Another Waco Judge Recused

October 2, 2017

All Posts, News

Another Waco Judge Recused

Waco Judge Matt Johnson has disqualified himself from presiding over the trial of former Scimitars Motorcycle Club member Matthew Clendennen.

Clendennen, who was present at but who does not appear to have participated in the Twin Peaks Biker Brawl on May 17, 2015 is charged with Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity, His trial is scheduled to begin on November 6. In a recusal motion filed earlier today, Clendennen’s attorney, Clint Broden wrote, “Lest there be any doubt, Mr. Clendennen would like to go to trial on that date.”

Last Thursday, Broden filed two motions with Johnson on behalf of another Twin Peaks indictee named Burton George Bergman. One motion seeks to disqualify the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office from prosecuting Bergman and asks that a temporary prosecutor be appointed for the Bergman case. Another motion asked Johnson to disqualify himself from ruling on the first motion. Johnson still remains the presiding judge in the Bergman case.

“So far on Bergman we have only asked Johnson to recuse himself for the motion to disqualify but who knows what the future will bring,” Broden said.

Last month, the only other criminal judge in Waco, Ralph Strother, was disqualified, or recused, from trying four other Twin Peaks cases. Ironically, Strother now seems to be the judge most likely to preside over Clendennen’s case.

Interrogating Reyna

Broden outlined Clendennen’s defense in the motion filed today.

Broden argued that “Clendennen is completely innocent;” and that he is “the victim of political opportunism.” Broden intends to put Reyna on the witness stand to interrogate him about his insistence on arresting 177 mostly innocent witnesses after the brawl.

Johnson either had to recuse himself or be recused by another judge. By law, a “judge must recuse (himself) in any proceeding in which…the judge or a lawyer with whom the judge previously practiced law has been a material witness concerning the proceeding.”

Johnson (above right) and Reyna (above left) previously practiced law together in a firm called Reyna & Johnson and then called Reyna, Johnson & Reed.
Reyna & Johnson LLP described itself as “a small organization in the legal services industry located in Waco, Texas,” founded “in 2002,” that had “six fulltime employees” and generated “an estimated $362,486 USD in annual revenue.”

After Johnson stepped aside, Broden sent out a press release that read:

“We are very pleased that Judge Johnson did the right thing and did what is required by Texas law. Abel Reyna will be a material witness in the Twin Peaks’ trial given that he ordered the arrest of 177 motorcyclists despite the fact that the three acting police chiefs on the scene that day and the lead detective correctly believed that many of the motorcyclists were mere witnesses and not suspects. Mr. Reyna also testified at a hearing under oath that he had extensive discussions with Waco Police Detective Manuel Chavez concerning the preparation of the ‘fill-in-the-name’ arrest affidavits whereas Detective Chavez testified he never talked to Mr. Reyna that night. As a matter of science, both statements cannot be true. The United States Constitution guarantees any defendant the right to a judge that is completely impartial. Mr. Clendennen deserves nothing less. Here, the prior relationship between Judge Johnson and Abel Reyna as law partners creates a conflict in a case Mr. Reyna’s credibility will be aggressively challenged.”



21 Responses to “Another Waco Judge Recused”

  1. Jim Jones Says:

    @rw: Read the Law, it says: “has been or will likely”

    Texas Constitution and the Rules of Civil Procedure.1 (All recusals, including in criminal cases, are governed by Rule of Civil Procedure 18a:
    14: A judge must also recuse himself if the judge, his former law partner, or his close relative “has been or will likely” be a material witness in the case.

  2. rw Says:

    Hasnt been said the DA is going to be put on the stand in that case I don’t believe

  3. Jim Jones Says:

    OK, let me try to wrap my microscopic mind around this. Johnson HAD to recuse himself in the Clendennen trial because of a previous Partnership with Reyna? Yet, Johnson is hearing the Carrizal case? Well let’s see, Johnson and Reyna were STILL Law partners (yup), Reyna will still be the DA (yup), Reyna will still have to testify (yup), so what’s the difference?

  4. Gandalf Says:

    Remember… If the moment should come when you find yourself standing next to an unprepared, uncaring idiot.. on Trial for your life.. Fire Him in open court in front of the jury/judge and be holding certified letters to prove He is not doing what you asked Him to do. (Surprise!)
    Your Lawyer can not say that because the Judge already ruled against the exact same motion in another case you can’t file one. HE’S WRONG. Without filing the motion yourself… you give up the right to appeal based on that Motion.

  5. Dutchboy Says:

    “who’s on first?”. “No, Who is on second, What is on first.”. This is straight up slapstick. Only problem is, men’s lives are on the line so it ain’t funny. Well said Gandalf, hope the defendants read and take heed.

  6. Big Al Says:

    Senior Judge Doug Shaver has been appointed to preside over the Nov. 6 trial of Matthew Clendennen in Waco. The senior judge appears to be a hybrid of an extinct dinosaur and a more recently deceased sea turtle. He is also not biker-friendly.

  7. Iron Rider Says:

    rw Says:
    October 3, 2017 at 2:09 pm
    Saying Johnson disqualified himself is playing fast and loose with the truth. More like Johnson didn’t fight disqualification after being confronted with his already wrong doings.


    And that’s why I stated earlier that Reyna, Johnson and Strothers want everyone to believe that everything is on the up and up. I agree with you Johnson want to out out the perception that he did it on his own, but in reality he would of had to do it anyways due to the motion filed….all about appearances….lol

  8. rw Says:

    Saying Johnson disqualified himself is playing fast and loose with the truth. More like Johnson didn’t fight disqualification after being confronted with his already wrong doings.

  9. Gandalf Says:

    Dear Public Defender, Please File a Motion for Change of Venue on my behalf asap and request a Hearing. Please also File Motions to recluse judge ______ based on the Facts outlined in Clint Brodens motion and Cassie Grotto’s motions. Please be sure to include Able Reyna is on the Witness List as a Material witness and file a Motion to recluse Mr Reyna from my case. Based on the previous rulings and Texas Law I feel these motions are reasonable and appealable if ruled against me. Please request a hearing for all motions. Should you feel these motions are not necessary to provide me with a fair trial please advise me IN WRITING as to your reasons why you will not file these motions immediately. Please also schedule a 3hr meeting asap to discuss the Discovery evidence and rulings to date.
    TY for your time and defense,
    The Defendant
    Sent: Certified Oct 2, 2017 (RR)

  10. Gordo Says:

    Wheels of justice are rolling

    slow but roĺling

  11. Hero Says:

    Keep stacking the Deck Waco. You need more publicity for tourist to be attracted to your community? Wasn’t David koresh enough for Waco? Need a ruby ridge? Or just to screw over others from different counties to pay your wages? Hey Wako Wake up. Your city is going to go broke over this. Fire your district attorney before he bankrupt your system

  12. kenny Says:

    A ball of shit is rolling. Bu the time it gets done it will have WAVO wrapped up inside it. Now how to stay outta ssid ball. The gentslman that said motion billsble motions fitebpublic defenders right in court.. Fight dirty law with their won game. But if ya got to go thru it sorry for your hell.

  13. Jaded Says:

    Not sure what the law might allow but if for one reason or another, no judge in Waco can hear one or more cases, can a judge from another county in Texas be brought in?

  14. david Says:

    Reyna never has cared about honor, virtue, morality or ethics. His sole “job” has been to do everything possible to maintain his 98 % conviction rate.

  15. david Says:

    Corrupt Reyna never had the necessary qualifications to hold office in the first place.

  16. david Says:

    The PD’s (Public “Defenders”), work for the court, not the accused. The PD’s are appointed to guarantee the accused receive a fantasy “trial”, get convicted and have NO appealable issues. The accused with P D’s, really need to fire their asses.

  17. Iron Rider Says:

    Only in Waco. So Johnson recuses himself and they can only seem to find Strothers.

    ‘Oh lord it’s a miracle” Reyna must be saying to himself that Strothers is available to step into Johnson shoes and hear Clendennen’s case. You’d almost swear that this a case of inbreeding where everyone you know is your brother, cousin or relative.

    How can anyone seriously believe that ANY defendant from Twin Peaks is going to a fair trial when these cases keep getting circled to the two judges that have been involved in the whole thing since the start? It’s beyond a joke.

    What’s really funny is that Reyna, Strothers and Johnson all play it like everything is on the up and up and nothing wrong here and must seriously believe that anyone outside of their world actually buys any of their shit.

    I am sure the appeals that are sure to be filed will explicitly state how the only judges that seem to be able to hear cases in Waco are Storthers or Johnson and if you ask to recuse one or the other that you still will get stuck with one or the other anyway….lol talk about a gong show

  18. Gandalf Says:

    The Defendants need to start taking aim at their own Lawyers. A part of the Waco corruption machine. Certified Letters, complaints to the Judges, then complaints against both Lawyer and Judge to the Texas bar. Bury them in a blizzard of paperwork, preserve appeal and create billable hours.

  19. Gandalf Says:

    Considering the gene pool in the Waco area a simple DNA test could exclude all the Judges and most of the Jurors. Strother and Johnson should be gone for good. Why other Lawyers haven’t filed all the same motions as CBroden is beyond me. Tell me again how Mr Carrizal will stand Trial in this Judges court in a few weeks. People with PDs need to send them all Certified Letters asking for the same motion. Make them work… drain the $$$ and/or file complaints to the Judge and Texas Bar. Drain the whole Waco swamp.

  20. Freebird Says:

    If this does not rise to the level of change of venue I don’t know what does!

  21. rw Says:

    Does this open a window to possibly keep both Strother and Johnson from hearing any of these cases?

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