While matters remain murky in 19th State District Court about whether the first Twin Peaks trial will unfold Tuesday as scheduled, officials in another McLennan County felony court are gearing up for a Twin Peaks trial in October.
Judge Ralph Strother of Waco’s 19th State District Court has been recused in three Twin Peaks cases and has a hearing set for Monday to see if Christopher Jacob Carrizal can remove him from hearing his case, also.
Carrizal, 36, president of the Dallas Bandidos chapter, is set to stand trial Tuesday. However, questions remain about his case with the recusal motion pending and his attorney, Casie Gotro, of Houston, continuing to assert she can’t be ready for trial until state prosecutors give her all evidence she is entitled to.
Meanwhile, in 54th State District Court, Judge Matt Johnson has scheduled a hearing Friday to consider pretrial motions from Matthew Alan Clendennen, a former member of the Scimitars group from Hewitt whose trial is set for Oct. 9.
Strother and Johnson have split the cases of the 155 indicted bikers between their courts and have plans to alternate trying one biker case each month.
In the two years since James “Patrick” Harris was arrested after the Twin Peaks shootout in …
Dallas attorney Clint Broden, who represents Clendennen, has filed a variety of motions, including one Friday to dismiss the charges against Clendennen “for violation of right to a speedy trial.”
The motion contends Clendennen filed a speedy trial demand Nov. 12, 2015, two days after he was indicted. On Jan. 27, 2016, he “vigorously opposed” the state’s first motion for continuance and renewed his speedy trial demand, the motion states.
“The state filed its first motion for continuance indicating that, despite presenting the case to the grand jury, it was nowhere near ready for trial. … Every defendant is guaranteed the right to a speedy trial by the Sixth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, Section 10 of the Texas Constitution. If the constitutional right to a speedy trial has been denied, the only possible remedy is dismissal of the prosecution,” the motion states, citing a U.S. Supreme Court case.
McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna did not return phone messages Friday.
Broden alleges in the motion that the trial delay has taken a “tremendous toll” on Clendennen.
“For a portion of more than two years, his travel has been restricted. For the entirety of more than two years, his rights of association have been restricted,” according to the motion. “Likewise, as this Sword of Damocles has hung over Mr. Clendennen’s head, his employment has been adversely affected, as well as his finances and his ability to provide for his family.”
Broden also has motions pending seeking to quash the indictments against Clendennen and to suppress evidence from what he contends was Clendennen’s unlawful arrest.
“We are moving toward trial, and these matters have to be heard,” Broden said Friday. “Right now, the state has given us a witness list of 600 witnesses and three terabytes of discovery. The judge ordered them to give us a witness list, and I don’t think they are in compliance with the spirit of that order. I can take a phone book out and list 600 names. They listed more names than some small towns have residents.”