Justice in Waco is still delayed.
As of 9:45 a.m. Central Time, 146 of the approximately 177 people arrested at a Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents meeting at the Twin Peaks restaurant on May 17 remain incarcerated in the McLennan County jail.
All of them are charged with “Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity” which is obviously not true. According to that law, “A person commits an offense if, with the intent to establish, maintain, or participate in a combination or in the profits of a combination or as a member of a criminal street gang, the person commits or conspires to commit one or more of “ some other act which is illegal in Texas.
They are all more broadly accused, according to police spokesman W. Patrick Swanton, with being “A bunch of criminal element biker members that came to Waco and tried to instill violence into our community and unfortunately did just that…. This is not a bunch of doctors and dentists and lawyers riding Harleys. These are criminals on Harley-Davidsons.”
One hundred thirty-four of the arrestees are still being held on bail of $1 million or more. The bail amounts are strikingly out of proportion to those set for other accused criminals in the same jail. A prisoner named Moses Aaron Arias, who is accused of two counts of sexual abuse of a child and indecency with a child has a bail of $335,000. Erryl Dennis Broadman, Jr. who is charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child has his bail set at $25,000. Ronald Wayne Kennedy, who is accused of burglary with the intent to commit assault, attempted murder, possession of a firearm by a felon and two counts of evading arrest has his bail set at $620,000,
Three of the original arrestees were found to have outstanding warrants – one for an assault in Tarrant County, Texas, another for an aggravated assault, and a third for drunk driving. One of those defendants had his bail raised by $23,000.
Twelve defendants have had their bails reduced. Two of those who are not “doctors and dentists and lawyers riding Harleys” now have bail set at $250,000, which also seems to be the standard bail for human trafficking in Waco. Five defendants have had their bails reduced to $100,000 but still can’t raise the money to get out. One can’t afford his $40,000 bail and four can’t raise the $25,000 they need to go back home.