Waco judge Ralph Strother denied a motion last Friday that would have allowed Bandido Jeffrey Lee Battey to legally have contact with members of his own and other motorcycle clubs until he is finally given the opportunity to clear his good name.
Strother refused to consider that motorcycle clubs might represent what the late Tim Hetherington called “Man Eden:” Which is to say that they are better understood as paramilitary organizations held together by love than as for-profit “mafias on wheels.”
In a written motion Battey’s lawyer, Seth Sutton, argued: “The state will likely scoff at the notion of Mr. Battey suffering an emotional impact from this isolation as it has paraded a propaganda campaign to the media to dehumanize Mr. Battey and bikers generally,”
“Mr. Battey is indeed human,” Sutton wrote. “If you cut him, he will bleed. If you take away his friends, it will take an emotional toll on him.”
The social isolation the cruel criminal justice system in Texas has imposed on Battey illustrates the extrajudicial punishment rampant in the Waco Twin Peaks case. The police, prosecutors and judges in Waco have all been allowed to mock the basic American rights for which, at last count, 1,264,123 Americans have fought and died.
Battey was with another Bandido named Ray Arnold Allen when he was shot by Cossack Matthew Mark Smith. Smith, a computer repair technician for The Geek Squad, fired at Allen and then aimed at Battey’s chest. Smith fired just as Battey raised his arm. Battey was wounded in the biceps. Smith may have been shot by Allen with a .45 caliber pistol in self defense. Smith’s pistol was recovered four feet from his body. Smith was still alive when police reached the three men. Smith began to aspirate and died sometime in the minutes after police finished searching him. Smith was 27-years-old and, like most of the Cossacks there that day, he had very limited experience in the motorcycle club subculture.
McLennan County District Attorney Abelino Reyna knew all this before Battey was charged.
Battey’s medical care after he was wounded was substandard. Knowledgeable sources have told The Aging Rebel that Battey appeared to suffer from “compartment syndrome” even before he was transported to Hillcrest Medical Center. ” Compartment syndrome is a condition that results from bleeding inside an enclosed space in the body, like an arm. Unless compartment syndrome is treated promptly it can quickly lead to the death of the effected limb which necessitates amputation. The police and medical personnel who encountered Battey seemed to think that because Battey was not bleeding heavily his wound was not serious.
Battey saved his arm by becoming the first arrestee to bail out of the Waco jail and traveling to a Dallas hospital. He was prepared to bail out 48 hours after the Twin Peaks Ambush but McLennan County officials would not release him for another day because, the official explanation goes, his jailers needed a full day to fit him with an ankle bracelet so his trip to the hospital and then home to recover could be tracked.