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Monday, August 24, 2015

TEXAS - Delaying Justice In Waco

The weekly newspaper Texas Lawyer reported today that all 177 persons arrested after the Twin Peaks Massacre in Waco, Texas last May 17 are likely to either be indicted or cleared by a grand jury that might not meet for another two months. All of the accused have been charged with engaging in organized criminal activity.
More than a dozen of the accused had hoped to have the blatantly spurious charges against them dismissed and their good names cleared by compelling state authorities to present evidence against them at so-called examining trials. The first of those trials was held Tuesday before a visiting judge named James Morgan. In what turned out to be a bogus proceeding, the judge ruled that there was probable cause to arrest a married couple named William and Morgan English because both wore a small tab on the front of their vests that read “I Support The Fat Mexican.” The phrase is a reference to the Bandidos Motorcycle Club which is the preeminent motorcycle club in Texas.

Examining Trials Cancelled

Other defendants began cancelling their examining trials almost immediately. Examining trials scheduled yesterday for defendants Daniel Pesina of San Antonio and John Robert Wilson of Waco were cancelled yesterday morning.
According to Texas Lawyer correspondent Miriam Rozen. “Two separate grand juries will conduct investigations into the shootings.” One jury will decide the fates of the 177 civilians who were taken into custody after the worst incident of biker violence in American History. The other grand jury, which seems to be already meeting, “will investigate police officer use of deadly force.”
McLennan County District Attorney Abelino “Abel” Reyna discussed his plan to use two grand juries in a letter to Sam Bassett who is the president of the Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association.


Basset wrote Reyna after it was announced that Waco detective James Head had been named foreman of the presently convened grand jury.
“While we express no opinion as to detective James Head’s personal ethics or integrity,” Basset wrote, “we are greatly concerned that this grand jury should under no circumstances be the grand jury that considers indictments in the biker cases, especially since there are reports that he had some involvement in the investigatory process. TCDLA urges you to consider for this case a special grand jury that contains no members of law enforcement who are involved in the biker cases.”
Reyna replied that he had made “no representation either way” about the “composition or timing of grand juries investigating the shootings.” He did say, “Anytime you have a crime scene and there is an officer’s use of deadly force, you have two investigations.”
You can read the complete Texas Lawyer article here.