Four more bikers indicted in the May 17 Twin Peaks shootout pleaded not guilty Tuesday during brief arraignment hearings.
Judge Ralph Strother of Waco’s 19th State District Court, accepted not guilty pleas from John Moya, 27, of Gatesville; Robert Robertson, 36, of Fort Worth; Trey Short, 28, of Temple; and Seth A. Smith, 28, of Waco.
Three of the four requested that prosecutors read aloud in court the lengthy indictments against them alleging they engaged in organized criminal activity as a member of a criminal street gang.
The indictments allege underlying offenses of murder and assault and carry a punishment range of from 15 years to life in prison.
Five more bikers set for arraignment Tuesday waived their court appearances.
Attorneys representing other bikers in the case said some of the defendants who are choosing not to waive arraignment and who are insisting the indictments be read in court are doing so to send a message to the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office that, no, they don’t fully understand the “cookie-cutter” charges that some claim don’t allege specific offenses against the bikers.
Four more defendants in the Twin Peaks case are scheduled for arraignment in 19th State District Court on Wednesday. Bikers assigned to 54th State District Court will be arraigned next week.
The indictments, like the arrest warrant affidavits filed to support the 177 bikers arrested on May 17, are identical, alleging the same acts for all 106 indicted Nov. 10. Nine bikers who were not arrested in the immediate aftermath of the shootout have been arrested in recent weeks after being charged under sealed indictments.
The indictments charge that the defendants engaged in organized criminal activity by intentionally or knowingly causing the death of an individual, and names the nine bikers killed May 17.
The charges allege the defendants killed the victims by “shooting and/or stabbing and/or cutting and/or striking” the victims. The indictments also allege the defendants used or exhibited a deadly weapon, namely “a firearm and/or a knife or a sharp object and/or a club and/or an asp and/or a whip and/or brass knuckles and/or a chain.”
The indictments also charge that the defendants caused bodily injury to those injured, and names 24 bikers who were either shot, stabbed, cut or struck.