Waco Judge Does Right Thing

August 31, 2018

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Waco Judge Does Right Thing

In a phone hearing this morning, before 7 a.m. Pacific Time, 19th State District Judge Ralph Strother in McLennan County Texas indefinitely continued the trial of Bandidos Motorcycle Club San Antonio chapter president Tom Modesto Mendez.

Mendez had been scheduled to stand trial September 10. He is accused of first degree felony riot for allegedly participating in the so-called “Biker Brawl” at the now defunct Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco on May 17, 2015. The brawl erupted after a pack of about 20 Bandidos and their supporters were ambushed by about 70 members of the Cossacks Motorcycle Club and their supporters in a police instigated, premeditated attack.

Mendez would have been the second Bandido chapter officer to be tried for attending a Texas Confederation of Clubs and Independents meeting at the restaurant that Sunday. Dallas chapter president Christopher Jacob Carrizal was charged with numerous felonies, including nine counts of murder, last fall. The trial lingered for more than six weeks. Prosecutors blatantly withheld numerous items of evidence – much of it exculpatory. Eventually the jury hung and judge Matt Johnson declared a mistrial.

Sua Sponte

Strother acted sua sponte, which is lawyer’s Latin for acting without a motion, when he indefinitely postponed the Mendez trial today. Strother told prosecutors Gabriel Price, Robert Moody, Gabrielle Massey, Hilary LaBorde and Staci Scaman that he “felt uncomfortable with the case” because it “could result in an absurd verdict.”

Although Mendez is formally charged with rioting, he is actually being charged, de facto, with three counts of murder. Prosecutors claim to have evidence that Mendez fired a gun during the melee. From a distance, the case against him looks like a desperate attempt by lame duck district attorney Abel Reyna to justify his handling of more than 200 criminal cases that resulted from the Twin Peaks tragedy.

Mendez is being defended by McAllen, Texas attorney Jaime Pena. He was previously represented by Mark Metzger, of Galveston.

Hearing

During a seven-hour hearing yesterday, Pena tried to get Mendez’ indictment dismissed for unconstitutional “vagueness and overbreadth” and Metzger tried to resign from the case. Prosecutors objected to both motions.

The wording in the indictment is imaginative. It misrepresents the Texas rioting law. But prosecutors told Strother they had used the Texas District and County Attorneys Association charging manual as a guide.

According to Tommy Witherspoon of the Waco Tribune-Herald, Strother told prosecutors yesterday, “What troubles me is that you are trying to convict him of murder without charging him with murder…. Does it bother anybody that you are taking what usually is a Class B misdemeanor and making it where someone is facing life in prison?”

With the typical charm and professional courtesy that epitomizes Reyna’s subordinates, prosecutors argued that Metzger’s withdrawal would strengthen a potential appeal on grounds of ineffective assistance of counsel if Pena was left in charge of the case alone and they prevail.

Strother sided with the prosecution on both issues. He upheld the legality of the indictment and he ordered Metzger to stay formally connected to the case.

This Morning

But this morning the judge decided to call the whole thing off until Reyna leaves office.

Prosecutors accused Strother of allowing his “personal feelings” to interfere with his professional judgement and they demanded that Strother set a trial date before the end of Reyna’s term.

Strother refused to reset the trial.

This morning Pena said, “This was a wise decision from the judge.”

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13 Responses to “Waco Judge Does Right Thing”

  1. Filburt Says:

    Abel Reyna has cost Waco and McClenan taxpayers to the point their taxes has skyrocketed. “When ya play you gotta pay” !
    https://www.wacotrib.com/news/business/homeowners-tax-burden-increasing-as-values-skyrocket-rates-inch-down/article_c33873e0-be6b-500d-9560-cc90bf481dc5.html

  2. Johnny Bolivar Says:

    To Rebel: Thank you for all the good work keeping us well posted on the Waco Twin Peaks massacre and maneuvers which follow.

    To Iron Rider: I think your forecast will show to be accurate as even more time passes on this fustercluck. Is Judge Sam Sparks waiting for the second coming of Christ before he does something with the stack of civil cases collecting dust in his court?

  3. Iron Rider Says:

    Reading the Waco Trib link Filburt provided that Strothers would push Twin Peaks cases into next year so Johnson can have a fresh look at them, one would think that Strothers is being prudent, but Honestly I think this case had loser written all over it.

    Rather than having another stinging defeat on Reyna’s watch Strother saves himself and Reyna some face by pushing into Johnson’s tenure. I hope Johnson will see what a waste these are and move to dismiss them all. I still get the sense that there is an effort to save old uncle Reyna Reputation by having someone else kill off the Twin Peaks cases so Reyna can say “I would have prosecuted them all but the decision was made after my term ended”

    Still seems like an ass saving excercise.

  4. david Says:

    “Attorney-judge” Strother, as “attorney=judge” Johnson did, continues to protect their attorney-club frater Un-Able Reyna, due to the multi-million dollar lawsuits Reyna and others are defendants to.

    When there was a real good chance of a not guilty in Jake’s persecution, Jack-Ass Johnson pronounced a mistrial to preclude the not guilty jury determination.

    The best thing these attorney-club fraters could do, would be to resign their bull-shit self-interest protecting offices, and go plow a field somewhere soon.

  5. david Says:

    Absurd Strother, used the defining word of the entire, absurd,cluster-fuck known as Waco. His eyes STILL look like two pee-holes in the snow, even when he’s saying it as Waco truly is.

  6. freebird Says:

    Strother told prosecutors Gabriel Price, Robert Moody, Gabrielle Massey, Hilary LaBorde and Staci Scaman that he “felt uncomfortable with the case” because it “could result in an absurd verdict.”

    Well….. define absurd

    Not Guilty comes to mind

    The Fucking Horror

  7. Iron Rider Says:

    Strothers should have dismissed this shit show period. Strothers feigning how he is so concerned about this trumped up charge ought to be concerned, too bad it wasnt years ago when Reyna first indicted a lot of these people on the trumped up charges then.

    The fact that this is another defendant to twist in the wind for god knows how long pisses me off, like how much longer are these people going to have to live with this shit over their heads? Strothers could have dismissed this all long ago but he still wants people to twist in the wind till Reyna is out of office and then Strothers will have to do what he should have done long ago, dismiss the rest of these cases.

    This is Strothers still helping Reyna save face and then Strothers can pretend moral outrage as Reyna isnt there to face it, which you can bet he will. Strothers just doesnt want his old pal Reyna to spend another 500k on a case he is bound to lose.

  8. freebird Says:

    Fuck Strother…..

    If this does NOT tell the world there is no case but we can’t admit that I don’t know what would

    Go to trial or dismiss them all

    Oh there is that pesky little problem of civil matters.

    The only way I would have any respect for Strother is if he walked down the hall and put a bullet in Reyna’s brain than ate one himself

  9. 31st Says:

    Reyna is a termite.

    This is dedicated to you, and your entire bastard brood

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wB3XGrWZQlM

  10. Filburt Says:

    Some have more confidence in Strother than I do.

  11. Paula Carroll Swann Says:

    Thank you Judge Strother’s. Broden proved that the arrest affidavit are no good because detective Chavez admitted that he had no knowledge of these people. Callahan & Looney showed that the new indictments was done in a illegal manner of not having new cause numbers as the law state’s.
    So if the arrest affidavit are no good then there was no probable cause for an of these arrested, Barry Johnson is now going to have to rewrite all those who was dismissed because technology of it saying probable cause for arrest isn’t a real dismissal.
    The facts that they keep confusing the law of what to charge these people with is proof that they are INNOCENT PEOPLE. The DA seriously needs to free themselves of these case’s.

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