Bad Judge Recused

August 30, 2017

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Bad Judge Recused

According to multiple sources, McLennan County Judge Ralph T. Strother has been removed from presiding over the trials of at least three defendants in the Twin Peaks Biker Brawl case.

The recusal was ordered by retired judge James Morgan in response to three motions filed June 30. Those motions were filed by Dallas attorney Clint Broden who represents defendant George Bergman; Galveston attorney and former district judge Susan Criss who represents Rolando Reyes; and Austin attorney Millie L. Thompson who is defending Thomas Landers.

Bergman’s motion accused Strother of doing “everything in his power to accommo- date the State’s wishes and turn them into realities.”

Strother

The motions successfully made the case that Strother has been adjusting his rulings to try to guarantee prosecutorial victories.

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?”

Second, Strother publicly advocated for a request by McLennan County District Attorney Abelino Reyna to indefinitely postpone any trials in the case until after the conclusion of a federal racketeering case against former Bandidos Motorcycle Club president Jeff Pike and former vice president John Portillo. Reyna argued that federal prosecutors might be holding evidence that might effect the outcomes of the Twin Peaks cases. It was a ridiculous argument. Nevertheless Strother 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.”

Third, Strother ordered numerous Twin Peaks defendants to appear in his court so that prosecutors might more conveniently collect samples of their DNA.

Carrizal Trial

Finally, Strother has been trying to stack the deck against a defendant named Christopher Jacob Carrizal who is represented by Houston attorney Casie Gotro and who is scheduled to stand trial September 12.

The motions for recusal granted today accused 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.’” That “one” is the Carrizal trial.

Gotro has been complaining about Strother’s unfair rulings and the prosecutions close fistedness with evidence since she took the case. She asked for a continuance on August 22 because prosecutors have been blatantly hiding evidence from her. Strother denied that motion.

Strother Dispensing Justice

Prosecutors have been determined to “do Carrizal first” for almost a year. At a speedy trial hearing for Landers on June 2, Assistant District Attorney Amanda Dillon told Strother: “Judge, just to be clear, I think Ms. Thompson’s…Mr. Landers’ case was always the second one. We were going to do Carrizal first, which was going to be in April, and then we were going to be in the 54th in May and then come back in June or July, somewhere in there. So with Carrizal’s case being set in September, she would still be the second case if she’s set…so it would be November in here, so she would still fall in line as that second case, and I think we’re talking about a matter of three months.”

Thompson replied: “Judge, may I…so my understanding of how Mr. Landers got a trial setting and was supposed to be set, we went in…and it turned out to be a DNA warrant setting, and we were here for that. And we were in the coordinators’ office, and I asked about resetting, and Ms. Amanda Dillon was there as well and asked if I wanted a trial setting, and I said yes. So at first we were going to be set on the same day as Carrizal in April, and then I had a sexual assault of a child case set in Travis County and so I couldn’t do that and so I asked for July, so that’s when I got our July setting, and I think that was in February. And then my understanding from being here in court was, we were actually…Mr. Landers’ case was supposed to be a backup to Carrizal if Carrizal couldn’t go, so we were supposed to be here on March 24th, both me and my client, in order to be a backup to that panel…that jury panel that was supposed to be picked, and then we got notice that we would not be a backup for that panel. So I don’t know what the State’s plan in terms of who they want to try first is. I just know that we got a trial setting in July. So I guess my first question is, how did we end up not having a trial setting?”

To which Strother imperiously replied, “Because the Court took it away from you.”

Reaction

Carrizal’s lawyer, Gotro has accused Strother of “grossly” abusing his judicial discretion and she threatened to file her own motion to recuse Strother eight days ago. She hasn’t yet. She might now.

Late this afternoon, Broden issued a statement that read:

“George Bergman and I are very pleased that Judge Morgan indicated his decision to grant the recusal. The standard for granting a recusal motion is whether a ‘reasonable man on the street’ might think a judge was biased in favor of one party. So here the question was not whether Judge Strother was actually biased or believed himself to be biased. At the beginning of the recusal hearing in this matter, it appeared Judge Morgan was skeptical about the motion. Nevertheless, I think as Judge Morgan heard the evidence and considered it in its totality he realized the impression that Judge Strother’s actions would cause on the ‘reasonable man on the street.’

 

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20 Responses to “Bad Judge Recused”

  1. Shameful Says:

    But Gotro just filed a motion to have him recused also, so it’s Game On.

  2. Shameful Says:

    And the WPD mouthpiece, Tommy Witherspoon, tweeted a few minutes ago that now “Judge” Johnson will likely preside over the trial of Carrizal. They are determined to railroad the Red & Gold. It’s the only play they have left.

  3. xplor Says:

    Judge Ralph will be replaced by Judge Roy Bean, Jr. from Vinegaroon and the case will be moved to the Jersey Lilly.

  4. bbally Says:

    Rebel, thanks for staying on it. While it is much to slow, it is very encouraging to see the justice system start to relieve those whom sought to hold an unfair trail from their position. Now if the rest of the racketeers in Waco Judicial and Police department are brought up under RICO we could clean the town up!

  5. FF Says:

    If these proceedings moved any slower they would be moving backwards. Shame on this Christian community who wtch and bear false witness

  6. Austin Says:

    @Mark – there is some criteria for moderation, which has been posted previously. There are sometimes service disruptions here. Comments do not always show up immediately, because… life. I travel, so I am frequently using hotel computers, friends homes, Apple store or Best Buy demonstrators, tablets, phones etc., and after 8 years here m/l I can share with you that not all equipment accesses content the same way. Best thing is; make your comment * walk away & get a beverage * return. We want your input – so relax and enjoy the company. Sometimes you have to hit the refresh button to see your post. I forgot my own advice and double posted just last week!

  7. Mark Says:

    How strange my post was held up for minutes and then had some things changed to it.

  8. Mark Says:

    ense becauI’m wondering why no one has been making a push for a, Change of Venue. A change of venue woud open up the doors to a county that has no dog in the fight, should civil action be an avenue for justice after the criminal trials. What a mess. The judge that was ordered off the cases, from his remarks has an attitude. Which makes no sse he’s a judge because he couldn’t make it as a private attorney and do better than his Tax Feeder paycheck. And he thinks he’s smarter than then top shelf private practice attorneys. What an idiot.

  9. david Says:

    In Tex-as, all bad “judges” wear black.

  10. Dutchboy Says:

    @Bone Head. According to the left (Antifa ie. “Acting As Fascist”) the country is over run with “fascist” so Scrotum should not be hard to replace.

  11. Dutchboy Says:

    @Gandalf, set up your cameras and SWAT snipers, then send a CI in to leave the package, say in a crowded restaurant. Shoot the CI and arrest EVERYBODY in the restaurant for “conspiracy”! Blame the restaurant and claim “we warned them!”. Oh, extra points if it is during a political/civil rights meeting of a minority you want to vilify.

  12. Dutchboy Says:

    Maybe this is the first crack in the Waco Great Wall of Bullshit. Would Love to see Scrotum,…. Er, I mean His Honor Judge Strother, charged with judicial misconduct. The grand jury decision should also be set aside since the foreman was an active participant in the case.

  13. Gandalf Says:

    They just evacuated part of Waco over a “Suspicious package”. I guess they figured it was possibly a dangerous situation. Hmmmm??? Why not just set up cams and 1st responders then wait for the explosion? Tell everyone how wonderful they are and brag about the Response time. Go Figure

  14. Bone Head Says:

    ‘Bout time! I too am curious to see who replaces strothers. Waco will surely not give up at this point.

  15. Paladin Says:

    It is long past the time to start scraping the shit from the wheels of Waco’s just-us justice system.

    Paladin

  16. Brad H Says:

    Any ‘reasonable man on the street’ would and should note this as a dog and pony show.

    It’s shameful the lame stream media is ignoring this miscarriage of justice while wondering what the words to Taylor Swifts’ latest song really means.

  17. Lurch Says:

    Anyone else curious how a retired judge can issue any order, much less a recusal? I’m all for it but I just found that point odd.

  18. Iron Rider Says:

    One down and one more to go. Seeing Strothers go gives us a glimpse of hope as Cookie said, but I don’t see how the Johnson can be allowed to stay on and oversee cases that he has seen since this farce started. For there to be an impression of no bias then Johnson must be removed as well.

    Now if you noticed above I stated “for the impression of no bias”, I still believe the fix is in and no matter how much evidence or breaking of laws or constitutional violations have occurred against the 177 defendants they will still be hard pressed to get a fair trial and the state will obfuscate access to all the events that occurred that day at Twin peaks and before with law enforcement investigations or task forces.

    The fact that Strothers bias was well shown as Johnson’s was as well to the defendants and their counsels in the way of rulings and how the prosecution seem to sail along at cruise was always troubling. Johnson though needs to follow Strothers and be barred from hearing these cases as well, and I dont see how they can let Johnson stay on as well..you know that perception thing.

    The question no is will this retied Judge do the same with Johnson. The only thing that I wonder is are they going to choose another pro friendly Reyna judge or is it going to be someone who isn’t going to have the bias that Johnson and Strothers seemed to have. I am sure Rebel will have his ear to the ground, and I hope it isnt going to be a Judge that Reyna will have his hand up this judges ass to make his lips move and parrot Strothers and Johnson rulings.

    While I still believe the fix is in on all these 177 souls to be convicted who face the courts, I will say Strothers removal is a breath of fresh air, but there is still a lot of stink to these cases yet

  19. Gandalf Says:

    THAT HURTS… Tic, tic, tic. Drip, drip, drip.

  20. Cookie Says:

    Finally! Maybe a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel!
    Cookie

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