Off Again

September 13, 2017

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Off Again

Christopher Jacob “Jake” Carrizal’s trial is off again.

Casie Gotro, the Houston attorney who had a contentious relationship with Ralph Strother, the previous judge in the case, got Strother involuntarily recused two days. She thought Strother and Assistant District Attorney Michael Jarrett were cooperating to withhold potentially exculpatory evidence from her and had conspired to rush her into what she repeatedly called an ambush trial. That was obviously true but it was not all.

Her biggest problem with Strother might have been that he tried to keep so much of the pretrial maneuvering off the record. She had to move to recuse Strother, not just to get rid of an obviously prejudiced judge but to get the accumulation of complaints she had been assembling since spring into the official record of the case.

Marking Her Spot

Yesterday, Gotro tried to recuse Johnson in a concatenation of hearings, motions and recesses that went from 9 a.m. until 7:30 p.m. She called a half dozen courthouse employees, including Judge Johnson and his court coordinator, to testify. Johnson tried to fight it. He ended up as Gotro’s last witness. She entered 14 exhibits into evidence. Half the time it all looked like a fishing expedition. Half the time it probably was.

Gotro is kind of interesting – which is not necessarily any more of a compliment than it is a curse. In a courtroom she is all fidgets, grimaces and snark. Somewhere hidden in all that smoke is a dangerous lawyer with the instincts of a grifter and a talent for getting what she wants. This week, it appears in retrospect, she wanted to pee all over the McLennan County courthouse so all the other lawyers would know the place belonged to her.

All week long Assistant District Attorney Michael Jarret smugly condescended to the defense. That was stupid.

Bobby Fischer, the American chess genius, once said that the moment he loved best in a game was the moment when he knew he had broken someone’s ego. Jarrett is probably still proud this morning. His pride probably won’t hurt until he realizes what just happened – sometime Saturday. Then, as the throbbing starts to subside on Sunday, his wounded ego will tell him he has finally figured her out. But he never will. If he was that good he would be in New York, Boston, DC or Philly. He isn’t. If he was that good Gotro and Carrizal would have still been in court this afternoon. They weren’t. Jarrett will always be about five moves behind Gotro.

Woof Woof

This morning Gotro made Johnson and District Attorney Abelino Reyna sit up and roll over.

Today was supposed to start with jury selection but it didn’t happen for the most obvious reason. The jury was too furious to be fair and any appeals court would have seen that. It was the fourth time the same pool of prospective jurors had been compelled to show up at the courthouse early, stand around and wait to be sent home. Yesterday the same prospective jurors heard Johnson threaten Gotro with jail.

Prospective jurors were cursing in the hallways yesterday. “I’m so sick of this goddamn crap,” one plump mommy remarked to another.

This morning on the sidewalk outside, one fleeing citizen thanked the Lord, that he was “out of this thing. I pity the next guy.”

Gotro not only got a new jury but promises of access to all the evidence. ‘We will cooperate fully,” Reyna promised Johnson, his former law partner, without winking once. Then Reyna promised Gotro would have access to the Waco Police Department whenever she wanted.

Overlapping Circles

Gotro also seems to be poking into the black intersection between, as logicians might say, the set of evidence in the federal racketeering case against the Bandidos, called U.S. v. Portillo et al., and the set of evidence against the Twin Peaks defendants. She wrote Eric Fuchs, the Assistant United States Attorney prosecuting the Bandidos case in San Antonio and later discovered that Fuchs was forwarding her emails to Reyna and Jarrett. It might be fun to know what else he has forwarded them.

Gotro is interested in the pole cam erected at the Twin Peaks at 7 a.m. on May 15, 2015. She wants to know who checked the camera out and who returned it and when. She wants to know all about that camera. She has, as Detective Columbo used to say, “a few questions.” That was the reason she subpoenaed Texas Department of Public Safety Agent Chris Frost. Strother refused her request because Frost will be a witness in Carrizal’s eventual trial. She tried to subpoena the Director of the DPS because she wants to know if Frost was the pole camera’s official custodian and she wants to know which camera was used. How many cameras does DPS have? Which one was this one? Where’s the paperwork?

She is convinced that evidence was removed from the cellphones seized after the Twin Peaks brawl and she wants to know if that was done by the Waco police or by the DPS Research Analysis Unit when the information on the phones was data mined at the Texas Joint Crime Information Center. That part gets tricky because the Research Analysis Unit is funded by the federal government and shares the information it collects with federal police agencies. Officially the unit calls this activity “Connect the Dots” and it is impossible that some of the dots in the Twin Peaks case and some of the dots in the federal case are not connected.

Jax Teller

Weeks ago, Judge Strother didn’t “see a need” for an evidentiary hearing in the Carrizal case. Two days ago, neither did Jarrett. This morning Judge Johnson scheduled an evidentiary hearing for next Monday. The earliest Jake Carrizal can now be tried would be September 28, two weeks from tomorrow, when Scimitar Matthew Clendennen is currently scheduled to begin his trial.

It wouldn’t be a shock if nobody goes to trial on the 28th. The prosecution’s entire case is based on rhetoric and postmodern biker tropes: Which have a kind of artistic truth on television and in movies and in true crime books intended to give Walter Mitty the vicarious experience of being an outlaw, but are not objectively true in places like courtrooms where people’s lives are at stake. There really is no Jax Teller. There is only an actor named Charlie Hunnam.

Michael Jarrett’s entire case is based on the preposterous notion that the Twin Peaks Biker Brawl occurred because a “B Team,” by which the prosecutors mean the Sons of Anarchy, went to “war” with a “C Team,” by which really big brains like Assistant District Attorney Amanda Dillon mean the Mayans.

Stephen Sondheim

Or since they insist on describing these motor cycle clubs as “street gangs” maybe they mean the Sharks and the Jets.

“Mr. Carrizal said on CNN that he ‘is a Bandido through and through, 24 seven.’ Want to see the clip,” Jarrett said over and over through two days of hearings.

“When you’re a Jet you’re a Jet all the way, from your first cigarette to your last dying day,” street gang authority Stephen Sondheim wrote for West Side Story in 1957.

What’s the difference? Jarrett intends to prove his Mayans – Sons of Anarchy theory to a jury by having a collection of “outlaw biker gang experts” tell the panel war stories: John Ciccone, Jeremy Sheetz, Jorge Gil-Blanco, Steve Cook, Yves Lavigne, Kerrie Droban, Julian Sher, Jay Dobyns, Billy Slow Brain, James F. Quinn…oh that’s right! Quinn is still locked up for possession of child pornography. Tom Barker has an outside shot because he lives in Texas now although he has been very critical of how the police handled the Twin Peaks Brawl. You get the general idea.

Bad things happen when late postmodern subcultural commodification intersects with the corrections industry.

Breaking Reyna

The fact is that neither Gotro, nor Clint Broden, Millie Thompson, Susan Criss nor Paul Looney, or a dozen other lawyers are going to let Reyna or his Pips get away with that. Prosecutors know that. That’s why they tried to ambush Carrizal’s lawyer. They have no case. Their best hope was and remains to hit Gotro with something she hasn’t seen before.

The prosecution broke this morning, a little or a lot but it broke. This morning, after trying to prejudice potential jurors with a real show of force against an imaginary danger the prosecutorial team of Reyna and Johnson gave up. With four uniformed deputies and plain clothes cops on the street outside the court, five deputies at the security check point and eight armed and armored deputies loitering in the courtroom, they gave in.

In return Gotro cooed her love and respect for the judge she had called prejudiced and unfair about twelve hours earlier, the same judge who had threatened her with jail 23 hours earlier. “I have to say,” she told Tommy Witherspoon, the Waco Tribune-Herald’s courthouse guy. “We got more accomplished in 10 minutes with Judge Johnson than in months with Judge Strother.”

Casie smiled. Tommy smiled. Johnson smiled.

Let the dismissals begin.



29 Responses to “Off Again”

  1. Gandalf Says:

    BTW… Intentionally walking Casie only puts Broden at bat. Like Baylor playing the Yankees… How long can the people of Waco sit in the stands and watch batters pummel the pitcher, and fielders dropping everything? Even the Umps can’t fix the game. Other Games they fixed in the past will get new light. I suspect a 1st inning of 35-Zip will have The Baylor Boys giving up and Claiming they got cheated. Reyna Had His chance to drop ALL Charges and blame the Fed Prosecutor over the Morten Evidence. The Good Ol Boys would be safe and only the Lawsuits need be settled. Like Baylor is doing to the Rape Victims. Settling to keep themselves safe. WTF Reyna? That’s Free Legal advice from a Shoemaker…. Are you that stupid?

  2. Gandalf Says:

    I’m back in the loop… What a great Story Rebel. TY. These Waco Hicks think they are True Americans but Americans have honor. It’s how we live. Any compromise of that honor makes them weak. The REAL patriotic Americans have gathered their forces after a “Day that will live in infamy.” Pearl Harbor may be destroyed and McArthur kicked out of the Philippines but we were not ready…. Now we are. “I Shall Return”. “We” as in Americans not just bikers or Bandits or Cossacks. When the People of Waco finally meet the “Little Boy” and the “Fat man”… ONLY then will they know their folly. Realize the Emperor has no clothes. Broden, Criss, Rebel and Gotro (+ supporting team) is Truly a “Murders Row” and the Waco Pitcher just some pissant Baylor pitcher who is WAY out of His League. Not only that but He talked smack for so long the “Row” is pissed. Reyna has exposed many “Good Ol Boys” and the whole Waco Justice System to deep scrutiny. MISTAKE! Each of the Row batters have done their jobs and “The bases are loaded and Casie’s at bat.” Johnson knows too. Fear is setting in. Can they control the Media and keep these things in the dark? Who knows? Obviously the MSM is being Controlled but do the powers that be want to continue and put themselves at risk of the light? I have lived in Texas for years, “Do what your big enough to do” is a Cherished Saying down here. The only problem I see is how do you know how big you are? Anyone can be had on any given Sunday. The Bandits were not “had” on that Sunday. The Cossacks were and Waco was. Count the bodies if you don’t believe me. Then watch as The Bandits Drain the Waco Justice System Swamp. Early on it dawned on me that The Bandits set this whole thing up… Knew to take fast cover when the Shooting started. How the Fuck could I know if it is True? I simply Smile and marvel at the possibility. Bandits are fucking smart. Don’t think for 1 sec Jake ever planned to use His old Lawyer… He just waited to fire Him. ie: Smart! Casie is The Fucking Bomb!

  3. Dutchboy Says:

    It can appears as if the Cluster is truly and well fucked. Seems it’s harder to build a railroad than the RICO guilty Feds, State and Local LEOs planned. Damn the luck the “criminals” keep hopping off the train with the help of those damned out-of-town attorneys. Hmmmm, the Bill of Rights is such a bitch when you are trying to make the trains run on time. Thank you Rebel, and a big thumbs up to the defense attorneys who are worth their salt.

  4. jay Says:

    thanks for keeping on this, rebel….

  5. Vintage Says:

    STILL? Not a single fucking peep out of those Stalwarts warriors and defenders of the Constitution at the ACLU? The single worst case of wide-scale abuse of civil rights in recent American history, and those chickenshit hippies have no interest? They’re as useless as the lamestream media.

  6. ML Mounce Says:

    Very good article! I enjoy reading what you have here. There is so much truth going on here! Love it!

  7. Mark Says:

    Just as I though the DA’s case is going to be a case built on nothing related to honest facts but by paid experts that were not there. I will keep my eye on this matter to see what these so called tax feeders have to say for more money. There are a few experts that carry far more weight than what the DA likely has. Who maybe, woud be willing to clear the BS smell out of the air. Lets see what kind of smell the DA’s people stink the courtoom up with.
    btw/ Nice choice of words to describe where a well paid and effective lawyer lives. What a hoot!

  8. RIDER 1 Says:

    I predict in the coming weeks we are going to get a better picture of how involved the FED was and has been involved in Waco. I believe that Twin Peaks was set up by the FEDS as part of their investigation into the Bandidos. I think their investigation was going no where and they needed something to happen. Strange coincidence that they had enough evidence to issue indictments against the Bandidos leaders shortly after the Twin Peaks incident. Waco PD, DPS, the DA and any other agencies involved fell for a BS pep talk and overreacted. Now the puppet masters are going to leaving them hanging.

    RIDER 1

  9. Desdicado Says:

    I’m shocked and appalled that the sons of anarchy is not real….Jez lord save us from fucking Hollywood.

  10. TX_Biker Says:

    Probably the best article I have read in years. Thanks Rebel!

  11. mazer Says:

    Great job Rebel, and thank you!

    In the immortal words of R. Lee Ermey “Out Fucking Standing”

  12. RLG Says:

    “late postmodern subcultural commodification”

    Another gem from our man!

  13. Psycho Says:

    Donated. Wish I could afford to do more. Thanks for the awesome reporting as always. Once these cases fall apart, we can only hope that Waco will be cemented further as the city government that tries to fuck the American people, and their law enforcement will be recognized as a roving band of criminals and street pirates, bent on committing acts of violence to the population they’re sworn to protect.

    Fuck your feelings

  14. Filburt Says:

    Would like to donate to Jake’s defense fund ?

  15. Dino Says:

    Good stuff, Reb.

  16. Cap'n Bill Says:

    From one who doesn’t comment much:

    You’ve obviously got the attention of a wide array of people, some of whom don’t have anything to do with motorcycles, as such.

    I’ve tried to put myself in the position of trying to recover from such a situation…

    Keep up the fight, Don, and all the best to those that have been railroaded.


  17. Iron Rider Says:

    Bobby Fischer, the American chess genius, once said that the moment he loved best in a game was the moment when he knew he had broken someone’s ego. Jarrett is probably still proud this morning. His pride probably won’t hurt until he realizes what just happened – sometime Saturday.

    That quote and the Rebel’s thought really tell the tale of how Jarret is going to be in proceedings and when the trial starts and if that is Jarret’s strategy to try and win by intimidation and belittling Gotro it will set Jarret up for a fall.

    The Fuchs forwarding of Gotro’s emails to Reyna and pals is just confirmation that the Feds are worried that this big bad OMG Operation has a lot of fingerprints all over it and I would bet dollars to donuts that the Feds were pressuring to get progress on the Investigation or they were going to pull the plug, and magically a big biker brawl happened at Twin Peaks cameras, surveillance, and SWAT teams to produce and event and keep the dollars flowing.

    I wish Fuchs was in the courtroom when he found out Gotro knew those emails were being shared, there are going to be some people from the Law Enforcement side with egg on their faces, too bad Gotro couldn’t have got mouthpiece Swanton on the stand, I would have loved to seem him doing some back pedaling.

    Rebel, you have done some outstanding reporting, wish I could have been there to see Johnson and Reyna sweat. Lets hope Gotro has more fireworks planned, shit is about to get interesting, but we shall see if Reyna and Johnson live up to their promises of turning over all evidence and access to those subpoenaed and the records she is looking for.

    Shit is about to get real interesting

  18. Gman Says:

    Fuck’n a. This is some great writing. Your analysis is spot on. The house of cards is close to toppling. We can only hope the prosecutors have ulcers and can’t sleep at night thinking of the mess they are in having charged 192 people. Being a litigator I can tell you that us attorneys sometimes regret what we got ourselves into. These fuckers are looking for a way out most definitely. Can’t say again what good writing and analysis this us. Keep it up.

  19. Bone Head Says:

    Now I’m not going to sleep tonight; anticipating the next report.
    Thank you Rebel.

  20. david Says:

    The corrupt and criminal Texas gov power base’s covering, withholding, alteration and destruction of, prima facie evidence is blatant criminality

    Reyna’s continued appearance before his “former” law partner is blatant conflict of interest

    Meanwhile, some of the public don’t want to even be near the courthouse

  21. rocco151 Says:


    I’ve followed your site for some time and have learned a lot from “my elders” as far as the etiquette of the road …I thank them and I thank you for your hard work. This article was another milestone in your impressive career !

    Proud to be a reader…proud to be a financial supporter !

  22. FF Says:

    Chris Frost, don’t eat the Brown acid.

  23. Lofty Says:

    Donated. Wish I could give more… Thank you Rebel, for everything you do.

  24. Austin Says:

    “Bad things happen when late postmodern subcultural commodification intersects with the corrections industry.”

    Just this sentence, is totally worth the price of admission. Keep after those pompous bastards.

  25. Paula Carroll Swann Says:

    Oh, but they gave her all the evidence remember, the pole cam is blacked out on the right side of which would show more of the parking lot area where the 8 from Dallas was backing up at.
    Connecting those DOTS are important, why Fuchs is forwarding her emails to Reyna (ATTORNEY CLIENT PRIVILEGE ) means nothing to these cheaters of LIFE.
    Broden found in the discovery where they accidentally sent him jail house phone recordings of him & Clenndenn… I bet they did all of them.
    This Wacko justice of hiding evidence & the other 11 officer’s who fired, if 14 officer’s was placed on administrative leave as standard procedure after firing their weapons that day.

  26. stroker Says:

    Wonderful reporting Rebel. Too bad all the prospective jurors don’t or can’t read this. Hope you’re holding up well in Whacko, the town of corruption.

  27. hero Says:

    “Let the dismissals” and lawsuits paying out huge amounts begin.

  28. Cookie Says:

    Let’s hope it all falls apart!

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