McLennan County District Attorney Abelino Reyna and Waco police propagandist and failed Sheriff wannabe Patrick Swanton reacted to yesterday’s decision by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to lift a year-long gag order in the strange and terrible case of the Waco, Texas Twin Peaks ambush.
Nine men died and another 19 were wounded in a confrontation between members of the Cossacks and Bandidos Motorcycle Clubs on May 17, 2015. Waco police and officers of the Texas Department of Public Safety knew in advance that there would be a confrontation and rather than stopping it decided to video record it. At least four of the dead, and possibly a fifth, were killed by Waco police officers Michael Bucher and Heath Jackson using model XM 15-E2S, 5.56 x 45mm caliber select-fire rifles manufactured by Bushmaster Firearms International. Jackson was described by other officers as laying down “suppressive fire” during the incident. Thirteen months after the incident Bucher and Jackson remain on administrative duty although neither man has been charged with any crime nor have their actions been reviewed by a grand jury.
Reyna was aware that most of the people taken into custody after the incident were innocent of any crime. Texas Rangers had already worked out the logistics of releasing most of them. But about eight hours after the smoke cleared Reyna conceived and implemented a conspiracy to conceal and cover up embarrassing and possibly illegal, official actions that resulted in the carnage. That official conspiracy was intended to control information and misinformation about the Twin Peaks ambush and events that preceded it. One way in which Reyna and other officials controlled the official narrative was by locking up witnesses.
The conspiracy was business as usual in the Waco criminal justice system. ESPN and various news agencies have documented that the Waco Police Department concealed information about crimes committed by members of the Baylor University football team. Swanton, in his role as Public Information Officer for the Waco police was also part of the conspiracy to cover up official misdeeds and mislead the world’s press after the bloody brawl at the Twin Peaks. The gag order enforced against Dallas Attorney Clint Broden, one of the most outspoken defenders in the criminal cases created by the Waco conspiracy, was sought in furtherance of that conspiracy to cover up the facts of the incident.
Yesterday, when the gag order was finally lifted, Reyna issued a written statement that said:
“The Gag Order was requested by the State to help preserve and maintain everyone’s right to a fair trial. I want to commend the Judge on his effort in doing so by issuing the Gag Order. While we may not agree with the Court of Criminal Appeals, we respect their decision.
“With that said, the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office will continue to make every effort to preserve everyone’s right to fair trial by not commenting any further on this matter. In short, we will leave our talking for the courtroom.”
As a matter of public record, Reyna has stymied numerous efforts by defense attorneys in the case, most notably Houston lawyer Paul Looney, to get their clients to trial where they might finally prove their innocence. In one hearing, Reyna actually had the audacity to claim that none of the defendants could be tried until Waco police had examined the social media tracks of every defendant.
Broden And Swanton
After Reyna issued his statement, Broden issued his own press release which said:
“Strangely, following the vacating of the gag order, McLennan County District Attorney Abelino Reyna issued a statement saying that his office would now leave its ‘talking for the courtroom.’ Nevertheless, Reyna held a press conference only a few days after the tragic Twin Peaks incident declaring all the motorcyclists guilty in a transparent effort to taint the McLennan County jury pool and he then later held another press conference, when the gag order was still in effect, announcing the first round of indictments in the case.
“The Waco Police Department and the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office engaged in a concerted effort to control the narrative, scare the public and taint the jury pool immediately following the Twin Peaks tragedy during numerous press conferences held before local, state, national and international media. It was only after t he media and public began to realize that a large majority of the motorcyclists were innocent of any criminal wrongdoing and the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office realized it could not longer control the narrative that Reyna sought the ill fated gag order that has now been lifted.”
Swanton replied to Broden by telling Dane Schiller of the Houston Chronicle: “We don’t comment on the rhetoric defense attorneys use trying to protect their clients who have been arrested for criminal offenses.”