Attorneys for three bikers arrested after the Twin Peaks shootout are seeking evidence they claim is being withheld by McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna’s office.
Attorneys for William Chance Aikin, Jorge Daniel Salinas and Billy Jason McRee all filed motions Tuesday asking judges to order the DA’s office to disclose additional evidence, including evidence previously withheld and not disclosed until the middle of Dallas Bandidos chapter President Jacob Carrizal’s trial, which ended in a mistrial last month.
Seizing on motions filed by other attorneys, the lawyers allege current and former members of Reyna’s staff have cooperated, and possibly still are cooperating, in a reported federal investigation of Reyna on allegations that he showed favoritism to friends and campaign donors for political gain.
The motions filed Tuesday allege Reyna’s top assistant, Michael Jarrett, prosecutor Amanda Dillon, and former Reyna staff members Greg Davis and Julissa West have been providing information to an Austin-based FBI agent investigating Reyna and that the staff members are withholding evidence that supports the defense’s claim that Reyna decided to arrest 177 bikers en masse to further his political career.
The motions allege Jarrett has said he plans to write a book about Twin Peaks and has secretly recorded conversations with Reyna that the attorneys say could be relevant to their defense. The motions seek disclosure of his notes for his reported book and the alleged recordings.
Also, Assistant District Attorney Sterling Harmon has said in a letter that he has at least two documents that contain “notations that cases were dismissed by the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office simply because the defendant was a political supporter of Abel Reyna,” the motions contend.
“Mr. Salinas firmly believes that he is the victim of Mr. Reyna’s ethically-blinding political ambition, that the Constitution and law of the United States and of the State of Texas dictate he be allowed to present such evidence and argument to the jury, and that members of the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office, including Mr. Harmon, Ms. Dillon and Mr. Jarrett, are suppressing evidence that will support this contention,” the motion filed by Fort Worth attorney Brian Bouffard states.
Reyna, Jarrett, Dillon and Harmon did not return phone messages left at their office Tuesday.
Dallas attorney Clint Broden, who represents former biker Matthew Clendennen, expected to solicit testimony about many of the accusations at a hearing last month. However, Visiting Judge Douglas Shaver cut him off and disallowed the testimony of the witnesses, whom Broden had subpoenaed and who were in attendance at the hearing.
Broden filed a document Tuesday offering proffers of what he expected the witnesses to say had they been able to testify. The information in Broden’s filings and those of the three other attorneys is similar, including allegations that Reyna dismissed cases for friends and donors in exchange for political donations.
The filings contend that former Waco police Detective Sherry Kingrey would have testified that she received information about the organizers of an alleged illegal gambling operation “who are close friends” with Reyna and who made “under the table” contributions to him in exchange for political favors.
The motions state that she reported the information to an FBI agent investigating Reyna and that another agent told her the FBI “was able to confirm the information she had provided them in furtherance of its public corruption investigation of Mr. Reyna.”
According to the motions, Kingrey believes the FBI investigation of Reyna is ongoing.
Kingrey reviewed Reyna’s phone records from the day of the Twin Peaks shootout, May 17, 2015. She determined Reyna made three phone calls within 90 minutes of the shootout. Of those calls, two “were to persons she had been investigating for running an illegal gambling operation and providing Mr. Reyna undocumented campaign contributions,” the court documents state.
No hearing dates have been set for these motions, which were filed in 19th State District Court and 54th State District Court.