Waco Still Burning Constitution

June 30, 2017

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Waco Still Burning Constitution

This morning, two defense attorneys in the Waco Twin Peaks biker brawl case moved that Waco Judge Ralph Strother be removed from their clients’ cases.

The attorneys are Clint Broden, acting on behalf of defendant George Bergman, and Susan Criss who represents defendant Rolando Reyes. According to Broden, Millie Thompson who represents Thomas Landers will file a similar motion soon.

Strother is an elected Republican judge who presides over Texas’ 19th District Court. If Strother refuses to remove himself from the case the motion will be referred to Billy Ray Stubblefield who is the presiding judge of Texas’ 26-county Third Judicial Region. Stubblefield has already player a small part in the Twin Peaks case. About two years ago, he appointed a judge named James Morgan to hear 20, so-called examining trials in the case. Those examining trial ruled on whether those defendants should have been arrested or not. Morgan ruled that everyone who appeared before him in that matter should have been arrested. In most cases, Morgan’s ruling contradicted what most people agree to be consensual reality.

Bergman and Reyes argue that Strother should “be disqualified because his bias against the defense is of such a degree that it has resulted, and will continue to result, in due process violations.”

Bergman’s motion bluntly argues that, “Judge Strother has done everything in his power to accommodate the State’s wishes and turn them into realities.”

The motions list four specific instances where Strother behaved as if he had a bet on the outcomes Bergman and Reyes’ trials.

Bias Count One

First, “Strother chose Waco Police Detective James Heard as the foreman of (the) grand jury” that might have decided whether to indict the 155 men who have been indicted in the case so far. At the time, Strother publicly defended his appointment of Heard by rhetorically asking, “Who is better qualified in criminal law than somebody who practices it all the time?”

Heard had “assisted in questioning those arrested on May 17, 2015 and directed other members of the Waco Police Department to assist in the questioning. He likewise ran ‘records checks’ of many of those arrested and actively participated in the search of the motorcycles found at Twin Peaks.”

Count Two

Secondly, in March, after McLennan County District Attorney tried to indefinitely postpone the trial of any Twin Peaks defendants by filing a mendacious document titled “Disclosure of the Existence of Federal Evidence, Not in Its (Reyna’s) Possession or Control,” Strother publicly advocated for Reyna’s tactical delay. He told the Waco Tribune-Herald, “I don’t think we can move forward in any of our cases until some kind of resolution or understanding is reached regarding the situation with the federal indictment in San Antonio.”

Strother, according to the recusal motions, made his “comments when he knew or should have known it was likely that those defendants would oppose any delays and that he would be required to rule on such oppositions.”

Count Three

Today’s motions also accuse Strother of lending “his office to the district attorney’s office.”

In January, “the District Attorney’s Office apparently secured DNA warrants for many of the defendants. Rather than have a peace officer serve the warrants on the defendants, the District Attorney’s Office apparently convinced Judge Strother to simply order all of the defendants to appear in court. Thus, on February 13, 2017, the District Attorney’s Office (not the court) sent counsel an email informing them of Judge Strother’s ex parte order (lawyer’s Latin for a judicial proceeding that would only benefit the prosecution) and ordering the defendants to appear in court for the first time in over a year on only three days notice.”

“Apparently, when most of the defendants arrived on February 16, 2017 they were directed to the District Attorney’s Office. When Mr. Bergman arrived on February 17, 2017 he was directed to a conference/jury room where his DNA was taken.”

“Since that time, through an Open Records Act request by Susan Criss, counsel for Rolando Reyes, a more complete picture of what occurred behind the scenes was developed and it is clear that Judge Strother simply lent his office to the District Attorney’s Office for the purpose of executing the DNA warrants. Indeed, on January 6, 2017, the day the DNA warrants were secured from another judge, there is an email from Judge Strother’s court staff to an Assistant District Attorney requesting an ex parte meeting between the Judge and the District Attorney’s Office.”

Count Four

Today’s motions also accuse Strother of playing “musical chairs with the trial schedule so the District Attorney’s Office case can lead with the one it ‘wanted to go first,’” which is the trial of Bandido Jake Carrizal. Carrizal was re-indicted on Wednesday and charged with being a chapter officer in the Bandidos at the time of the Twin Peaks brawl. Carrizal was, in fact, a chapter officer in that club, which also happens to be completely legal. Carrizal’s case demonstrates the a priori reasoning that frequently dominates motorcycle club cases. That reasoning goes: Carrizal is a provably criminal because the Bandidos are criminal and the Bandidos are provably criminal because Carrizal is a Bandido.

Bergman’s motion notices that he “filed his first Speedy Trial Demand on or about November 12, 2015. He filed his second Speedy Trial Demand on or about February 23, 2016. He filed his third Speedy Trial Demand on or about April 27, 2017. The reason Mr. Bergman has been adamant about his asserting his Speedy Trial Acts is that it is clear from his examining trial that the government will be unable to prove the charges asserted against him. Indeed, the government’s witness at the examining trial essentially asserted that, contrary to law, Mr. Bergman’s mere presence at Twin Peaks made him guilty”

The motion quotes from the transcript of that examining trial”

“Question. (By counsel for Mr. Bergman) What acts did he take in pursuance of participating in the violence that day?”

“Answer. (By DPS Trooper Steven Schwartz) By arriving with the Bandidos, showing support colors in his official attire, his cut, which is an official support group for the Bandidos, his mere presence, in my opinion, was show of support for the Bandidos under the increased tensions that were showing that day.”

The motion also quotes the transcript from a later proceeding in which District Attorney Reyna brazenly tells Strother in open court, “Let me reiterate, Judge, that we do want to try Jake Carrizal first.”

And Strother unabashedly replies, “Mr. Reyna, you-all are saying, of all the Twin Peaks cases, this is the one you-all want to go on first?”

“Yes, Sir,” Reyna replies.

And Strother goes, “Alright.”

Bergman’s motion notices that “Judge Strother has ‘bumped’ at least two trials (Cody Ledbetter and Thomas Landers) that had trial dates prior to the current Carrizal setting. Moreover, he has now moved at least one of those trial settings (Landers) so that it now conflicts with Mr. Bergman’s trial setting despite Mr. Bergman’s repeated speedy trial demands.”

 

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11 Responses to “Waco Still Burning Constitution”

  1. Mike Says:

    It has been obvious, since 1993, that the constitution has no meaning in Waco, TX.

  2. Steel Says:

    The whole case smacks of guilty until proven innocent and Strother is stoking that idea. The law and Constitution apparently means squat in Waco.

    Respects

    Steel

  3. rw Says:

    Not everbody. Just those wearing jeans and a Nike tshirt

  4. Chasra Says:

    Well.. in Texas, if you’re at a Wal_mart and it gets robbed, then I suppose everybody at Wal_mart is guilty.
    So sick of morons….

    Happy Independence Day, let freedom ring!

  5. Filburt Says:

    Baptist does not mean one is a Christian but, apostasy does equal Baptist.

  6. david Says:

    TX Biker; with respect, The MAJOR mistake the state, federal and local government agents involved in the two Waco “burns” have made is,they have confused themselves with the Creator.

    Despite that fact, they CANNOT do whatever they want and we are NOT helpless against them in terms of defense, and we should have a strong interest in mounting strong legal defenses at all times.

  7. TX_Biker Says:

    many true and faithful Christians, because of the testimony of enemies, rivals, slaves and other low people—and still less appropriate—without tests of any kind, have been locked up in secular prisons, tortured and condemned like relapsed heretics, deprived of their goods and properties, and given over to the secular arm to be executed, at great danger to their souls, giving a pernicious example and causing scandal to many.

    This is a quote from Pope Sixtus IV during the Spanish inquisition some time around the year 1492. Just replace bikers with Christians in the first sentence. Those that consider themselves law, whether man’s or god’s, seem to all end up corrupt. They look only to history to suite their needs and agenda, but never learn from history. They will forever be doomed to repeat it.

  8. david Says:

    As in previous Inquisitions, the persecutors themselves, decided long before any hearings took place,all accused were guilty as charged.

  9. RLG Says:

    Well, the defense will have a lot to work with on appeal if needed.

  10. Iron Rider Says:

    Imagine that collusion between the court and the prosecutor;s office. And once again we see how the courts and some of the judges presiding in them have lost their impartiality and should be removed from the bench.

    The courts role is one of impartiality and to be the one to make sure that both prosecutor and defense are playing by the rules of law in matter before the court and that an accused is innocent until found guilty.

    For a long time no it has been that you are now guilty until you can prove your innocence and with the Prosecution and courts so entwined there no longer is impartiality.

    The fact that Judges and prosecutors are using the law and twisting and running afoul of statues to make cases and the courts bending over backward to help prosecutors make their cases shows just what a disaster today’s justice system is.

    Anyone who faces charges is up against before they ever set foot in a court room due to the abuse of process that is occurring more and more in the justice system

  11. zero Says:

    Notice they did this on Friday before July 4, insuring if it does get any coverage in the news nobody will be home to listen. What a bunch of assholes.

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