After 320 days, charges were dismissed today against 39 defendants who were arrested, imprisoned and shamed after last May’s Twin Peaks Massacre.
According to a press release issued by Houston lawyer Paul Looney of the firm Conrad & Looney: “The extended term of the grand jury expired last night at midnight. Judge Strother met this morning with DA Abel Reyna, Assistant DA Michael Jarrett and I. The judge agreed he did not sign an order to continue the prosecution of the unindicted cases and because that grand jury’s term has expired without an order extending the prosecution…the prosecutions against the 39 unindicted bikers are terminated by operation of law and their cases are dismissed.”
Charges have been dropped against six members of the Distorted MC, five Los Pirados, five Bogatyrs, four Grim Guardians, four Los Caballeros, three Vice Grips, three Line Riders, two Valerosos and one member each of the Cabballos Diablos, Rebel Riders, Campaneros, Westsiders, Los Comandantes and Queens of Sheba Motorcycle Clubs. Charges were dropped against all four of the women who were arrested and held on $1 million bonds last May.
According to Looney, charges were dismissed today against Owen Bartlett, Gregory Corrales, Ryan Craft, Bohar Crump, Richard Dauley, Christopher Eaton, Brian Eickenhorst, Morgan English, William English, Don Fowler, Juan Garcia, Arley Harris, Jim Harris, Drew King, Richard Kerder, Jonathan Lopez, Mike Lynch, Sandra Lynch, Benjamin Matcek, Jeremy Ojeda, Julie Perkins, Kevin Rash, Theron Rhoten, Craig Rodahl, Bobby Samford, Jimmy Smith, Seth Smith, Jimmy Spencer, Brad Terwilliger, Royce Vanvleck, James Venable, Justin Waddington, Darrell Walker, Glenn Walker, Steven Walker, Ester Weaver, Walter Weaver and Michael Woods.
Looney said Reyna was compelled by law to drop the charges. In Texas, when the grand jury following a felony complaint completes its term without issuing an indictment and without the trial judge continuing the prosecution for consideration by the next grand jury, the defendant’s bond is discontinued and the prosecution is terminated.
The defendants named above are not yet entirely in the clear. The state may still indict any of the them at any time.
But Looney’s law partner, Clay S. Conrad thinks these 39 people are safe from further legal harassment. “They put together a special grand jury to indict these cases. There’s nothing indicating the grand jury was not finished when their term ended March 31, 2016,” Conrad said. “The case ended just the way we thought it would. These are people who were held on one million dollar bonds. The cases have all ended with a whimper, dismissed because there were no facts justifying the charges against them.”
Time will tell.