Down Goes Gotro

October 13, 2017

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Down Goes Gotro

The defense of Dallas Bandido Christopher Jacob Carrizal punched itself in the face today. Aurora, Colorado “motorcycle gang expert” Doug Pearson was on the stand at the time.

Pearson began his testimony, and his accompanying PowerPoint presentation, yesterday. Carrizal’s defense attorney, Casie Gotro objected to numerous elements of the presentation and complained that it had not been shown to her in advance. So Pearson was back today with a revised slide show. His testimony was just about what anybody would have expected. Pearson is a policeman who sees rampant criminality everywhere in the motorcycle club world.

As Will Dulaney, an anthropologist who has written cogently and sympathetically about the motorcycle club counterculture, put it during one of today’s several breaks, “When the only tool in your box is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

RMHF

For example, Pearson is skeptical that a patch reading “RMHF” means “Ride Motorcycles Have Fun.” The patch was on a vest seized after the Twin Peaks Biker Brawl and the essence of Pearson’s reaction to it was that he doesn’t actually know what that means but it can’t mean what it actually means because why would a “gang member” put that on his vest. Pearson thinks that “gang members” and their sympathizers always give fictitious replies when asked what various “gang” acronyms mean – like the time I wore a big belt buckle to a preliminary hearing in this case last month and told the bailiff that the letters on it meant “Send Your Legos Back.”

Pearson’s testimony was both cagey and predictable. He knows what “BFFB” means. He knows what a three-piece-patch is. He knows the difference between a probate and a prospect. He has never heard of a “striker.” He thinks motorcycle clubs are “criminal enterprises” and he doesn’t give the impression of being a bright man. Homicide detectives are much more likely to be bright people than biker experts.

The problem with motorcycle gang experts in general is that the field is very inbred and never subject to anything approaching skepticism or peer review. The opinions of biker gang experts are never questioned or disputed by criminologists, psychologists, anthropologists, sociologists or historians. A bunch of bikers took over Hollister in 1947, as Darrin Kozlowski was able to assert yesterday, and that’s that. The field is “FCBC,” which of course, as real experts know, signifies “For Cops By Cops.”

Learned Experts

In all of America there are only about nine broadly recognized biker experts and probably an equal number who have testified regionally. The main qualifications of most of the regional experts is that they took one or more workshops with one or more of the nine more broadly known experts.

Pearson and Chris Schaefer are both from Denver and they fall somewhere between nationally and regionally recognized authorities. Between them they have “trained” thousands of cops.

Chuck Schoville, is a former head of the International Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Investigators Association, a fellow of a rumor mill called the Rocky Mountain Information Network and the State Gang Training Coordinator for Arizona’s notorious GIITEM.

Schoville was allowed to retire from the Tempe Police Department after it was discovered he had lied about being discriminating against.

Here’s a little taste of Chuck.

Schoville said something telling about motorcycle club investigations after the air went out of Operation Black Biscuit. He said: “Maybe the outcome (of Black Biscuit) wasn’t the desired outcome. But there’s kinda two outcomes. There’s the outcome you read about in the newspaper and that is the prison sentences and some of the dismissals. But, there was also the outcome that you see on the streets. We got Hells Angels that all of a sudden decide, ‘You know that’s not the lifestyle for me and they’re leavin’ the club. It feels like a game of cat and mouse.”

More Experts

Jorge Gil-Blanco also works for the Rocky Mountain Information Network. You can read his resume here.

ATF agent John Ciccone rarely testifies although his associate Darren Kozlowski testified in the Carrizal trial yesterday. ATF analyst Jeremy Sheetz, whose name came up in Pearson’s testimony today, never goes to court. You can learn a little more about him here.

Steve Cook who owns the Heartland Law Enforcement Training Institute and is the Executive Director and President of the Midwest Outlaw Motorcycle Gang Investigators Association may be the best known biker “gang expert” in the country because Steve likes to do TV. He describes himself on Facebook as a “Public Person.” Here is a little taste of Steve.

Terry Katz is a former Maryland State Policeman who claims to have infiltrated the Pagans during the late 1970s. He is also associated with the IOMGIA.

FCBC

All of these “experts” only testify for the prosecution and their opinions are never challenged by biker defense experts, of which, at this time there may, arguably, be three: William Dulaney, David Devereaux and Donald Charles Davis.

Throughout the morning Gotro, whose examination style seemed to be extemporaneous and distracted, punctuated by moments of incredulity and outrage, kept Pearson on the stand. She argued with him. She never made a fool out of him once. “Well wouldn’t you think,” she seemed to ask over and over.

And each time, Pearson would answer, “No.” Or, “I don’t understand your question.”

The two often seemed to talk at cross purposes to one another and when they did understand each other Gotro seemed to be trying to catch Pearson in a lie. It was probably a mistake to extend the expert’s time in front of the jury rather than minimizing it. He was a prosecution witness. He was offering his opinions. Gotro wasn’t going to change his mind.

About 11:30 she began asking him how he knows what he thinks he knows and in the course of that she managed to get him to say over and over to the jury that “wearing that patch” means you are “regularly engaging in criminal acts.” In case the jury wasn’t yet convinced, she got him to reiterate several times that the Confederation of Clubs is a way for the Bandidos and other brand name motorcycle clubs to control what happens in their territories. She invited him to tell the jurors that “the Bandidos are the same as the Bloods, the Crips and the Mafia.”

Texas Versus The Bandits

This is the third, recent Bandidos trial in Texas, beginning with the trial and acquittal of of Curtis Jackson Lewis in Abilene in December 2015. Most recently, Pearson testified at the Fort Worth trial of Bandido Howard Wayne Baker in June. Baker was convicted.

Nevertheless, Gotro seemed completely unprepared. When Pearson volunteered that his job is to “proactively” “deter” crime she never asked him about the part of policing that involves keeping the peace, at places like the Twin Peaks on May 17, 2015. Some lawyers might not have bothered to argue with an outlaw biker expert. Gotro boldly went where other lawyers might fear to tread.

Pearson testified that he has been part of the investigative team that has been reviewing evidence in the Twin Peaks case, including evidence gathered from cell phones, for two years. Gotro has been complaining that she has been denied access to the cellphones.

In cross examining Pearson, she seemed to be both incensed and curious about what he might know that she didn’t. Amazingly, the prosecution actually tried to stop her from punching herself in the face. Assistant District Attorney Michael Jarrett objected to her line of questioning. So then all the lawyers marched into Judge Matt Johnson’s chambers for five minutes and when they came out Johnson, who has been accused of favoring the prosecution in this case, let her continue.

Dogs Smell Bacon

Gotro invited Pearson to present the prosecution’s case to the jury. So he did. And the jury, which until then had seemed bored stiff, suddenly sat up like dogs who smell bacon.

“Is it true,” Gotro demanded to know, thet “the Cossacks had put a $500 bounty on Bandidos patches.”

“It was a planned encounter” Pearson answered obliquely, “and there is evidence the Bandidos planned it.” Probably Perry Mason would have stopped right there.

But Casie Gotro is fierce. She was not afraid. She was outraged. She invited him to tell the jury about that evidence. “Evidence that the Bandidos planned this violent encounter!?!”

“I have seen communication among the Bandidos…based on evidence from phones seized at the crime scene.”

Gotro, whose big, red button is named “cellphone” said, “You honor I must object.”

Abel Reyna, the district attorney, and Jarret told Johnson that Gotro had already been given the same evidence Pearson has seen. That’s when Gotro actually said, “I haven’t had time to go through…” before she stopped herself. Shook her head and grimaced with frustration.

Prosecution Case

Johnson let Pearson tell his tale and the entire case against Jake Carrizal spilled out like pig guts.

The Twin Peaks brawl occurred, Pearson said, because a highly respected and influential Bandido named Marshall Mitchell “gave the Cossacks permission to wear a Texas bottom rocker and then he revoked that permission.”

“Where did you get that evidence?”

“From the state.”

“Your honor, I need to know what this man reviewed…. I want to know when this evidence was turned over to him.”

“No problem, we’ll get that to her right away,” Reyna chimed in.

Pearson, at Gotro’s invitation, also told the fascinated jury that there were “many” text messages in which COC&I members were instructed to “bring tools.” By tools, Pearson explained, the texters meant guns. Other messages warned attendees to leave their women at home.

The jurors loved it.

Court recessed for the weekend at 12:40 p.m. Gotro will have until nine on Monday to figure out how to close this wound. The first witness will again be Pearson.

 

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53 Responses to “Down Goes Gotro”

  1. Mark Says:

    Every word out of her mouth needs to be asking the judge for a, Mistrial because she was never in the loop of information that was refused to be giving under Discovery. Also, the state is bring in witnesses that are under oath talking about their personal, opinion. When is opinion, the Truth, whole Truth and nothing but the truth. It’s not, why did she let such BS go on during the trial? She should have been jumping up and down demanding a mistrial. And should have had someone on her legal team pushing for a federal judge to stop the trial for a period of time, at the very least.

  2. david Says:

    Effective counsel rule No.1. Never,allow the persecution to put so-called experts, not present at a fight, on the “witness stand”, so they can open their lying mouths to speak any words to negatively influence the jurors mind with pre-conceived false ideas on any subject, much less MC’s.

    If the judge allows such bull-shit, then effective counsel objects in open court, with the jury present, to every single statement made on the grounds of their statements being irrelevant to the charges.

    THEN, and only then,as the bull-shit is objected to in the lower court, is the accused able to appeal a conviction before the higher reviewing court.

    Jacob needs this preserved for appeal, as this is a huge and important issue.

  3. Paladin Says:

    This trial is as much about convincing the jury that the club in question meets the Texas definition of a criminal street gang as it is about convicting Carrizal. The reason they’re trying Carrizal first is because at the time of the fight, Carrizal was VP of the club in question and is now the P. of that same club.

    If Carrizal is convicted as charged, the prosecution gets a twofer. The prosecution not only gets Carrizal but by default they also succeed in legally establishing the club in question as a criminal street gang, which in turn makes it much easier to secure convictions or plea deals from the other defendants.

    Paladin

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