The judge overseeing Matthew Clendennen’s case in the Twin Peaks shootout appointed three Houston-area private attorneys to represent the state in the upcoming trial.

Senior Judge Doug Shaver, of Houston, filed an opinion Tuesday approving District Attorney Abel Reyna’s request for his office to be removed from prosecuting Clendennen’s case. Shaver selected Brian M. Roberts, Brian Benken and Feroz Merchant to take over.

Clendennen was set to be the second Twin Peaks defendant to go to trial. A hearing is scheduled in his case Nov. 20, but it remains unclear when he will go to trial. Clendennen’s attorney, Clint Broden, requested Reyna be removed from the case and subpoenaed Reyna last week to testify in Clendennen’s trial. Reyna followed Broden’s filing with his own request to be recused from the case.

According to the State Bar of Texas, Roberts received his law license in 2003 and is also licensed in Nevada. Benken received his law license in 1987. Merchant received his law license in 2000.

Internet searches indicate each has his own firm.

Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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