The stonewall in Waco is starting to crumble. Lawyers keep throwing pieces of paper at it. The papers are heavy with words.
Four defense lawyers in the Waco Twin Peaks Mass Murder case threw motions at McLennan County District Attorney Abelino Reyna yesterday. David Conrad Beyer who represents Billy Jason McRee; Brian Bouffard who works for Jorge Daniel Salinas; Robert G. Callahan, II acting on behalf of William Aikin; and Clint Broden for Matthew Clendennen all filed motions that make it incontrovertible that the District Attorney’s Office, the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Federal Bureau of Investigation have been covering up the truth about the mass murder for the last 31 months. Together, they have been using their official powers and have spent at least millions of taxpayer dollars to frame men and women they know to be factually innocent of any crime while at the same time declining to prosecute slam dunk murders.
Just this autumn Reyna and his criminal co-conspirators have repeatedly lied in court and encouraged federal, state and local police witnesses to lie in court. There are only three real questions about all of this shameless, official criminality by Reyna and his trusted assistants: Why are they doing this and what makes them think they can get away with it? Don’t they know what prison is like for cops and prosecutors who frame innocent people?
The leading faction of the Waco defenders, including the attorneys named above but excluding Casie Gotro – who is the only one of them who has gone to trial so far – are defending their clients by shoving Reyna into a corner and rat packing him. Next they are going to put Reyna in a witness box and expose his character.
In his motion Beyer wrote:
“The defense in this case will elicit testimony regarding Mr. Reyna’s decision to ignore the collective knowledge of all three assistant police chiefs on the scene at Twin Peaks on May 17, 2015 as well as the two lead detectives assigned to the case and advocate for the arrest of approximately 177 motorcyclists including Mr. Mcree. Mr. Reyna has testified that this usurpation was based, in part, on his personal observations from being at the Twin Peaks’ scene. In addition, Mr. Reyna will be in a position to testify as to whether Detective Manuel Chavez gave false testimony in connection to the Twin Peaks’ cases at the August 8, 2016 hearing in Clendennen and Nelson.”
“In this case, part of Mr. Salinas’s defense will be that he is the victim of Mr. Reyna’s political opportunism, in which Mr. Reyna abuses his authority by placing his personal ambition ahead of his duty to justice by prosecuting (among dozens and
dozens of others) Mr. Salinas, an innocent man. Consequently, under Brady, Mr. Salinas is entitled to any evidence to support the contention that Mr. Reyna makes prosecutorial decisions based upon political opportunism. This also extends to relevant materials even if they would not be admissible under the rules of evidence, and also to materials in the possession of any individuals connected to the investigation and prosecution of the case. Finally, because Mr. Reyna will be a witness in this case, under United States v. Bagley, Mr. Salinas would also be entitled to any evidence to support Mr. Reyna’s denials that he indeed acts on the basis of political opportunism.”
Callahan is more specific about what he wants to see.
For example, he wants notes of a witness conference held on October 31, 2017 (while the Carrizal trial was proceeding) between Waco detective Manuel Chavez and his personal attorney J.R. Vicha, that was attended by Reyna. The meeting was held so that Reyna and Chavez could make their crooked lies look straight. The motion alleges “that this meeting was in order to compare, and prepare, testimony in the upcoming court of inquiry hearing which is to be scheduled in the near future and ensure that the state and Mr. Chavez were ‘on the same page.’”
Callahan wants undisclosed evidence that was placed under seal by Reyna’s former law partner, Judge Matt Johnson, during the Carrizal trial and “undisclosed evidence released only to Casie Gotro during the Carrizal trial” “Undisclosed evidence which tends to show that Michael Jarrett has participated in actions which make him, and other members of the District Attorney’s Office, fact witnesses.” For example, an incident when “the prosecutors in the Carrizal matter were present in the room when a witness gave a recorded, exculpatory statement to the elected District Attorney which was not turned over to the defense.”
Reyna, Amanda Dillon and Michael Jarrett were all in a room with a Cossacks informant who told them, during a tape recorded interview, that the Waco murders were unconnected to any dispute over the Cossacks starting to wear a bottom rocker on their vests that said “Texas.” And yet the same prosecutors, as part of their case against Carrizal claimed Bandidos “went to war” with the Cossacks over the Texas bottom rocker. And then they hid the audio tape. Jarrett said the prosecutors had never turned over the tape because they “did not believe” the informant.
Most of the case against Carrizal comprised an extensive search of his personal, private texts and emails in order to find a way to use those personal, private thoughts and utterances against him. Usually, the people who explained what Carrizal really meant were “outlaw motorcycle gang experts.” Sometimes, the man who sarcastically and cruelly deconstructed Carrizal’s private thoughts was Jarrett himself.
So there is ironic justice in Callahan demanding access to “Undisclosed notes made by Mr. Jarrett for the purpose of writing a book.”
“Defendant has credible information which leads him to believe that First Assistant District Attorney Michael Jarrett has been keeping notes about items pertaining to the investigation and prosecution of this case which may contain mitigating or exculpatory information,” Callahan writes. “As it appears that the District Attorney has made himself, and his office, witnesses to this case any such notes are recorded recollections and are discoverable under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure §39.l4.6 Therefore, Defendant Moves this court ORDER the State to produce and permit the inspection and the electronic duplication, copying, and photographing of any written or recorded statements of Mr. Jarrett that constitute or contain evidence material to any matter involved in this action.”
Meanwhile Broden filed a motion for permission to make “An Offer of Proof” based on his good faith belief that Assistant District Attorneys Michael Jarrett, Amanda Dillon, Sterling Harmon and Discovery Coordinator Heather Nering possess Brady and/or Bagley evidence that they are not producing in violation of the United States Constitution.”
“In this case,” Broden wrote, “part of Mr. Clendennen’s defense will be that he was the victim of the political opportunism of the elected district attorney Abelino Reyna. Consequently, under Brady, Mr. Clendennen is entitled to any evidence to support his theory that Reyna makes prosecutorial decisions based upon political opportunism. This also extends to relevant materials even if they would not be admissible under the rules of evidence . Moreover, this extends to materials in the possession of any individuals connected to the investigation and prosecution of the case. Finally, because Reyna will be a witness in this case, under Bagley, Mr. Clendennen would also be entitled to any evidence to support Reyna’s denials that he acts on the basis of political opportunism.”
Broden tried to get proof of his allegations on the record at a hearing on November 20. That attempt was aborted by Judge Douglas Shaver who has replaced Johnson – Reyna’s former partner.
“At the November 20, 2017 hearing, the Court quashed the subpoenas for the District Attorney witnesses (Michael Jarrett, Amanda Dillon, Sterling Harmon and Heather Nering). Nevertheless, Mr. Clendennen has a good faith belief that these witnesses possess Brady and/or Bagley evidence that they are not producing in violation of the United States Constitution. During the hearing , on three separate occasions, the Court also refused to allow Mr. Clendennen to make an offer of proof as to his good faith belief that these witnesses do, in fact, possess Brady and/or Bagley evidence.”
“Despite this Court’s refusal to allow Mr. Clendennen to make an offer of proof, the Court of Criminal Appeals has made clear that ‘the right to make an offer of proof or perfect a bill of exception is absolute.’”
Maybe Shaver will reverse himself. Maybe he won’t. But nothing this replacement judge does or doesn’t do is going to get Reyna out of his corner.
The damnation is in the details.
“Jarrett next met with Agent Brust and encouraged others to meet with Agent Brust to discuss Reyna’s actions. Indeed, Jarrett met with Agent Brust before Davis, Dillon and West. Jarrett has made claims that Agent Brust asked him to remain in Reyna’s employ in order to act as the eyes of the FBI.”
“Jarrett has used a pocket recorder to record conversations with Reyna.”
“Dillon would identify law enforcement witnesses who could provide evidence that Reyna’s presence at the Twin Peaks scene was unwanted by law enforcement and that Reyna talked at the scene about how the arrests of all of the motorcyclists would make him Attorney General or Governor.”
“During my employment as a Waco Police officer, I began receiving information about an illegal gambling operation in Waco. I also received information that the organizers of the operation were close friends with the elected District Attorney Abel Reyna and made ‘under the table’ contributions to him in exchange for political favors.”
“I have been provided and I have reviewed Reyna’s phone records from May 17, 2015. Based upon my review, Reyna made three phone calls within approximately ninety minutes of the Twin Peaks’ shootings. Of those three phone calls, my investigation reveals that two of those calls were to persons I was investigating for running an illegal gambling operation and providing Reyna under the table campaign contributions.”
“Dillon does not believe Reyna to be honest nor law abiding.”
“Based upon my investigation, I believe that Reyna repeatedly engages in acts of political opportunism.”
There are reams of this. Reams. And many lawyers are still in the bullpen, loosening up their arms.