In the wake of McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna’s request to recuse his office from the second scheduled Twin Peaks biker trial, another attorney says he will call Reyna to testify as a defense witness in the case, and believes the DA should be removed as prosecutor.
Attorney Bruce Anton, who represents Nathan Clark Grindstaff, a Cossack from Blum, filed a motion Friday stating Reyna should be removed as a prosecutor after he gave August 2016 testimony as a witness in hearings for bikers Ray Nelson, a Cossack, and Matthew Clendennen, a former Scimitar. Anton said in those hearings, Reyna gave details that can be used in Grindstaff’s defense. Grindstaff is one of 154 bikers indicted in the shootout on a charge of engaging in organized criminal activity.
“In particular, the defense in this case will elicit testimony regarding Mr. Reyna’s decision to ignore the collective knowledge of all three assistant police chiefs on the scene at Twin Peaks on May 17, 2015, as well as to the two lead detectives assigned to the case and advocate for the arrest of approximately 177 motorcyclists,” Anton states in the motion.
Grindstaff’s trial date has not been set.
Nine men died and more than 20 were injured in the Twin Peaks shootout. A total of 177 people were arrested the day of the melee on charges of engaging in organized criminal activity.
Reyna filed a recusal request in Clendennen’s case Thursday and requested the court fill his office’s role with another attorney.
Senior Judge Doug Shaver, of Houston, was selected to oversee Clendennen’s case after 54th District Judge Matt Johnson was recused. Shaver has scheduled a Nov. 20 hearing in the matter of Reyna’s request.
“As Reyna noted in the Clendennen request, ‘there is controlling case law from the Waco Court of Appeals that where an elected district attorney is disqualified in a particular actions, all assistant district attorneys are disqualified,’ “ Anton’s motion states.
Anton also stated Reyna will also be able to testify whether Waco police Detective Manuel Chavez lied in testimony in connection to the Twin Peaks cases in the hearing for both Clendennen and Nelson.
A judge ruled that a court of inquiry was warranted to determine if Reyna or Chavez lied under oath during the hearing. Clint Broden, Clendennen’s attorney, claims Reyna testified to what Broden calls “extensive discussions” he had with Chavez before the detective signed the identical, “fill-in-the-name” arrest warrant affidavits for 177 motorcyclists after the shootout. Chavez testified he never spoke to Reyna that night.
No schedule has been set for the court of inquiry.
At least two other attorneys representing Twin Peaks defendants are expected to seek the recusal of Reyna’s office within the next week.