Abelino Reyna, the McLennan County District Attorney told Texas Lawyer Staff reporter Miriam Rozen yesterday that he is “flattered” by court filings that liken him to a pathetic gambler.
Two motions filed Monday by Dallas lawyer Clint Broden on behalf of Matthew Clendennen and Burton George Bergman – both defendants in the bizarre and tragic Twin Peaks Biker case in Waco, Texas – seek the disqualification of Reyna and his assistants from prosecuting the case. The motion states, “Mr. Reyna has been cast in the role of the lone player at the blackjack table at 3:00 a.m…doubling down on every losing hand and the reason he is doubling down is that he has no real choice…. Unfortunately, like the proverbial blackjack player, he will keep doubling down until he runs out of chips.”
When asked to comment on the motions, Reyna told Rozen, “I find it quite flattering.”
After a highly publicized and deadly brawl between motorcycle enthusiasts who included members of the Bandidos and Cossacks Motorcycle Clubs in the parking lot of Waco’s Twin Peaks restaurant on May 17, 2015 Reyna personally ordered police to arrest 173 men and four women who were in temporary custody as witnesses. The witnesses were charged with “engaging in organized ordered the arrests, Reyna was in possession of police reports, eyewitness accounts and video evidence that proved that most of the people he wanted arrested were innocent of any crime.
So far, Reyna has convinced a local grand jury to indict 154 people and 14 months after the incident the threat of indictment hangs over the heads of about 40 more. Like everything else about the case, the indictments have been contemptuous of the most basic human rights.
Multiple defense attorneys, most visibly Paul Looney of Houston, have tried to compel Reyna to bring the accused to trial so they can prove their innocence. Fifteen of the accused, including Clendennen and Bergman, are suing Reyna in federal court for false arrest. Among other things, Monday’s filings “allege that…Reyna is pursuing the criminal cases against…Clendennen and Bergman based primarily on his own financial interests” in the lawsuits filed against him.
Rozen reports, that the case is frozen in amber because “Prosecutors and investigators continue to pore through DNA evidence and other discovery and are awaiting the delivery of additional computer and software analysis equipment to finish the task, Reyna said.”
The arrests ordered by Reyna have literally ruined scores of lives. The complete absence of any progress in the case has blatantly prevented public interest in or discussion of what happened in Waco that long ago Sunday in May. Reyna told Rozen that motions filed to recuse him from the case and the 15 current lawsuits filed against him for false arrest are “silly.”
The news in the Twin Peaks case today is the arrogance with which Reyna regards his mounting legal woes.