ballistics reports and witness statements.

Jason Stolle, an Information Tech of the Waco Police Department is listed.

Kourtney McClain of PETCO is sought for the surveillance camera footage shot at the time of what the mainstream media has chosen to call a “melee,” in actuality a hail of small arms fire, much of it from the muzzles of weapons whose reports are suppressed by silencers.

Ryan Holt, Waco chief of police, is sought for digital dupes of encrypted communications, especially of “Channel D” directing officers where to deploy and monitoring their maneuvers during the fire fight.

Other Waco Police officials sought include Liz Rohrer, records supervisor; Detective Jill Rogers; Sergeant Keith Vaughn; and Detective Sherry Kingrey.

Peter Caldwell, the general manager of Don Carlos Restaurant, is subpoenaed to furnish video from the establishment’s closed circuit system.

The subpoenaes carry severe criminal penalties for a willful refusal to comply with their requirements.

Exhibits attached to the motion contain the particulars about alleged exculpatory evidence obtained from witness statements and copies of official police and DPS reports regarding the material.

One may review the entire document by merely clicking the hyperlink below:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/8hyb6acro856v4g/Carrizal%20Supplemental%20RecusalMotion%20.pdf?dl=0

 

A Tigress At The Temple Barre Ambushes The Judge

Handwritten motion gives the reasons for Judge Strother’s Recusal 

Waco – Like a prowling tigress slowly circling a quiet village, the lady barrister Casie Gotro lured her prey with papers of the court.

She built her trap with words and facts, and as she worked, she tempted 19th Criminal District Judge Ralph T. Strother to underestimate her capacity for the logic behind legal principles – until it was too late.

When she stood inside the well of the Court, past the Temple Barre, she allowed him to speak to more than 200 prospective jurymen and women, and then by filing a motion supported by a legal memorandum used to persuade Judge James Morgan to grant recusal motions by three other defendants, she caused a bailiff to hand him an instrument so keenly whetted it made his face flush, sweat to pop out on his forehead, and resulted in a series of rapidly cycling grimaces that made his visage terrible to behold.

Four large-screen television screens blew his facial tics up to at least five times actual size, and hundreds of ordinary people sat observing in a disintersted and detached way as they headed out for a long holiday weekend at summer’s end.

The motion is scrawled in her own hand, something the highest courts in the nation have ruled is no handicap in pre-trial proceedings in courts of original jurisdiction.

Quite simply, such motions may not be rejected because they are “inartfully drawn.” It’s not the steak; in this case, it’s the sizzle.

With great economy of words, Ms. Gotro informed the Court that the Defendant, Jake Carrizal files his motion for the following reasons:

The Court has:

  1. assisted the State in prosecuting the Defendant;
  2. acted to prevent Counsel from accessing evidence, addressing the Court, making legal arguments, preserving the record, and;
  3. “stated without reading any motion to recuse the Court would not be granted;”
  4. and “refused without reading any of the 18 subpoenaes to enforce or order compliance” by those so subpoenaed.

“For these reasons, Judge Stother should be recused.”

Sincerely,

Casie Gotro

Defense Counsel

So mote it be.

  • The Legendary

For a good time, CLICK HERE:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/1w0fubr23cnhjd8/Carrizal%20Judge%20Recusal%20Mtn.pdf?dl=0

McLennan County Justice Leaves Venire Laughing

A Waco patrolman holds an assault rifle on a wounded biker who bled out because he said he would kill the men trying to take him to aid if they moved him on May 17, 2015 at Twin Peaks Restaurant

Waco – The four big screen television monitors attached to the massive support columns that stud the auxiliary courtroom in the McLennan County Courthouse Annex building traced with amazing clarity the facial reactions of Judge Ralph T. Strother.

A bailiff had just handed him a freshly file-marked writ in the middle of the beginning of his spiel to a capacity gallery of veniremen from a special panel of 600 about the qualifications to serve as a juror in the first of the 155 Twin Peaks murder conspiracy cases, that of Dallas Bandidos Chapter President Jacob Carrizal.

He noted that nothing they would hear today would serve as evidence in the trial, nor would anything they have read in the media, and then the hammer dropped, and he began to read.

As he paged through the document, his chagrin became – in real time – more and more agitated, and in a voice that betrayed hurt and surprise, he quickly snapped, “I wish to see counsel, the defendant, and the court reporter in the Jury Room.”

Authorities charged Carrizal with the identical offense that all 177 arrested on May 17, 2015, at the massacre that left 9 dead, 20 wounded, and a nation reeling in shock at the televised bloodshed. The event had been planned as a simple legislative update meeting for bikers from the Confederation of Clubs and Independents to learn all about open carry handgun legislation, motorcycle safety funds, and the prospects for bills pondered by Texas legislators then in session to curb motorcycle profiling by police.

Authorities charged total of 177 persons, some them suffering from gunshot wounds, with the offense of engaging in organized criminal activity.

That offense carries a possible sentence of from 25 years to 99 upon conviction. A superseding indictment of Carrizal added an additional count of directing the activities of an organized criminal enterprise, an offense that carries a penalty of not less than 30 years confinement or more than 99.

The bloodshed at the awful incident occurred when he and a small group of fellow Bandidos, arrived only to be ambushed by gun-wielding bikers flying patches of the Cossacks Motorcycle Club and their support clubs. Police arrayed in the pattern of an L-shaped ambush cut down the shooters who had wounded victims with handguns with suppressed fire from assault rifles, not all of which have been identified by ballistic examples.

The Texas Department of Public Safety is withholding evidence of its analysis, and that is one of the reasons Carrizal’s defense counsel, Casie Gotro, is seeking his recusal. He did not order some 12 witnesses or their designees, including the Director the DPS, to furnish the subpoenaed items, nor did he allow her to place them on the witness stand during a pre-trial hearing to learn just why the information is not forthcoming.

In a recent status conference, she declared that she cannot give her client adequate counsel in a court where she is facing two prosecutors – both the DA and the Criminal District Judge – the court of original jurisdiction.

Strother has been recused in three other cases by the order of visiting Judge James Morgan only this week following a hearing two weeks ago in which the judge ruled that to the standards of the man in the street, he is “just not being fair.”

There are numerous items in the motion of complaint to have him removed from the Carrizal Case, which at this time is not available.

We will update this story when it is available by hyperlinking the text of the recusal motion to this story.

As the meeting reached only a few minutes in duration, 54th Criminal District Judge Matt Johnson arrived and entered the closed-door meeting. He remained inside the chamber only a few minutes before he swept back out of the room again.

When the bailiff intoned the courtesy announcement, “All rise,” the gallery of about 250 persons burst into rippling laughter.

As the crowded room slowly cleared, Ms. Gotro finished initialing and signing various court papers handed her by a staff member of the District Clerk’s Office. She raised up from the defense table and waved her hand in a sweeping gesture, saying , “Happy birthday!”

Judge Strother disappeared into a conference room.

Seated in the gallery with Kevin Fisk, the private investigator who is working for Carrizal’s defense counsel, “Double D” David Devereaux of the Motorcycle Profiling Project remarked, “You would think that having been recused in three other cases, he (Strother) would recuse himself, without going through all this.

Prospective panelists have been directed to return Setember 12 at 8:30 a.m. to fill out juror questionnaires that will determine “how you feel” about certain items, according to Judge Strother. He had earlier noted in his remarks to the venire that “there is nothing wrong” about having “strong opinions” or “strong feelings.”

When it comes to the jurors’ questionnaire, he said, “There are no wrong answers.

MORE TO FOLLOW

Jacob Carrizal’s Motion to Recuse 10th District Judge RalphT. Strother:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/1w0fubr23cnhjd8/Carrizal%20Judge%20Recusal%20Mtn.pdf?dl=0

Strother Out In Bikers’ Trials, For Not ‘Being Fair’

RECUSAL MOTION IN BANDIDO JAKE CARRIZAL’S CASE “STILL WAITING TO BE FILED,” SAYS LEGAL DEFENSE TEAM…

Waco – Retired Visiting Judge James Morgan of Comanche granted a motion by three defendants in the Twin Peaks murder conspiracy trials to remove 19th Criminal District Judge Ralph Strother.

He applied the test prescribed by law, and found that the average man on the street would say, “Judge, you’re just not being fair.”

In a grueling day-long hearing held earlier, two veteran judges, former Court of Criminal Appeals Justice Charlie Baird, and State District Judge hammered at Strother’s performance in the issuance of a search warrant to seize body tissue in DNA testing from 72 defendants charged and indicted in his court.

Strother admitted on the witness stand that he had no idea exactly how his order was carried out, “They appeared because I wanted them to.”

In exacting cross examination the two elder judges held his feet to the fire until he admitted that he had signed no actual instrument of search or affidavit of probable cause. Furthermore, his answers indicated that during a period of ill health, he made the arrangements through phone conversations with the lead Court Coordinator on his staff while juggling medical appointments and hospital visits.

In corroborating testimony by the official, Ellen Watson, and attorneys who objected to the alleged lack of due process, the Court learned that the arrangement was made on behalf of the staff of District Attorney Abel Reyna.

At one point, defense attorney Millie Thompson testified that Lead Prosecutor Michael Jarrett threatened when she insisted she must see a signed order or warrant issued by the Court, “What do you want us to do, come out and kick his door down in the middle of the night to serve the warrant?”

At the end of the long day, Judge Morgan expressed the opinion, “I was all ready to come in here and get this done today, but I see now that I’ve got to give this some thought.”

His judgment was to be based on a lot of moving parts.

So far as it is known, the selection of jurors for the first of the trials, that of Bandidos Chapter President Jake Carrizal, will begin on September 12, with presentation of evidence and testimony to follow the examination of some 600 prospective called in a special venire.

The defense attorney in that cause, Casie Gotro of Houston, said in open court during a status conference to work out the “mechanics” of jury selection held last week, “I can’t face two prosecutors” – meaning both the DA and the Judge – “and see to it that my client gets adequate legal representation.”

Carrizal has been charged engaging in organized criminal activity at Twin Peaks Restaurant on May 17, 2015, that allegedly led to the capital murder of 9 persons, and the aggravated assault with a deadly weapons of an additional 20. A first degree felony, it carries a possible sentence of not less than 20 years to not more than 99 to be served in the penitentiary.

In a superseding indictment, he is charged with directing the activities of an organized criminal gang from the seat of his Harley-Davidson Motorcycle as he and his fellow motorcycle enthusiasts arrived for a political meeting called by the Confederation of Clubs to review the activities of legislators considering motorcycle safety funds amounting to millions of dollars collected from registration fees, open carry of handguns, and proposed legislation that would prohibit law enforcement officers targeting what the governments of states and the U.S. Department of Justice have termed “outlaw motorcycle gangs.”

The practice of “outlawry” is prohibited by the Texas Constitution’s Bill of Rights in Article 1, Section 20. It is an ancient concept once practiced by courts of royalty and the nobility, in which a defendant who need not have been present was placed “out law” – literally beyond the protections of the law, to be killed or maimed at the will of the King’s Men, noblemen and their soldiers, or members of the peasantry.

God save the State of Texas!

I am sincere.

So mote it be.

  • The Legendary Jim Parks