Prosecutors rested their case against Jacob Carrizal on Tuesday after testimony from Carrizal’s younger brother that showed Jacob Carrizal was aware of conflicts between Bandidos and Cossacks, and told his fellow Bandidos to bring their guns to Waco and leave their women at home.
Judge Matt Johnson recessed the trial about 11 a.m. Tuesday until 1 p.m. Wednesday to give Jacob Carrizal and his attorneys, Casie Gotro and Thomas Lane, a chance to line up witnesses.
Prosecutors have called 49 witnesses and introduced more than 1,200 pieces of evidence during 15 days of testimony.
“Well, I think we are finally going to get to hear the rest of that story,” Gotro said after the trial recessed. “We are looking forward to it.”
Gotro declined to say how many witnesses she intends to call or if Jacob Carrizal will testify. She said the trial should conclude this week.
Jacob Carrizal, 35, president of the Dallas Bandidos chapter, is charged in 54th State District Court with directing the operations of a criminal street gang and two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity.
The prosecution closed out its case by calling Carrizal’s younger brother, Chuck Carrizal, a Dallas funeral director and also a member of the Bandidos.
Under questioning from prosecutor Michael Jarrett, the younger Carrizal said he was a member of the Desgraciados, a Bandidos support group, before becoming a member of the Bandidos about 18 months ago.
Jarrett showed the jury a series of text messages from Jacob Carrizal to other Bandidos, including one that warned a large group of Cossacks was riding through an area of Texas. A text from March 25, 2015, showed Jacob Carrizal instructing other Bandidos to tell their “old ladies” not to spread word about their whereabouts.
Chuck Carrizal said that while the Bandidos had no problems with the Cossacks, the text message was sent because the Cossacks were “messing” with them.
Through her questioning, Gotro has tried to show the Cossacks were the aggressors the day of the Twin Peaks shootout and that they laid a trap and ambushed the Bandidos, who merely acted to defend themselves.
Jarrett showed a text message from Manuel Rodriguez, a Bandido known as “Candyman” who was shot and killed at Twin Peaks. The text showed a Cossacks logo with a line through it, indicating to Jarrett that the Bandidos did have problems with the Cossacks.
Other texts between former Bandidos chapter President Dave Martinez and Jacob Carrizal, in which they talk about Cossacks hanging out at a bar, also show the friction between the Cossacks and Bandidos, Jarrett said.
On May 16, 2015, the day before the Twin Peaks shootout, Jacob Carrizal notified Bandidos that he wants everyone to come to Waco and leave their women at home. A biker gang expert testified earlier in the trial that the groups don’t bring their wives or girlfriends with them if they expect violence to erupt.
Jacob Carrizal sent a text that says “5/17 Bro.” The next morning, he sent texts telling members to bring their tools. Jarrett asked Chuck Carrizal what “tools” means, and he said it means items like screwdrivers and pliers. Jarrett asked if he ever heard anyone refer to guns as tools. Chuck Carrizal said no.
“Police searched the motorcycles there that day,” Jarrett said. “Would it surprise you to know that nobody brought a tool kit with them that day?”
Police found 154 firearms and more than 400 other weapons, including knives, clubs, a tomahawk and brass knuckles, after the skirmish that left nine bikers dead and more than 20 injured.
Jarrett asked Chuck Carrizal to stand up and show the jury his Bandidos belt buckle, which says “BFFB.” He said that means “Bandidos Forever, Forever Bandidos.” Jarrett asked the younger Carrizal about his brother’s vest, which Jarrett said had no “Expect No Mercy” patch before the Twin Peaks shootout but featured one afterward.
State gang experts testified that the patch can only be earned by committing an act of violence.
During cross-examination, Gotro asked Chuck Carrizal if he is aware that prosecutors are accusing him and his brother of being gang members.
“Do you and your brother go around together committing crimes?” Gotro asked. He said no.
Chuck Carrizal said his family grew up in El Paso and his brother moved to Dallas to work as an engineer for a railroad company. Chuck Carrizal said he moved to Dallas later, went to school and became a funeral director.
Gotro told Chuck Carrizal the “truth is not going to hurt your brother” and asked him again if he knew his brother was talking about guns when he referred to them as tools in the text. He said yes.
He agreed with Gotro that I-35 is not a safe place to ride, and people regularly carry guns when they travel. He said if he had known Jacob Carrizal and his father, Christopher Julian Carrizal, would get in a big brawl, he would have come to Waco, too, to help protect them.
He said they did not expect any violence at a meeting of the Confederation of Clubs and Independents, which was scheduled that day at Twin Peaks, although he said he had never seen any Cossacks at those meetings before.
He became emotional when he talked about learning that his father was wounded and hospitalized and his brother was in jail. He said he and his mother drove to Waco after the shootout to see them.
Zach Carrizal, another brother of Jacob Carrizal, testified earlier in the trial. Both brothers said they were reluctant to testify because many people do not understand the biker lifestyle. Zach Carrizal is president of a Bandidos chapter in Ruidoso, New Mexico.
On redirect, Jarrett noted the differences in Chuck Carrizal’s answers when asked about what tools means. Jarrett said Jacob Carrizal and the Bandidos were aware of conflicts between the two groups, and he told Bandidos to come armed to the meeting.
“Are we supposed to believe they were surprised when a gun fight happened?” Jarrett asked.
Chuck Carrizal repeated that they did not expect violence at the meeting.
Jarrett showed Chuck Carrizal a photo of his brother with his blue Harley-Davidson and yellow and black helmet with yellow-tinted visor.
A former Twin Peaks employee testified she saw a man in a “big yellow helmet” fire the first shot while surrounded by Cossacks.
Shaniqua Corsey testified she saw bikers “gathered around in a fight circle” and arguing. She said the man in the “big yellow helmet” pulled a large handgun that she described as a “long, ‘Dirty Harry’-type pistol” and shot a biker standing in front of him.
Photos introduced by prosecutors show a dead biker lying near Jacob Carrizal’s overturned blue motorcycle at the center of where the violence erupted.
Corsey said her attention was focused on the biker in the yellow helmet because he was arguing and appeared to be the one in charge.