A 12-person grand jury in Waco, Texas will consider criminal cases against as many as 80 people when it reconvenes tomorrow.
The same grand jury indicted 106 people last November 10 after meeting for a little less than ten hours. One hundred seventy-seven men and women were charged with organized criminal conspiracy after a bloody brawl at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco last May 17. Ninety-seven of them, and an additional nine men who were not arrested last May, were indicted in November.
It is possible that charges may actually be dismissed against some of the 80 remaining defendants tomorrow. In the last month, some defendants have had the conditions of their bails modified and defense attorneys in the case have met with prosecutors.
Law Of Parties
Tomorrow, the cases for indictment will be presented by McLennan County District Attorney Abelino “Abel” Reyna and assistant prosecutors Michael Jarrett and Amanda Dillon In the last round, prosecutors indicted the defendants for murdering or assaulting named and unnamed victims. The prosecutors consider all the indictees to be culpable under Texas’ “Law of Parties.”
That Texas law abolishes “all traditional distinctions between accomplices and principals…and each party to an offense may be charged and convicted without alleging that he acted as a principal or accomplice.”
The law further states that, “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.”
The prosecutions theory of the case is that both the Cossacks Motorcycle Club and the Bandidos Motorcycle Club claimed Waco as their exclusive area of operations The clubs appeared at the Twin Peaks on the same Sunday afternoon, prosecutors will tell or have told grand jurors, because their members and supporters intended to confront one another.
Inside The Prosecution
In a tape recorded interview with investigators, one witness said, “they were trying to form a club…but the Cossacks put them out of business and gave them the opportunity to go with them. Somehow the Cossacks shut them down and he said they said it was not going to happen. They had to ask for permission for clubs from the Cossacks because that is how it is everywhere in the biker world. He said they had to ask the Cossacks because they were the biggest club around here. He told me they had a meeting with the Cossacks and the Cossacks said they were not going to let them form a club, however, they gave them a chance to become a support club for them,”
Hours after the shootout, another witness told police the Bandidos were there to make a statement. The official account of that interview reads, in part, “As I was talking with…he asked me when the interview was going to be over. I asked him if he wanted to stop and he asked me to turn off the recorder. I turned off the recorder upon his request. (He) told me that what he was about to tell me could get him in trouble. (He) said there have been things brewing between the Cossacks and Bandidos for a long time. He knew there could be trouble when he found that the Cossacks showed up uninvited.”
“When confronted about why there was a vast number of Bandidos at Twin Peaks…said it was not his idea but it was a show of force by the Bandidos. The Bandidos wanted to make a statement that Waco wasn’t the Cossacks’ town.”
Police anticipated, planned for and, by some accounts, instigated a fight between members and supporters of the two clubs. That was why the police were there in the first place. That was the reason the Texas Department of Public Safety installed a polecam outside the restaurant that morning. But the police tragically miscalculated. In an after action report, an investigator involved in the case confessed, “We thought there was potential for possibly fights, but nothing like what took place. In my mind I expected some tension, some arguing, pushing and shoving, fights. I didn’t expect that.”
Tomorrow, dozens more innocent people will be indicted because the Waco Police and the other yahoos in charge of the most half-assed biker investigation in history didn’t know what to expect.