Moving The Waco Trials

February 5, 2016

All Posts, News

Moving The Waco Trials

Citing “pervasive, prejudicial, and inflammatory” publicity Waco defendant Matt Clendennen and his lawyer, Clint Broden, filed a change of venue motion in the 54th District Court in Waco today. Clendennen is currently scheduled to stand trial later this month. He is charged with being part of a criminal conspiracy to commit murder and assault.

In a most amusing, 19 page motion, Broden singled out McLennan County District Attorney Abelino Reyna, Waco Police spokesman Patrick Swanton, Justice of the Peace W.H. Peterson, Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Waco Mayor Malcolm Duncan Jr. and the Waco Tribune-Herald for prejudicial statements and coverage that created “a reasonable probability that an impartial jury cannot be empaneled” to try Clendennen or the other defendants.


For example, shortly after the arrests Reyna gave a television interview in which he stated: “I know this. I know the motto of the Cossacks is to take care of your own. So if you are showing up with those colors, you’re backing your brother. And if your brother is out there shooting a gun, and you are taking care of your own, and as many weapons as were found out there, they weren’t out there just to eat lunch. They weren’t out there just to have their little meeting. They meant business and they fall under the definition of criminal street gang. They were engaging in organized criminal activity and at this point, that’s what the evidence to us points.”

In that interview, Reyna made repeated references to “gangs.”

Broden writes, “The calculated use by all state actors of the term ‘biker gangs’ when speaking to the media presumed guilt and was highly prejudicial.”

He cites a case titled U.S. v. Irvin from the Seventh Circuit in the which the Appeals court ruled: “The prosecutor consistently used the term ‘motorcycle gang,’ specifically choosing it over the far less prejudicial term “motorcycle club,” even after the judge instructed him to refrain from using the term “gang…. The prosecutor’s obvious attempt to exploit the prejudicial quality of the motorcycle gang evidence almost certainly heightened any impact the improper gang testimony had on the jury’s verdict….”

In the same interview, Reyna stated, “I can tell you that, again, if someone is claiming that they were a victim and they decided to put on their, their jacket or whatever, and they said they’re going to be a member of this gang or what have you, I can tell you this, that if you are a victim of this, then I would fully expect that you would act like a victim and I just say I’m not seeing that.” Brodin points out that in decision well established in case law, titled Doyle v. Ohio, the Supreme Court ruled that a lack of cooperation with the police is not evidence of guilt.

Broden thinks, “The guilt presuming comments by Reyna made on local television alone would be enough to justify a change of venue in this case.”


Brodin points out that “Waco Police Spokesman Patrick Swanton held at least six press conferences,” using “his time in the limelight to plant the seeds for his entry into the 2016 race for the office of Sheriff of McClennan County.”

In his first press conference, Swanton “used the term ‘gang(s)’ approximately seventeen times in nineteen minutes.”

In another, Swanton “used the term ‘gang(s)’ approximately seventeen times in seventeen minutes. Indeed, Swanton would have made a communications professor proud. In the early press conferences most reporters properly referred to the motorcycle groups as ‘clubs,’ but as the press conferences go on and after having been indoctrinated by Swanton most reporters also began referring to the motorcycle groups as ‘gangs.’”

“When he was challenged by a reporter on the use of the prejudicial term ‘gangs’ and asked if they were actually ‘clubs,’ Swanton quickly responded: ‘If anybody told you it was a biker club, they lied. They are a criminal gang and they are a biker gang. We know exactly who they are and they are criminal element…a bunch of criminal element biker members that came to Waco and tried to instill violence in our society.’”

The Waco Paper

Brodin also thinks coverage in the Waco Tribune-Herald was prejudicial. So far, the newspaper has run “219 news stories about ‘Twin Peaks’ and 71 editorials/letters about ‘Twin Peaks.’”

The paper headlined stories: “Police Believe Five Motorcycle Gangs Involved in Deadly Twin Peaks Shootout” and “Brutal Violence at Twin Peaks Exposes Fault Lines in Motorcycle World.”

The Tribune-Herald quoted widely discredited, former ATF agent Jay Dobyns who said: “I think, as a society, and to a large extent even in law enforcement, we fall into the sense that these guys are these big, rough-looking teddy bears that do blood drives and toy runs and are harmless. These are people that have used the motorcycle culture as camouflage.”

“You look at crime syndicates,” Dobyns continued. “They come to America from other places. But the biker culture? That is America’s export to the…world of crime syndicates.”

The paper editorialized: “Critical details about the deadly shootout that erupted between rival biker gangs Sunday at Twin Peaks will bubble to the surface in days, weeks and months to come, but the hard evidence so far is grim: heavily armed motorcycle gangsters getting into a high-noon brawl near families dining out after Sunday service. Nine biker-gang members dead, 18 injured, more than 170 incarcerated on charges of organized crime with bonds of $1 million each.”

Another local editorial began, “Some might say that the dead of a motorcycle gang linked with drug trafficking, prostitution and violence rate no special consideration.”

And the paper published numerous prejudicial letters to the editor. Like the one that read: “I just looked at most of the mug shots of the motorcyclists involved in the mess in Waco. What a bunch of losers. I haven’t seen such dirty, sloppy-looking men in my life: hair dirty, clothes dirty – some looked like they were on drugs/alcohol. I bet none of them had an IQ above 90, if that. I can’t imagine the management of Twin Peaks allowed them in there. They should be arrested for giving the bikers a place to meet.”

“If there was ever a case in which the ‘publicity was pervasive, prejudicial, and inflammatory’” Broden concludes, “this is the case. If there was ever a case in which the release of the prejudicial information is connected to ‘government officials,’ this is the case. If there was ever a case that demanded a change of venue, this is the case. District Attorney Reyna and Police Department Spokesman Swanton made concerted and repeated efforts to taint the McLennan County jury pool. Consequently, the legitimacy of any verdict returned without a change of venue would be forever questioned.”


16 Responses to “Moving The Waco Trials”

  1. Truebrother Says:

    were any of the officers involved in the Waco shooting iron order members? The defense lawyers need to inquire on this and use it against the government/Leo …

  2. Swashbuckler Says:

    Anal Reyna’s ‘safe place’, is on Judge Matt’s “Johnson”!

  3. Dino Says:

    Thanks for sharing that article. Interesting. Reyna is a real shitheel.

  4. Update Says:

    Drug officer investigated by Texas Rangers, Waco PD

    Courthouse sources and documents obtained by the Tribune-Herald indicate the investigation is centering on drug cases made by 26-year veteran Detective David Starr and whether he lied in probable cause affidavits about his use of confidential informants to obtain arrest and search warrants.

    Several criminal defense attorneys said Thursday that they expect numerous cases to be dismissed by the DA’s office as a result of the investigation, including at least two cases involving 5 pounds of cocaine and 5 pounds of methamphetamine.

  5. Scubba Steve Says:

    10-4 Doc… My fear is we are all falling under the dogma of government and the burden is getting heavier by the day… Take a look at this…… If you check into the murder of LaVoy Finicum and the accompanying arrest of journalist Pete Santilli you see an open season on not only citizens but journalist and the laws itself… Think of a world without the Rebel, or an open flow of information without government intervention… It’s a war and nobody knows it… I love this piece by Jeff Daniels from a show called the Newsroom…

  6. Doc Says:

    “Reyna stated, “I can tell you that, again, if someone is claiming that they were a victim and they decided to put on their, their jacket or whatever, and they said they’re going to be a member of this gang or what have you, I can tell you this, that if you are a victim of this, then I would fully expect that you would act like a victim and I just say I’m not seeing that.” Brodin points out that in decision well established in case law, titled Doyle v. Ohio, the Supreme Court ruled that a lack of cooperation with the police is not evidence of guilt.”

    Perhaps Reyna should see the YouTube video “Don’t Talk to Police” given by a Law Professor!

    We do not have to give up our right to remain silent, because it is a RIGHT! It’s not just a right if you are innocent. SMDH

  7. Scubba Steve Says:

    @Just Passing By… Au Contraire, friend. This is exactly the intended application of Jury Nullification…
    “John Adams, signer of the Declaration of Independence and second president of the United States, said of the juror in 1771: “It is not only his right, but his duty… to find the verdict according to his own best understanding, judgment, and conscience, though in direct opposition to the direction of the court.” The highest function of the juror is not to dispense punishment to fellow citizens for breaking the law, but rather to protect us all from unjust laws and malicious prosecutions pursued by power-hungry government employees. Jurors protect society from dangerous individuals, but primarily, jurors protect individuals from dangerous government.”

  8. Just Passing By Says:

    It will be interesting to see if any jurors understand and apply Jury Nullification during stacked deck mock justice proceedings. While not the intended application of JN, we’re nothing close to a situation of intended application of “justice”, either.

  9. neverwaz Says:

    If Brodin succeeds in moving the venue out of Johnson’s court, the case could fall apart under the weight of Reyna’s -up till now- sheltered incompetence. Swanton and Reyna would be ideal fall guys as the Feds whistle doo-dah and sweep their part in this disasterous travesty under the rug.
    Unfucking the massive Civil Forfeiture these thugs pulled off will be interesting too

  10. IronRider Says:

    Broden is right, he and his client can not get a fair trial in Waco or anywhere near it. Reyna and Johnson have shown a very biased standard of the rules of law into how things have been conducted so far.

    Even if Johnson denies Broden’s change of venue, an appeal court is going to have to give it some serious weight even though most Texans and anywhere else in the world hear of the Waco Twin Peaks story, how does one find an impartial jury in Waco that has not heard of what took place.

    Reyna and company in their haste to get the cover up going have made the crucial mistake in their spin of events that day, when they saturated the media of how and what took place. The courts will be heard pressed to find anyone in Texas who hasn’t heard of what happened in Waco that day and thus finding jurors is going to be a tough slog.

    The real kicker here is that Reyna’s actions so far in thwarting disclosure and Johnson’s rulings on defense motions along with the virtual indictments for 90% of the defendants in these cases that were handed down by a grand jury in the space of 9 hours is going to allow Broden and his fellow attorneys to show an appeals court that there are many things wrong with how these cases and defendants rights have been violated and due process has been thrown out the window.

    Broden will get a venue change if these cases make it that far ( I doubt that these cases will due to Reyna and co’s inept strategy of violating the constitutional rights and legal rights of the defendants and violations of the State Bar codes )

    Johnson in my opinion has painted himself into a corner with regards to his impartiality and following the rule of law. I doubt defendants counsel in these cases are going to have a hard time showing bias due to the fact Reyna and Johnson have a long history together.

    I filly expect Johnson will do as he has so far in ruling against Defendants in these cases motions, and will continue to do so. All this will do is give the defendants and their counsel more grounds for an appeal and a greater shot at being successful on a appeal due to the heinous actions being perpetrated thus far.

    The behavior so far by Law Enforcement in this case is going to be the very thing that brings their case crashing to the ground. While the Law Enforcement side in this case seems to think they can keep changing where the goal line is and thwart constitutional and civil rights of those they have indicted all while violating laws they have swore to uphold is going to be what other courts will find troubling once appeals get under way.

    There will be many on the Law Enforcement side of this fiasco whose ego and lack of common sense will cost the taxpayers of McLennan county, Waco and the state of Texas millions and millions of dollars in payouts from the wrongful death and civil rights lawsuits that will surely be launched be defendants in this case.

  11. david Says:

    old and stoned made a real good point.

    The Waco/Texas Gov. Crime Syndicate is so all pervasive, and connected, which PLANET would serve best for the fake trial with no evidence?

  12. BMW Says:

    Here’s hoping that the defendants are successful in gaining a change of venue. Of course, that doesn’t mean that the innocent hostages will be found not guilty, or that they will get a fair trial. I remember an old saying about Texas Injustice, “Oh, we will give him a fair trial before we string him up”.

  13. old & stoned Says:

    good luck finding a venue willing to clean up Waco’s abortion.

  14. Parsifal Says:

    Waco tribune-herald and Waco le – dumbest GANG

  15. R&R Says:

    Keep hammering, Mr. Brodin. It’ll be a grind but I see a big box of money at the end for you and those who committed no crime in Waco.


  16. Bone Head Says:

    Even if Mr. Broden doesn’t get the change of venue, his motion does give Waco a black eye. Hope he gets it. A change of venue may further serve to expose the corruption in Waco.


Leave a Reply