Jurors in the Jacob Carrizal trial learned the names of bikers slain in the 2015 Twin Peaks shootout Thursday and viewed graphic photos as the trial focused for a third day on the crime scene investigation.
Carrizal, 35, president of the Bandidos Dallas chapter, is on trial in Waco’s 54th State District Court on charges of directing the activities of a criminal street gang, engaging in organized criminal activity with the underlying offense of murder and engaging in organized criminal activity with the underlying offense of aggravated assault.
Prosecutors continued to lay out evidence recovered in the aftermath of the shootout between rival groups the Cossacks and Bandidos, including 154 firearms and more than 400 other weapons. Those included many knives, a tomahawk, hatchet, padlocks tied to bandanas, chains, expandable batons called ASPs, brass knuckles and others.
Sgt. Keith Vaughan, a 32-year Waco police veteran, said he has seen a lot of crime scenes, but nothing compared to the Twin Peaks case in terms of number of casualties, the amount of people at the scene and the amount of evidence left for his crime scene unit to collect.
Under questioning from prosecutor Amanda Dillon, who apologized for the graphic nature of the photos, Vaughan described video and photos he took of the eight bikers whose bodies he encountered shortly after the gun battle stopped. A ninth biker, Richard Kirshner, died at the hospital, and the jury saw photos of his body earlier this week during the testimony of one of Vaughan’s crime scene technicians.
As Vaughan described what he photographed and videoed, the jury saw graphic images of Daniel Boyett, Jesus Rodriguez, Wayne Campbell, Richard Jordan, Charles Russell, Manuel Rodriguez, Matthew Smith and Jacob Rhyne, whose body was found at the back of Don Carlos Restaurant, where he had been taken for medical attention.
Firearms were found near most of the bodies.
Dillon noted as photos of Russell were being shown that about a dozen of the motorcycles the Bandidos rode in on were standing upright with the assistance of their kick stands. Dillon said it appears the Bandidos at least had time to manually put down their kick stands and get off their bikes before the melee started.
Through her cross-examinations of state witnesses, Carrizal’s attorney, Casie Gotro, has tried to lay the groundwork for a self-defense claim, painting the Cossacks as the aggressors who crashed a biker coalition meeting, took over the patio area and ambushed the Bandidos as they rode in.
Russell was seen lying inches from where Carrizal’s blue Harley-Davidson motorcycle lay overturned outside the patio area of the restaurant.
Carrizal’s father, Julian Carrizal, was wounded in the right shoulder during the battle.
Vaughan spent quite a bit of time Thursday identifying shell casings and projectiles and showing the jury where he and other members of his team found them. He said his crime scene unit and officers from six other agencies performed at least six sweeps of the grounds around Twin Peaks and Don Carlos in the days after the shootout to make sure they didn’t miss any evidence.
Waco police conducted two investigations in the aftermath of the incident, Vaughan said. One was an investigation of the biker shootout and the other was an investigation of the three officers who shot and killed bikers after the shooting started, he said.
The department and a McLennan County grand jury cleared the officers of wrongdoing last year.
Vaughan said the officers’ weapons and forensic evidence were sent to the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas, while the other guns and evidence were sent for analysis to a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives lab in California.
Prosecution testimony will resume at 9 a.m. Friday.