Waco Catch-22

August 26, 2016

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Waco Catch-22

Joseph Heller coined the term “Catch-22” in a novel about bomber crews in World War II. It described a set of Army Air Force regulations that exempted crazy people from flying combat missions. The catch was you had to apply for the exemption. And trying to get out of combat proved you weren’t crazy.

In the last 55 years the term has become a catchy way to describe any double bind – which is a logical dilemma that requires someone to correctly answer two questions. And, a correct answer to either one automatically means a wrong answer to the other.

Late Tuesday afternoon, a federal judge in Austin named Sam Sparks (photo above) issued a couple of motion rulings in the 15 false arrest civil suits that resulted from the mass arrests that followed the bloody brawl and gunfight at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco on May 17, 2015, 468 days ago. One hundred seventy-seven mostly innocent witnesses were arrested after the violence on the orders of a local district attorney named Abelino Reyna.

No Acquittals So Far

Their presences at the site of the crime were construed by a bumpkin justice of the peace to mean they had all conspired  to create a confrontation that led to nine deaths and something like 20 additional casualties. They were all held on $1 million bond and they all suffered as a result of a blatantly capricious display of official power. They were all slandered by a press that went out of its way to portray the tragedy as a “real life” episode of Sons of Anarchy, or The Devils Ride, Warlocks Rising, Outlaw Country, Gangland, Inside Outlaw Bikers or Gangland Undercover. Many lost cars and motorcycles. Many lost jobs. Some lost children.

Not one of them has yet been cleared because Reyna has blatantly gamed the system so that none of them can prove their innocence. A Houston lawyer named Paul Looney has all but begged the courts to try his client so he can be acquitted. A couple of lawyers representing different clients have asked that Reyna be recused from the case but that is unlikely to happen. One of the arguments for recusing Reyna is that he is a defendant in the civil false arrest lawsuits so he has a financial interest in finding his accusers guilty.

The “case,” which is now actually more than 200 prosecutions, ongoing investigations and state and federal lawsuits, is effectively frozen because of Reyna’s strategy of denying, delaying and counterattacking. His motives for behaving as he has are a matter of speculation but he is clearly stalling. And the action in Judge Sparks court italicizes that.


Last Spring, Reyna and his co-defendants – former Waco Police Chief Brent Stroman, Waco detective Manuel Chavez and John Doe – asked Sparks to move the lawsuits from Austin to Waco because moving the case there would be more convenient and fair to them. But the general rule is that a federal case is heard where it is filed and Tuesday afternoon Sparks ruled that the case should stay in Austin.

Reyna and his co-defendants filed a Catch-22 motion at the same time they asked that the case be moved. Reyna, Stroman, Chavez and Doe argued that if the complainants were allowed to prove that they had been falsely and unconstitutionally arrested in Waco on May 17, 2015 it would ruin Reyna’s chances to prove that they were guilty in an as yet hypothetical trial in Waco in – oh say, based on the way things are going – December 2036. Sparks thought that argument held water.

Quoting both the United States Supreme Court and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, Sparks found, “it is within the power of the district court, and in accord with common practice, to stay the civil action until the criminal case or the likelihood of a criminal case is ended.” So Sparks granted the defendants’ motion to stay the case.

What Is Important

Sparks seems to think that what is really important is preserving the eventual possibility of a conviction, not holding public officials responsible for urinating on the Constitution. Over and over in his ruling, citing a case titled Heck v. Humphrey, he argues that finding that the complainants had been falsely arrested would prevent them from being convicted of the crimes for which they were falsely arrested.

“The Court finds Plaintiff’s alleged…claims and criminal charge are so closely interrelated that resolving the civil claims may impugn any conviction,” the wacky federal judge wrote. “The claims arise from the same facts as Plaintiff’s criminal charge: The violent incident at Twin Peaks and the arrests (“Plaintiff acknowledges that the criminal case arises from the incident that forms the basis of this suit.”) The claims are not temporally distinct as they arise out of events which occurred within a narrow time frame. (Defendants used allegedly insufficient affidavit to obtain general arrest warrant one day after the shooting took place.) Most importantly, Plaintiff’s civil claims challenge the legality of his arrest, which may directly implicate or invalidate any conviction in his criminal case.”

John Doe

“Plaintiff argues that because his criminal case has not been set for trial, the civil case may be stayed for years. This delay, according to Plaintiff, creates three main problems: (1) Expiration of the statute of limitations with regard to the ‘John Doe’ Defendant; (2) loss of and inaccessibility to evidence over time; and (3) inability to conduct discovery on Plaintiff’s potential Monell claim.” (A so-called Monell claim would allow the defendants to sue the city of Waco and McLennan County.)

Judge Sparks is oblivious to the possibility that “John Doe” may be a federal agent or a federal agency. He displays both his ignorance and his contempt for the complainants when he snidely writes, “Plaintiff’s counsel, at this point, should have had sufficient
knowledge to determine who to sue.”

As a matter of fact, that’s what the case delays are all about. The great mystery of this case has always been who the federal agents were who contrived this intelligence gathering Mongolian Charlie Fox. Someone other than the witnesses who were arrested conspired to manufacture the confrontation at the Twin Peaks. Somebody thought quarantining the area with militarized police and surrounding the restaurant with video cameras might help ongoing federal investigations into both the Bandidos and Cossacks Motorcycle Clubs.

The most important thing about Sparks’ ruling Tuesday may be that now no one will ever know who that was.


25 Responses to “Waco Catch-22”

  1. xplor Says:

    What judge Sparks was trying to tell Clint, Paul and Abigail was they are going down a blind alley. Do you think Reyna had the balls to pull this off or was he a minion ?
    You can bet your bottom rocker someone else is involved.

  2. david Says:

    Part of Sammie’s law school instruction was the Law and principles he studied found in the Magna Carta of England. The Great Charter was the basis for the Bill Of Rights. (U.S. Consti. 1787)

    Apparently he forgot, or has selective memory of, what he learned. Magna Carta:

    40) To no one will we sell, to NO one will we refuse or DELAY, Right or Justice.

    May he personally read Rebel’s article, after some bull-shit attorney informs him his mistake is publicly read.

  3. Phuquehed Says:

    Hey, Sam Sparks you corrupt, useless, bag of wind, piece of dog shit, diseased whore fucking, waster of this planets good air – go test the warning label on a plastic bag you fucking shit-stain. Get that fucktard cunt other waster of good air, Reyna, to dip his head in with yours so you two don’t waste a bag.

  4. Hangaround Says:

    May the citizens of Waco and potential jurors understand what Jury nullification is.

  5. TX_Biker Says:

    Mongolian Charlie Fox, That about explains this entire bullshit proceeding….

  6. Lurch Says:

    “finding that the complainants had been falsely arrested would prevent them from being convicted of the crimes for which they were falsely arrested”

    Isn’t that the point?

  7. Nobody Important Says:

    @Potmetal –

    Exactly. And what happens, on the micro level, when not just -some- bikers, but -all- bikers, and even worse, all people, realize they cannot, under any circumstances, get fair treatment from the government?

    What happens at that next traffic stop? Or courthouse?

    When a man knows he will not attain justice from the state, in fact, the only thing the state produces is injustice… what happens?

    What happens to the normal behaviors of society, when people realize there are no longer reasons to ‘play by the rules’?

  8. Potmetal Says:

    I have enjoyed reading @Paladin’s thoughts on a great many things since I began reading Rebels site. I hope to continue reading his insights for a good long time because like many things in life, what you agree with is always more palatable than those which you don’t.

    That being said, I’m struggling with seeing the light on this one. I really would love to embrace that perspective, however it just seems like one step forward, and two steps back into financial, family, and employment doom for those wrongfully arrested, while the true criminals steam on.

    Paladin, I pray you’ve (once again) called the ball correctly. You are a top shelf mind in my book, much respect to you.

    I’m troubled by @Nobody’s post. Not the person posting, but that it seems to be happening right in front of us all. There does not seem to be a single person who cares about right or wrong, and karma appears to be on permanent R&R.

    It has been my experience throughout my life on two wheels that the only people that hold their peers to any true level of appropriate behavior and integrity standards are bikers. I’ve never heard of a cop or judge pull one of their peers aside and provide any level of stick and rudder. However, if you have earned a patch you can bet your paycheck your club will let you know if you’ve crossed a line. In my experience anyway, others may know differently. (Before anyone returns fire, I do not recognize the idiot cop club to be a MC)

    I’m beginning to realize that these citizens will never receive a fair trial and the justice they deserve.

    The San Fran QB is using the wrong method. But his point is a salient one; “a cop gets a gun and badge in less time than a person going to cosmetology school”.

    Respects to those that rate it (no axe to grind with cosmetologists)

  9. Glenn S. Says:

    Can be summed up like this: The judiciary no longer sees the need to further the illusion that it protects the people from the excesses of government. Hope might spring eternal that the courts will one day right the wrongs done in this and other situations but it just ain’t happening. Lower courts rubber stamp law enforcement or dismiss legitimate complaints on technicalities. Higher courts rubber stamp lower courts, refuse to hear cases when they would be forced by law or stare decisis to rule against law enforcement, and delay rulings until they become moot. It takes a lot of integrity on the part of the judicial branch of government to protect people from government. The integrity ain’t there anymore, if it ever was.

  10. david Says:

    Gangster “judge” Sparks more than likely will have is bull-shit ruling over-ruled in the future.

    Gangster Reyna lacks evidence to prove guilt “beyond a reasonable doubt” in the many criminal cases, due to the undeniable fact all firearms used and confiscated by the pigs were placed in one common bag. The bull-shit fake ballistic reports liar Reyna states he is waiting on, were nullified when the idiot pigs intentionally or unintentionally placed all in one bag.

    Gangster Reyna unconstitutionally asked his rubber-stamp Judge Peterson to issue FELONY arrest warrants when the State constitution prohibited Peterson from doing so. Unlawful arrest warrants are invalid, and Peterson’s warrants were null and void. So far, criminal defense attorneys Broden and Looney, have not filed requisite Motions To Dismiss on this felony warrants ground, adequate ground for dismissal. Fact is, the longer any case proceeds equals more money for any attorney officer of the court. The word attorn means: to twist,in Latin. Therefore the twisting continues.

  11. Nobody Important Says:

    It is important to note…

    Regardless of what we feel might be ‘right’, the perpetrators of the Second Waco Massacre will very likely walk free, without the slightest punishment.

    And the bikers will -not- walk free. The odds that not a single wrong will be righted, not a single man among them ‘made whole’.

    The question becomes… What then?

    Without any legal recourse, what happens next?

  12. roach Says:

    Believe me when I tell you, in Tejas, these people could quite possibly be sentenced to 30 days in the electric chair.

    Respects, roach

  13. xplor Says:

    Abel Reyna caused the folks at Twin Peaks to be arrested under the Color of law, all because they dressed differently.

    18 U.S. Code § 242 – Deprivation of rights under color of law

    Whoever, under color of any law, statute, ordinance, regulation, or custom, willfully subjects any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District
    to the deprivation of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or to different punishments, pains,
    or penalties, on account of such person being an alien, or by reason of his color, or race, than are prescribed for the punishment of citizens, shall be fined under
    this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both; and if bodily injury results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include the use,
    attempted use, or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both;
    and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse,
    or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title, or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both,
    or may be sentenced to death.
    (June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 696; Pub. L. 90–284, title I, § 103(b), Apr. 11, 1968, 82 Stat. 75; Pub. L. 100–690, title VII, § 7019, Nov. 18, 1988, 102 Stat. 4396;
    Pub. L. 103–322, title VI, § 60006(b), title XXXII, §§ 320103(b), 320201(b), title XXXIII, § 330016(1)(H), Sept. 13, 1994, 108 Stat. 1970, 2109, 2113, 2147;
    Pub. L. 104–294, title VI, §§ 604(b)(14)(B), 607(a), Oct. 11, 1996, 110 Stat. 3507, 3511.)

  14. Casper T Ghost Says:

    Judge lectured about paperwork and had to scold the attorneys…. But no judge batted an eye when the Waco DA charged these folks with a murder that didn’t even occur!(10th person listed as killed in the incident)
    This injustice must not be allowed!Rena and his crew will get what’s coming karma style hopefully in a legal ass fucking for us all to see…

  15. IronRider Says:

    Most folks are of the opinion that Reyna and Co. are stalling for as long as they can do to evidentiary issues with their so called case against 177 people.

    The old adage of “A Grand Jury could indite a ham sandwich” has been true for many many years and looking at this case you sense this fits that saying to a “T’. Many of Rebel’s reader recognize the fact that trying to fit this case in under the statutes that govern RICO is a stretch.

    The fact that Reyna and other law enforcement in conjunction with the Texas Justice system seem to be doing their best at not having to try the defendants on the so called evidence of what transpired that day in Waco, even though Reyna has continued to say the evidence in the case will prove the prosecutions case.

    If Reyna and Co. ballistic information, statements, audio and video along with undercover/informant information is so solid why keep delaying moving forward with prosecutions, why the failure to provide the defendants counsel with disclosure.

    The public and the press have heard many , mnay iterations of what Law Enforcement contends happened that day in Waco and the so called danger that was to follow in OMG’s coming to Waco for revenge any minute now and how everyone should think of the children and hide in their basements because Law Enforcement would be on high alert for the imminent danger to follow and would be vigilant in their duty to keep the citizens of Waco safe so their wasnt a further shoot out. True Hero’s indeed!

    Funny thing about Law Enforcement’s chief mouth piece spouting off all the doom and gloom scenarios that happened after the shooting at Twin Peaks, all the predictions of OMG’s hell bent on revenge and armed to the teeth rumbling towards Waco to extract revenge…..never happened! Not a one.. No shoot outs..not even one motorcycle stopped.

    How could that be? Danger was in the air and Law Enforcement was under siege the media and public were told. Strange how nothing further happened, maybe just maybe this was to keep the media far far away so the police could “contain” the scene, and process the evidence ~wink wink~ Or was this so Law Enforcement could coerce witnesses and talk to those witnesses and find out whose story matched their version of events, and whether those whose version of events didnt match could easily be dismissed and sent away with the “we’ll follow up with you” later and purposely forgotten.

    When you look at politicians and their ilk one thing you will always see is the famous “Potomac Two Step” made famous by Congressmen and Senators and how their always seems to be a way to avoid responsibility when you have stepped in shit. Political favors, the old get out of jail free card to cash in when you get in trouble which seem to fit with the characters on the Law Enforcement side of the equation here.

    The fact that the Feds stepped into this case signals to me that either the Feds have always been involved with agencies under their control working in step with Texas Law Enforcement while trying to keep it hush hush or this case is such a fucking mess with civil rights, criminal rights and constituional rights violations that the US DOJ knows that the financial implications for the State Of Texas from all the civil suits will be severe…. or the Feds are worried what might come out about federal Law Enforcement agencies and the direction this case took and their implication in this cluster fuck of case that has become due Texas Law Enforcement involvement and Reyna and Co’s further bungling of it that they were forced to step in and use RICO statutes to tie this case up for years to wear defendants down.

    Texas judges will keep dicking around and delaying and trying to stymie the defendants from getting disclosure and getting the case tried on the merits and evidence before each defendant. As long as Reyna and Co have prosecution friendly Judges, the defendants will be left to dangle in limbo by design and thwarted at every turn

    Until this hits an appellate court, we will see the same obfuscation go on and on. What we are seeing here is the defense going thru the motions to get to the point where they can get some of the matters to be heard by an appellate court, once that happens I am of the belief we will see the defendants counsels gain some traction and rulings that Reyna and co will have to abide by or appeal and make an argument that will stick and I say good luck with that.

    As long as the defendants are stuck with prosecution friendly judges, all they will do is try and make it look like the defendants are getting their motions and concerns hear in due course and treated fairly and that is the perception that Reyna and Co wants to project to the media and public that all is well and everything is on the up and up.

    People can be easily manipulated and the public and the press are more than certain to gobble up the version of events that Law Enforcement wants to put forward. Law Enforcement agencies dont have a PR communications department for nothing, they are essential part of the spin law enforcement uses daily. Law Enforcement always wants their version of what took place out first.

    In this day and age of video camera, cell phone video and audio recordings,cctv footage we are seeing more and more of the public catching law enforcement doing the good and the bad. Why do you think Law Enforcement agencies and police unions are pushing their state politicians to make taping them a crime?

    Even though the courts have said it is not qa crime to video tape a police officer doing their duties in public, law Enforcement agencies have come up with their own creative ways to thwart people from taping them…like saying someone taping them is interfering in their duties, that they thought that a cell phone was a weapon, that the person recording them was obstructing and resisting.

    Law Enforcement gets caught more and more nowadays doing wrong because people have become vigilant of their encounters with law enforcement and are seeing that Law Enforcement is abusing their powers and using that to hide their misdeeds, this is no different in the case here in Waco and what transpired at Twin Peaks that day.

    If Reyna and Co had such solid evidence, ballistic comparisons, blood evidence and video footage and witness accounts of what transpired why the suppression to hide it, why not get these people tried?

    Why all the delays, why the statement of how future technology will make their case, why is the methodology they have no insufficient to move forward, why such a long time to process ballistic evidence from the weapons that were fired at the scene?

    The longer these people hang in peril and their right to be tried is delayed, the more this whole case is questionable and the more it would seem to an outsider that the Law Enforcement version of events and the so called evidence in highly questionable and case could be made that the manufacturing of evidence to fit the crime may be taking place.

    Needless to say the prosecution is playing the odds that those indicted will crack psychologically and personally from financial strain and the mental struggles with the fact their case and what the outcome could be for them and how it will effect their lives hanging over their head in perpetuity

    Their is a crime taking place here and it isn’t being perpetrated by any of those indicted

  16. ak rack Says:

    stroker — I was going to comment, but you already wrote what I was thinking — way better than I would have.

  17. Paladin Says:

    There is a time that is fast approaching where those that rig the system will be hoisted by their necks, into that very rigging.


  18. Gandalf Says:

    I’m with Stoker too. I’m not a Lawyer but I’m thinking a Motion to dismiss because of that Arrest Warrant Affidavit should have been filed day 1 and appealed, appealed, appealed and a appealed right out of Texas by now.Heck it should have been “fast tracked”. Without Scalia on the bench that affidavit is doomed in the SCOTUS. “Every one is Free to go and you can collect your check at the door.” THE END!

  19. Becca Says:

    I love this blog so much and have truly appreciated your coverage of the bullshit that happened in Waco. Today I am finally making comments.

    What has angered me since the day I heard about the Waco incident is that it was a COC meeting. The general public has no idea what a COC meeting is but we do. My club regularly attends the SF Bay Area COC meetings. These are not events where bikers are going to start fights with one another. Since this event was first reported I was convinced that the Cops started shooting indiscriminately and any return fire was self-defense by a bunch of confused guys that didn’t know what was going on and just wanted to defend themselves and the lives of their brothers and sisters. This absurd ruling today only seems to to bear that truth. Welcome to America. Prosecution at any price. Send the innocent to prison because there are political careers to launch and profits to be made. Fuck that!

    The overly militarized, testosterone poisoned, police force of 21st Century America saw an opportunity to create a legal case against a bunch of bikers they didn’t like and took advantage of the completely civil, and innocent gathering. Arresting completely innocent American citizens in the process.

    Keep up the awesome blogging and one of these days I will finally read all three of your books I’ve been dying to read, “Out Bad,” “The Aging Rebel,” and now “The Twin Peaks Ambush.”


  20. MN LONER Says:

    @ stroker, I can’t agree with you more,this hole waco thing makes me want to fucking puke.respects FTP,FTF FTG

  21. xplor Says:

    Why was The McLennan County Criminal District Attorney Abelino “Abel” Reyna allowed to play sheriff of the city of Waco ?

  22. Head Chingon Says:

    “finding that the complainants had been falsely arrested would prevent them from being convicted of the crimes for which they were falsely arrested”


  23. stroker Says:

    This whole fiasco just makes me sick! Waco/Reyna/Sparks et al: do you think the world is just going to forget about your blatant “stall” tactics? Do you really think anyone thinks you’re NOT all low-lying, scum-sucking bigots, trying to squirm your way out of a corner you placed yourselves in?? You are all an embarrassment to our country. You are not fooling anyone with your legal maneuvering (squirming). This latest round of “you can’t sue us yet, cuz we haven’t had our kangaroo court yet”, is bordering on the absurd. we’re not stupid out here….we can clearly see you’re all trying your damndest to cover up the inexcusable actions of your law enforcement and their leader’s actions on that fateful day in May last year. This isn’t going away you dumb fucks…..you created this hell, and God willing, it’s gonna take you down to the depths you belong.
    Sickening. Just sickening.
    AND……what’s even MORE sickening, is that John Q. Public is just kinda looking the other way!
    After all, it’s just bikers lives……and they obviously don’t matter!

  24. old & stoned Says:

    if ever an arguement fell flat on it’s face,, this one did. if i am wrongly arrested with no demonstrable probable cause, ther can be no legitimate conviction.

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