Clint Broden, the Dallas defense attorney who has done most of the heavy lifting for the last two years in the infuriatingly bogus and misreported Twin Peaks biker brawl case, filed another four motions this morning in the 54th District Court in McLennan County, Texas.
The motions were specifically made on behalf of Broden’s client Matthew Clendennen, but the points they raise are relevant to the cases of virtually every other defendant. At present, 154 men have been indicted for “engaging in organized criminal activity” that resulted in nine homicides. Prosecutor Abelino Reyna is threatening to indict 38 more.
The criminal conspiracy charge means that Reyna must try to prove that all 192 defendants agreed and conspired among themselves to arrange an affray (or duel or rumble) between the Cossacks and Bandidos Motorcycle Clubs – including clubs connected socially or criminally with the Cossacks and Bandidos. Clendennen was a member of the Scimitars Motorcycle Club, a Cossacks support club, on May 17, 2015 which was how he appeared on the patio of the Twin Peaks when the fight started.
Formally, Clendennen is accused of going to the Twin Peaks “with the intent to establish, maintain, or participate in a combination or in the profits of a combination or as a member of a criminal street gang,” and the accusation is full of holes. The motions Broden filed this morning throws rocks through some of them.
A motion to quash Clendennen’s indictment features a clip art cartoon of a sandwich stamped “indicted.” The cartoon is a reference to a sarcastic one liner by former New York judge Solomon Wachtler. Wachtler complained that a grand jury would indict a ham sandwich if that was what a prosecutor told them to do. Wachtler had just been indicted himself when he uttered the phrase which explains his candor.
Broden continues: “For unknown reasons, the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office apparently sought to even outdo a ham sandwich indictment. Indeed, on or about November 10, 2015, the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office convinced a grand jury to return indictments against 106 motorcyclists in approximately 540 minutes. Even assuming absolutely no lunch breaks or bathroom breaks, each motorcyclist’s case received approximately five minutes and six seconds of consideration. Moreover, the grand jury indicted Mr. Clendennen despite video evidence that he was not involved in any way in the violence that occurred at Twin Peaks on May 17, 2015.”
Broden also argues that his client was indicted for being part of a conspiracy to kill a man named William Anderson, who did not actually die at the Twin Peaks. He argues that the Scimitars were not a criminal street gang and that, “Clendennen’s defense is in a particular quandary when trying to guess as to what criminal actions or inactions the State believes he engaged in, in order to support its unannounced theory of liability.”
Probably, if any of this hot mess ever reaches trial, prosecutors will trot out a cooperating witness who was at the Cossacks alleged conclave in the parking lot of an Atwoods Ranch and Home store shortly before the Cossacks pack rolled the last couple of miles to the Twin Peaks. If there are cooperating witnesses, Broden would like to know who they are.
Which is why, in a second motion to compel Reyna to turn over the evidence against Clendennen, Broden asks for: Proof that the Cossacks were a criminal street gang; “notices given by the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office that Manuel Chavez (who wrote and swore to the affidavit that made the arrests legal) committed perjury at a hearing held on August 8, 2016;” “any mobile data transmissions between and among law enforcement regarding the Twin Peaks incident;” and “witness statements from any cooperating defendants charged with criminal offenses in connection with the Twin Peaks incident.”
Broden also wants to know who was killed by police, everything about the police killers and “any emails between law enforcement officials and others (including, but not limited to, other law enforcement officials, members of the press, and prosecutors) regarding the Twin Peaks incident.”
Broden also filed a “Motion To Indentify The Needle In The Haystack” that would “compel the State to identify the discovery material that it intends to use at trial in its case in chief.”
“The State in this case,” Broden complains, “has engaged in what is known as a ‘document dump.’ Indeed, it has produced approximately three terabytes of discovery in this case almost all of which appears to have absolutely no relation to Mr. Clendennen.”
Broden cites substantial case law that seems to say “that due process requires that discovery materials must be sufficiently identified so as not to burden the defense with an unnecessary, time-consuming and costly review of irrelevant materials.”
“In the instant case,” Broden writes, “it would be simply impossible for defense counsel to review the contents of every cell phone seized, every jail call recorded and every police car video (many of which are just hours of looking at an unoccupied area). In addition to due process, fairness, and the ‘pursuit of justice,’ Mr. Clendennen submits that simple prudence dictates requiring the State to identify the discovery material it intends to introduce at trial in its case-in-chief.”
Finally Broden moved to “Suppress All Fruit Of Unconstitutional Arrest.”
There is a legal idea called the “fruit of the poisonous tree” which correlates illegally obtained evidence with a poisonous fruit. The government cannot violate someone’s constitutional rights in order to gather evidence against him. The constitutional violations are the poisonous tree and the evidence gained by torture, or illegal wiretaps, illegal searches and so on is the poisonous fruit which must be “excluded” from the prosecution’s case.
Broden argues that all of the arrests made after the Twin Peaks brawl were illegal because they were based on a web of lies that were sworn to by a perjurer.
Consequently, Broden wants, “all items seized from him upon his arrest, including, but not limited to, clothing, motorcycle club paraphernalia and his mobile phone; any DNA taken from him; any pictures taken of him; and, any statements he allegedly made” excluded.
And how the monsters who run Waco must be laughing now. Nothing will come of any of these motions.
They will almost certainly be denied because the judge who will decide their merit and reasonableness is a complacent doofus named Matt Johnson. Johnson is not only the prosecutor’s former law partner but, by inference based on his previous rulings in this case, part of an ongoing conspiracy to obstruct justice and obscure the numerous, obvious connections between what happened at the Twin Peaks restaurant on May 17, 2015 and a racketeering conspiracy case against the former president and vice-president of the Bandidos that is endlessly unraveling in San Antonio.
Usually, corrupt judges worry about the FBI but not Johnson because the FBI is also part of the same ongoing conspiracy.
But someday, somewhere this case may reach a federal appeals court and Johnson’s inevitable denial of the motions Broden filed today will be part of that case.
Someday. Somewhere. Justice may be more than a punch line. Just not today.