Clint Brodin, who is Matthew Clendennen’s lawyer, filed a response today to McLennan County District Attorney Abelino Reyna’s motion that Clendennen’s trial for criminal conspiracy to commit murder or assault be postponed.
The response reads in part:
“First, it was Mr. Reyna , in what appears to be a concern for political opportunism rather than a concern for ‘fundamental fairness,’ who disregarded the United States Constitution and Supreme Court law relating to the necessity of individualized probable cause determinations. Indeed, following the Twin Peaks incident, Mr. Clendennen, along with other motorcyclists, were detained as possible witnesses to the events at Twin Peaks. Mr. Clendennen and these other witnesses were initially told that they would be questioned and then released. Nevertheless, Mr. Reyna ultimately called a meeting of various law enforcement officials and ordered the arrest of Mr. Clendennen and approximately 176 other motorcyclists using ‘fill-in-the-blank’ complaints sworn to en masse”
“Second, it was Mr. Reyna that disregarded ‘fundamental fairness’ when it appears he violated the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct Rule 3.07 which prohibits an attorney or a person acting at his/her direction from making extra judicial statements regarding the ‘character’ of a party to a criminal proceeding or to make extra judicial statements expressing ‘any opinion as to the guilt or innocence of a defendant or suspect in a criminal case.’ Indeed , on the day of the Twin Peaks incident, as well as on the days immediately following the Twin Peaks incident, Waco Police spokesman Patrick Swanton was permitted to give at least five different press conferences before local, national and international media with the intent to prejudice the rights of Mr. Clendennen and other motorcyclists to a fair trial by attempting to create the indelible image that members of motorcycle clubs are actually members of roving ‘biker gangs’ and that those in Mr.Clendennen’s position were ‘gang members.’”
“Of course, after Mr. Reyna accomplished his goal of prejudicing the public against Mr. Clendennen, the State only then sought a gag order in the case. Again, the State claimed it was doing so in Mr. Clendennen’s best interest.”
“Third, it was Mr. Reyna who showed no commitment to ‘justice’ and who made a mockery of the check grand juries are designed to play in the justice system by securing 106 identical indictments in less than nine hours. Lest there be any doubt about Mr. Reyna’s manipulation of the grand jury, it should be noted that he was able to persuade the grand jury to indict Mr. Clendennen in relation to a death that Mr. Reyna now concedes never occurred (William Anderson) and for the bodily injury of a Department of Public Safety Trooper who nobody contends was injured (Cory Ledbetter). Moreover, the State sought the indictment against Mr. Clendennen despite the fact that video evidence established that Mr. Clendennen did not participate in any violence at Twin Peaks on May 17, 2015.”
“Now, Mr. Reyna seeks to ignore the American Bar Association Standards for the Prosecution Function 3-2.9(a): ‘A prosecutor should avoid unnecessary delay in the disposition of cases. A prosecutor should not fail to act with reasonable diligence and promptness in prosecuting an accused.”
“In the end, the prosecution should reap what it sowed. Mr. Reyna could have waited to order Mr. Clendennen’s arrest. He could have waited to hold his television interview or, more properly, declined to hold one altogether. He could have waited to seek Mr. Clendennen’s indictment. For whatever reason, the State chose not to wait, but it wants Mr. Clendennen to wait. Nevertheless, Mr. Clendennen is innocent and he should not have to wait for justice. This case has taken an unimaginable toll on him and his family and his ability to make a living. Moreover, he remains under bond conditions while he awaits his day in court. He should not have to continue ‘living under a cloud of anxiety, suspicion, and often hostility.’”