Day five of the maddeningly slow Jake Carrizal trial in Waco ended with a cliff hanger, like the previous four days.
The day began with testimony from a polite, professional, retired cop named James Owens who used to work in the Waco police computer forensics lab. He was a consummate government employee. He took meticulous notes and photographed everything, He recorded the contents of phones belonging to defendant Christopher Jacob Carrizal and Bandidos Marshall Mitchell and Ray Allen.
The prosecution tried to enter the original downloads from those phones into evidence. Casie Gotro, who is defending Carrizal, never saw the original downloads, only copies. She objected to their entry into the court record until she had a chance to examined them. A two hour delay followed and the judge, Matt Johnson, District Attorney Abel Reyna’s former law partner, was very annoyed – with the prosecution.
Eventually about 30 snippets of text from the defendants phone were allowed into the trial.
The snippets were selected by “motorcycle gang expert” Chris Schaefer, an Agent in Charge and polygraph examiner with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Schaefer has always wanted to testify as an expert. He has a degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in speech and it doesn’t matter that he couldn’t find the start button on a motorcycle with a map. He is an expert because he has observed a couple Hells Angels National Runs, a couple of Bandidos National Runs and he goes to Sturgis every year with a pair of binoculars.
Schaefer sees criminality everywhere and he is never heard of the logical fallacy of circular reasoning. The Bandidos, he reckons, are a criminal organization because the things they do are criminal, And the criminal things they do are criminal because they are Bsandidos. Which proves that the Bandits and the things they do are criminal. And so on.
Succinctly put, the Bandidos are criminal because they were very concerned about being attacked by members of the Cossacks Motorcycle Club. If it had been Schaefer, he testified, he would have stopped riding a bike, if he rode a bike, when the Cossacks told him to stop riding a bike. Also, apparently, at one point in one text the defendant referred to members of the Blue Knights Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club using a homosexual slur. So there you go.
Schaefer thinks that signing off a message with the closing “Love, Loyalty and Respect” is “very much one percenter.” And he remembered that there was violence at a Confederation of Clubs meeting in El Paso in 2012. Although, no one else remembers that.
Thee prosecution called the defendant’s younger brother, Zach Carrizal, a motorcycle mechanic and the president of the Bandidos Ruidoso, New Mexico chapter to the stand. It looked like a cruel attempt to terrorize the defendant’s mother. It did not work. As it turned out, the younger Carrizal really didn’t know anything pertinent to his blood brother’s case.
A former Palo Pinto County Deputy named John Hardin testified that in March 2015 approximately 20 Bandidos assaulted a lone Cossack at the Bar B truck stop, beat him with a claw hammer and stole his vest. No one was ever prosecuted for that crime.
Then things finally picked up about four in the afternoon when Waco Swat Sergeant Stephen Drews took the stand. Drews commanded the 12 other Waco Swat “operators” (as Delta Force refers to its members as “operators”) who were at the Twin Peaks on May 17, 2015.
Drews testimony was apparently straightforward but he seemed to know less that Zach Carrizal. His testimony generally agreed with the incident report he wrote after the gunfight.
He was instructed to develop a tactical plan on May 10. Swat was there to deter violence. When he got there, he was surprised that so many Cossacks had taken all the seats and all the parking spaces. A rookie officer named Nicki Stone was riding with Swat that day. Last week The Associated Press reported that Stone’s bodycam recorded her saying “I really didn’t think it was going to end like this. I thought that we were supposed to stay back and let them fight this out.”
That snippet of small talk didn’t come up in either today’s direct examination or cross examination.
Court recessed about 5:45 p.m. Gotro will resume her cross examination of Drews tomorrow at 9 a.m.