Possible Waco Prosecution Defeat

December 16, 2015

All Posts, News

Possible Waco Prosecution Defeat

The prosecution in the case of the Waco Twin Peaks Massacre may have suffered a little defeat yesterday in Abilene, 185 miles from the scene of last Spring’s crimes.

The possible defeat occurred during the trial of Bandido Motorcycle Club member Curtis Jack Lewis. At the least, McLennan County Criminal District Attorney Abelino “Abel” Reyna showed his hand.

Law Of  Parties

Many observers of the case, including some of the defense lawyers, have appeared to be genuinely baffled by the arrests and indictments of so many obviously innocent people for murder and assault during the aftermath of the most deadly biker brawl in history. Men and women who ran away from the confrontation between members of the Cossacks, Bandidos and other motorcycle clubs were charged with “engaging in organized criminal activity with the underlying offense being aggravated assault and murder.”

The charges have seemed far-fetched to most of the world but they weren’t far-fetched to Reyna who has intended all along to convict everybody under Texas’ so called “law of parties.” Waco has always been a conspiracy case.

The law of parties, which is contained in Section 7.02 of the Texas Penal Code, declares that: “A person is criminally responsible for an offense committed by the conduct of another if…acting with intent to promote or assist the commission of the offense, he solicits, encourages, directs, aids, or attempts to aid the other person to commit the offense;  or having a legal duty to prevent commission of the offense and acting with intent to promote or assist its commission, he fails to make a reasonable effort to prevent commission of the offense. If, in the attempt to carry out a conspiracy to commit one felony, another felony is committed by one of the conspirators, all conspirators are guilty of the felony actually committed, though having no intent to commit it, if the offense was committed in furtherance of the unlawful purpose and was one that should have been anticipated as a result of the carrying out of the conspiracy.”

Yes, the law is a mouthful. Its broadness and opacity make it virtually headline proof. But it is the law in Texas. About 80 people are now on death row in the Lone Star State because they were convicted of murder under the law of parties. Given the progress of the Twin Peaks case so far, it seems very plausible that some defendants may be convicted of murder because they were carrying deadly weapons in anticipation of a deadly conflict. Or, if they were unarmed, they might be convicted because they should have known that weapons carried by their companions were likely to lead to a deadly conflict. Or they might be convicted because they knew that a potentially murderous conflict was simmering between the Cossacks and the Bandidos and they still chose to ride with the Scimitars or they wore a shirt that declared their intention to “support the Fat Mexican.”

In Abilene

In Abilene, Lewis is on trial for aggravated assault charges stemming from a brawl between Bandidos and Cossacks in the parking lot of the Logan’s Roadhouse restaurant there on November 2, 2013. Lewis faced two counts of aggravated assault, In Count One, he was charged with actually stabbing a Cossack named Timothy Shane Satterwhite. Satterwhite testified against Lewis Monday. Lewis was also charged with a second count, under the law of parties, of stabbing Cossack Edward Corley.

Satterwhite was arrested at the Twin Peaks last May 17. According to official documents, Edward Corley’s “black 2007 Dodge Ram…was also found in the parking lot of the Twin Peaks Restaurant in Waco on May 17, 2015. A witness to the stabbing at the Logan’s Roadhouse Restaurant, Michael Don Baxley…was also identified as a Cossack and arrested for Engaging In Organized Criminal Activity at the Twin Peaks Restaurant in Waco on May 17, 2015.”

Two McLennan County Assistant Criminal District Attorneys have been attending the Lewis trial in Abilene to confer and cooperate with prosecutors there.

Directed Verdict

Yesterday, Taylor County Assistant District Attorney James Hicks presented the state’s case that Lewis was guilty of stabbing Corley under the law of parties. According to a usually informed source, “The state’s theory on count two was that because Lewis was president and everyone followed his order to leave, that it could be reasonably inferred that he ordered the stabbing.” The source believes this is “similar to the state’s theory in the Twin Peaks case.”

At the end of the day, defense attorney Jon Hanna asked Judge John Weeks to order a directed verdict of not guilty. Hanna argued “that the state had failed to present any evidence of Lewis actually directing or encouraging the stabbing.” The judge agreed with the defense and Lewis has now been acquitted of stabbing Corley.

What lessons the visiting prosecutors from McLennan County have now learned and the ramifications of those lessons for the Twin Peaks defendants remains to be seen.

Today the prosecution began presenting its case that Lewis actually stabbed Satterwhite.

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30 Responses to “Possible Waco Prosecution Defeat”

  1. Fester Says:

    Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton has appealed his three felony fraud indictments yet again, delaying any possible trial in the case into next year in the hope that the state’s highest criminal court will throw out the charges.


  2. rollinnorth Says:

    “Does This Man Deserve to Die?
    Op-ed: Jeffrey Wood was sentenced to death under the Texas law of parties. But should someone who didn’t pull the trigger be executed?

    July 28, 2016 By Sabine Heinlein”



  3. FF Says:

    @T Hell

    Nice find. Thanks for sharing.


  4. Austin Says:

    @THell – I saw this too.
    Sad day, unfortunate incident for all involved – but somewhat heartening to see at least one aspect of the justice system, somwhere, is paying attention.

  5. T Hell Says:

    Apologies, meant to read Hells Angel

  6. T Hell Says:

    The Nevada Supreme Court has ordered a new trial for Vago Ernesto Gonzalez, Gonzalez was convicted of killing a Hells in the 2011 brawl at the Nugget casino. The court overturned the conviction saying the district court abused its discretion by not answering a jury question about a conspiracy charge. The appeal rose out of apparent juror confusion over what constitutes conspiracy to commit murder. One of Gonzalez’s lawyers said other Vagos members may have independently planned the Angels death, but Gonzalez was not aware of that. He said the jurors’ confusion was evident when they sent out a note to the judge about four hours into their deliberations that asked, “If a person has no knowledge of the conspiracy but their actions contribute to someone else’s plan, are they guilty of conspiracy?” Let’s hope the jury in Waco asks the same questions.

  7. Texas Fossil Says:

    Recent articles that shed light on DOJ suspension of payments to local law enforcement for asset forfeiture and how local law enforcement has been working with DOJ to increase forfeiture revenues. The “temporary’ suspension of payments to local law enforcement tells me they got heat from Congress in the budget process for abuse of power.

    US Suspends $1.2B In Funding From Civil Asset Forfeiture Program To Police Departments http://www.ibtimes.com/us-suspends-12b-funding-civil-asset-forfeiture-program-police-departments-2238892 Waco??

    DOJ Suspends Asset Forfeiture Equitable Sharing Payment Program http://ij.org/press-release/statement-responding-to-dojs-suspension-of-asset-forfeiture-program/ sounds like possible motive in Waco.

    “Many police, sheriffs and prosecutors want to circumvent state laws because outsourcing forfeiture litigation to the federal government is lucrative.

    Taken http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2013/08/12/taken

    I despise the New Yorker magazine, but this article about Asset forfeiture abuse in TX has some truth in it. Reflects on Waco.

  8. Rmg Says:

    Sounds like law-enforcement is guilty of the charges that all the bikers have been charged with. To comment to Glenn yes you should be worried very worried as we all are here in Texas especially. I am single, white, almost 60, and a club supporter. I have felt because of my age, and at the economic demographic, (i.e. my older model car, I guess he thought I couldn’t afford full coverage insurance, and the neighborhood we drove in and lived in was depressed because of my income it was all that we could afford) and perhaps my afiliation with the MC, that I have been unlawfully targeted and profiled against. In the past three years I have been issued 7 citations all of which I’ve been in traffic court. At one time I was even pulled over while I had my son in the car with all of his friends on our way back from the movies and eating at IHOP. I was interrogated, questioned about my son and his friends in the car and was accused of operating a sex ring with minor boys. All of this questioning & interrogation was to insite a reaction from me, therefore warranting an arrest of me. I did not take the bait however and was let go after 30 minutes of questioning. It was after 30 minutes of cooperating, smiling and being nice and answering all of the ridiculous, demeaning, and accusatory questionsn did I exercise my rights about being detained and ask about charges being filed for being pulled over. Ever since that day they have harassed me and always will harass me

  9. troyez Says:

    Years ago I was thrown in jail for “failure to prevent an unauthorized driver from operating a motor vehicle,” in Illinois. I hitched a ride home from a rural keg party from a guy who was going into town, he started doing shots of Jack while driving and got pulled over. Unbeknownst to me, the guy’s license was suspended/revoked for drinking and driving. The cops gave him another DUI and I guess they didn’t want to leave the longhair passenger out, so they pulled that charge out of their ass for me. When I went before the judge I argued, “how the heck was I supposed to know the guy’s driving history, I was just catching a ride?!” I couldn’t afford a lawyer so I had a (useless) public defender, who said to “just plead guilty and get it over with, maybe he’ll be lenient.” The judge banged his gavel and gave me 30 days in the county lockup.
    I guess people are supposed to ask one’s life history before being in their presence, or have ESP?

  10. Susan Says:

    So, that means if a person ran out on their bill at Twin Peaks while fleeing the melee, that person can be prosecuted under the Law of Parties doctrine since his illegal action became part of the whole. The legislation as written was quite obviously directed toward a particular scenario — forgetting common sense. Kinda like prosecuting a kid for littering because he left his lemonade stand in the street to avoid the fallout of a drive-by shooting. Simplistic reasoning omitted from legislative drafting because hot-heads prevailed.

  11. Meh Says:

    Conspiracy charges will eventually reinforced with metadata and that should be VERY scary, because charges may be “reverse engineered” by using metadata collected illegally. “Conspiracy to conspire” can become so vague that bacon will have free reign to arrest any group they dislike.


    ” The U.S. government “kill[s] people based on metadata,” but it doesn’t do that with the trove of information collected on American communications, according to former head of the National Security Agency Gen. Michael Hayden.

    Hayden made the remark after saying he agreed with the idea that metadata – the information collected by the NSA about phone calls and other communications that does not include content – can tell the government “everything” about anyone it’s targeting for surveillance, often making the actual content of the communication unnecessary.”

  12. FF Says:


    I never had a beef with the Blue Knights. I would be curious to know what they think of all this deranged pathology.

  13. Paladin Says:

    Glenn S. Said:
    December 17, 2015 at 9:36 am

    “I’ve been keeping up with this. I’m not from Texas, but I’m a patchholder in an MC, and I’m concerned that my brothers, other men a lot like me, and I could be tangled up in some future attempted conspiracy to conspire to conspire charge.”

    Glenn S.,

    You’re right, and you should be very concerned.

    Long May You Ride,


  14. Meh Says:

    Cop clubs and cop-calling clubs could save a lot of hassle by shitcanning traditional “biker” gear, socially avoiding traditional bikers, and sticking to themselves.

    It’s not as if there is anything tangible to be had by displacing traditional biker clubs and intruding in their world. A turd in a punch bowl doesn’t turn into a peach.

    NOT dressing like what you are bespeaks serious insecurities. There is something profoundly weird about pretending to be not only what ya ain’t, but what you actively oppose.

  15. T Hell Says:

    Law of parties? If a man is charged with a crime such as assault, murder, shoplifting, or jaywalking the jury can listen to the evidence (be that evidence real or contrived) and make a judgement as to innocence or guilt. How can the average juror be expected to understand what this law even says? I broke it down to its parts and came to the conclusion it means anyone can be charged with anything at any time. The way this law is written the cops failing to stop the brawl beforehand are guilty of conspiring with the bikers on the same charge. I can see the jurors putting this thing down to a coin toss, show up clean shaven in a suit you’ll probably walk, show up looking like a biker and it’s off to the electric chair.

  16. Glenn S. Says:

    The fate of the accused in Waco doesn’t seem dependent on a question of law, but a question of human nature: Will the judiciary follow the law, or will they follow the best interests of the system that they are a part of? As was pointed out in a previous comment, law enforcement doesn’t have skin in the game in Abilene, it does in Waco. Will a judge allow law enforcement to get nailed to the wall? Will he instruct the jury in such a way as to give inferences based on inferences based on the “expertise” of cops who have built careers on supposed knowledge of MCs the weight of moral certainty?

    I just read, on the news, that some guy convicted of rape based on the (no shit) dream of the victim just might be released after many years in prison. Seems a lady was raped, way back, and told the cops one particular man did it. Then she went to sleep, and dreamed another man did it. She told the cops about this dream and the cops arrested the second man. The cops destroyed the DNA evidence and the dream man was convicted. Now, it seems, the originally accused man has confessed. The news reported that the conviction was finally overturned,and the state hasn’t yet decided whether to retry.

    Seems that the bar is way too low for a conviction and way too high for a reverse on appeal, in this country, and probably most others. And the media yawns.

    I’ve been keeping up with this. I’m not from Texas, but I’m a patchholder in an MC, and I’m concerned that my brothers, other men a lot like me, and I could be tangled up in some future attempted conspiracy to conspire to conspire charge. One of the best moves I’ve seen from the defense, so far, is Broden’s refusal to enter a plea because the specific charges are so confusing that preparing a defense is damn near impossible.

  17. Dan Says:

    A cossack testified? Is that accepted in that club?

  18. Gandalf Says:

    Again I repeat what I learned 30+ years ago for those younger than me. “TRUST THE JURY, NOT YOUR LAWYER.” When your Lawyer starts spouting off about how “you will never win.” and “you gotta take the deal” Tell him BS…. DO YOUR FUCKING JOB!

  19. AVAGOVFFV Says:

    “Lewis faced two counts of aggravated assault, In Count One, he was charged with actually stabbing a Cossack named Timothy Shane Satterwhite. Satterwhite testified against Lewis Monday.”

    Yep, Everyone missed this key point.This guy Timmy Satterwhite is nothing but another example of a ratting snitch fuck.

    Viva Los Vagos

  20. Rojas Says:

    “ABILENE, Texas –

    A jury found Jack Lewis, the former president of the Abilene chapter of the Bandidos Motorcycle Club, not guilty of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon late Wednesday afternoon.”


  21. Road Whore Says:

    The “law of parties” could only have been thought up by a torture-loving dope fiend. That’s some seriously medieval shit! “You’re guilty because we say you are, and your friends and your family members and your dog and the horse you rode in on are all guilty too, as well as your deceased relatives and any future progeny you may produce.”

    God-fucking-damn!…how in hell could you ever hope to beat a contrived rap like that one??

    Putin’s Russia is looking better all the time.

    Ride Free

  22. Lost Cause Says:

    Just reinforces why I have no intention of ever riding through Texass.

  23. Gandalf Says:

    “The term of the McLennan County grand jury that indicted 106 bikers in the Twin Peaks incident has been extended by 90 days so it can conclude its investigation into the deadly May 17 shootout.” Waco Trib. Imagine that? LOL I guess they liked that Grand Jury. By “Investigation” they ment 5min.

  24. RLG Says:

    Dear Old & Stoned,

    I think the way it works is the folks committing a crime are responsible for all harm to anyone, including negligence on the part of LE.

  25. Gandalf Says:

    Abilene ain’t Waco and LE’s neck wasn’t on the line. Expect them to do “what they are big enough to do.” The evidence will be so deliberately wacked everyones attention will be on the audacity of it all. I noticed some have studied those ballistics… LOL Why bother? Even if you found the smoking gun Waco LE is just going to say “BS that aint proof.” I guess the ballistics are important buy my obsession has limits that end when I don’t know what the Fuk they are talking about.:) I just gotta trust Rebel and Y’all on the ballistics but already I see the debates beginning even here. Imagine when/if Fox and MSNBC gets in on the evidence argument… It will totally obscure the truth, make people tired of it all ect. OJ got off because the defense “baffled them with BS.” It’s how it is done. I wouldn’t expect a Waco Judge to throw anything out. Q- Would a Waco Judge follow the case in a change of Venue or does a Judge in the other Venue preside?

  26. Brad Milch Says:

    As with most legal issues, I had to re-read Rebel’s story several times trying to understand the ‘Law Of Parties’. If it sunk in correctly, it appears that Dorothy (already guilty of flying her Auntie Em’s house without a license nor her permission)made all the little Munchkins that helped her get to Oz co-conspirators to murder when the house dropped on top of the Wicked Witch. Not only that, when Dorothy made off with the dead witch’s ruby slippers, the Munchkins all became shoe thieves as well.
    Sheesh…no wonder Texas lost the Alamo.

  27. Mad Dog Says:

    According to an article in the ABA journal dated May 14, 2014 (http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/prosecutors_who_presented_no_evidence_at_trial_cant_retry_defendant_supreme/), the U.S. Supreme Court said a retrial in a similar case was barred by the constitutional ban on double jeopardy.

    “Prosecutors who refused to present any evidence against a defendant at trial because of unavailable witnesses can’t get a do-over, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled.

    The court granted certiorari on Tuesday and ruled against the prosecution in a summary reversal (PDF) of the Illinois Supreme Court.”

    The circumstances of the trial were a little different because the prosecution presented no witness and “didn’t participate” in the prosecution, but according to the article the key issue was double jeopardy.

    “The Illinois Supreme Court ruled double jeopardy never attached because Martinez “was never at risk of conviction.” The Supreme Court reversed, noting previous holdings that jeopardy attaches when the jury is empaneled and sworn.

    The remaining question, the per curiam opinion said, is whether the jeopardy ended in such a manner that the defendant may not be retried. In this case, the court said, the directed verdict of acquittal was “a textbook acquittal: a finding that the state’s evidence cannot support a conviction.”

    Had the prosecutor accepted the judge’s invitation to dismiss the case, the double jeopardy clause would not have barred recharging Martinez, the court said.

    The case is Martinez v. Illinois.

  28. cboldt Says:

    What’s the over/under that the state will appeal the directed verdict?
    There is some interplay between the “law of parties” and the “gang conspiracy” criminal code. The Waco/Twin Peaks case isn’t one of simple conspiracy, it is gang-related criminal conspiracy, which required more evidence than simple conspiracy. The state isn’t stuck with gang conspiracy, but that is what the indictments allege.
    Typical of prosecution, overcharge, even to the point of knowingly bringing bogus charges, and argue to the judge. Usually the state has a fallback charge.

  29. ipsick Says:

    The law of parties sounds like a more dangerous “who’s on first, what’s on second” routine.

  30. old & stoned Says:

    then wouldn’t it follow,, logically, one wrongful death at TP, and every badge there is guilty, seeing how the CoC & R&G were victims of the Waco pd & cocksuckers ‘lying in wait’. Cossacks went to “settle this once and for all”,, and Waco PD brought snipers and a bearcat.

    they still have not shown any specific, direct evidence that ANY of the COC / R&G went with any intent other than the meeting, nor expectation of a Cossack presence at that meeting.

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