In what has become a familiar refrain in the first Twin Peaks trial, Jacob Carrizal’s attorney was notified Friday that prosecutors and law enforcement officials again have failed to produce discovery evidence to the defense.
The trial was on a two-day continuance Friday after the city of Waco revealed it had three recordings involving the Twin Peaks case that had not previously been turned over to the state or the defense. Judge Matt Johnson granted a motion for continuance for Carrizal’s attorney, Casie Gotro, Wednesday morning so she could review the materials, which he ordered the city to produce.
It was while on this break that the Department of Public Safety notified the court that it, too, had materials not previously disclosed, including emails and attachments generated by Texas Rangers assisting in the May 2015 Twin Peaks shootout investigation.
Also, the district attorney’s office notified the court Friday afternoon about a statement taken in the DA’s office and one provided by the FBI that had not been turned over to the defense. Johnson listened to one of the recordings Friday afternoon and ordered the state to provide it to Gotro by 5 p.m. Friday.
The judge called a hearing for 8 a.m. Monday to determine if the FBI recording and the Ranger materials must be turned over, also. In a memo to the court, DPS attorneys told Johnson they had discovered emails and attachments “we believe may be directly relevant to the Carrizal matter, but include highly sensitive information concerning confidential informants.”
Like the city of Waco before, DPS officials are claiming the documents are privileged and exempt from disclosure.
“These delays are inexcusable,” Gotro said Friday. “The defense has issued dozens of subpoenas only to be told we have already received everything or the records don’t exist. There is nothing fair or just about what’s happening in this case.”
Neither McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna nor his first assistant, Michael Jarrett, returned phone messages Friday.
Gotro had said for months before the trial started that prosecutors had not provided her with all the discovery matters she was entitled to under the Michael Morton Act and other statutes governing pretrial discovery. Johnson, and before him, Judge Ralph Strother, ordered the DA’s office on numerous occasions to turn over everything they had to the defense.
Each time Gotro asserted that claim, Reyna or Jarrett assured the court the state had given the defense everything they had in the case, which generated a massive amount of documents, photos, videos and reports.
After the state on Monday provided Gotro with delayed discovery for the second time since the trial started, Johnson instructed the DA’s office and all agencies with evidence to go back and review previous disclosures and to turn over anything that has not been divulged.
While Gotro has not requested a mistrial because of the discovery miscues, she has alluded to one at least twice during the trial, which was set to enter the 16th day of testimony Wednesday. The state rested its case against Carrizal on Tuesday, and Gotro was expected to start presenting the defense’s case Wednesday morning.
Carrizal, 35, president of the Dallas Bandidos chapter, is charged with directing the activities of a criminal street gang and two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity. He is the first of 154 bikers indicted in the May 2015 shootout to stand trial.