Carrizal, Gotro

Twin Peaks defendant Christopher Jacob Carrizal (left) and his attorney, Casie Gotro, stand outside the McLennan Courthouse in the days ahead of his trial. Gotro has filed to withdraw as Carrizal's attorney ahead of his retrial scheduled for April.

Staff photo — Tommy Witherspoon, file

Casie Gotro, attorney for Bandidos Dallas chapter President Jacob Carrizal, notified court officials Monday that she will ask to withdraw as Carrizal’s attorney for his upcoming retrial in the Twin Peaks shootout case.

Judge Matt Johnson of Waco’s 54th State District Court has set a hearing for 1 p.m. Thursday to consider Gotro’s motion to withdraw.

Gotro, of Houston, said there is no conflict between her and Carrizal. She is seeking to withdraw because she cannot afford another prolonged trial, and Carrizal is indigent.

While the Bandidos paid her about $8,000, she racked up $52,000 in expenses during the 5-week trial in Waco and depleted her personal savings account, Gotro said.

“I feel bad for Jake, but I just can’t afford to try a case like that again,” she said.

She said she will do everything she can to help his new attorney prepare for trial.

Carrizal, 36, reached by phone Tuesday, declined to discuss the reasons why Gotro is seeking to withdraw, but said the issue will be discussed during the hearing Thursday.

He said he is talking to a couple of attorneys who could replace Gotro should the judge grant her motion to withdraw. Carrizal said he has not hired another attorney to replace her yet.

Carrizal’s first trial ended in mistrial in November after jurors told Johnson they were hopelessly deadlocked. Carrizal remains free on bail and his retrial is set for April 2.

Courthouse sources said there were never more than six jurors in favor of finding Carrizal guilty on any of the three counts.

In a note to the judge, the jury initially reported they had reached a unanimous vote on one count, but that vote later changed. The initial decision was for not guilty on the first count, the sources said.

Carrizal remains charged with directing the activities of a criminal street gang and two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity with the underlying offenses of murder and aggravated assault.

His father, Christopher Julian Carrizal, remains charged in 19th State District Court with engaging in organized criminal activity. There is no trial date set for the elder Carrizal, who was wounded in the May 2015 shootout at the former Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco. Gotro remains his attorney of record, according to court documents, but she said she likely will not represent him. Nine men were killed and nearly two dozen people were injured in the melee between rival biker groups.

Gotro sparred regularly with the district attorney’s office and 19th State District Judge Ralph Strother over discovery and other pretrial issues. She filed a motion to recuse Strother, which was granted, and Jacob Carrizal’s case was transferred to Johnson’s court.

Gotro discovered on several occasions during the Carrizal trial that the DA’s office did not provide her with evidence she was entitled to before trial. Gotro secretly recorded an assistant state attorney during a break in the trial who said that McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna encouraged a Texas Ranger to withhold evidence in the Twin Peaks case and that Reyna cannot be trusted.

It was not clear Tuesday what effect, if any, there will be on Jacob Carrizal’s date for retrial should Johnson grand Gotro’s request to withdraw.

Staff writer at the Waco Tribune-Herald covering courts and criminal justice. Follow me on Twitter @TSpoonFeed.

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