Twin Peaks defendant Matthew Clendennen wants to reopen the discussion about disqualifying McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna, but this time, he wants another judge to hear the motion.
Clendennen’s attorney, Clint Broden, filed a motion Thursday asking to reopen his request to disqualify Reyna from prosecuting Clendennen’s case and seeking to recuse 54th State District Judge Matt Johnson only from rehearing the disqualification motion.
But while Broden is seeking a similar result, he is asking this time on different grounds and wants another judge to hear it.
Last year, Broden sought Reyna’s disqualification primarily on claims that Reyna lied at a hearing about how the identical arrest warrant affidavits were handled after the May 17, 2015, Twin Peaks shootout and that Reyna has a financial stake in the outcome of the cases because he is a named defendant in civil rights lawsuits filed by more than 100 bikers.
Broden’s motion to reopen the matter alleges Reyna should be disqualified because he likely will be a “material witness” at Twin Peaks trials for his role in the decision to arrest 177 bikers en masse after the shootout that left nine dead and more than a dozen injured.
“Indeed, it is painfully obvious that former Chief of Police Brent Stroman lent his badge to Abelino Reyna on May 15, 2017, and that Mr. Reyna completely disregarded the opinion of at least three assistant police chiefs and two detectives who were on the scene that day,” Broden’s motion states. “Thus, in an ordinary case, one would question the police about how Mr. Clendennen came to be arrested despite having no participation in the violence at Twin Peaks.
“In this case, Abel Reyna held the badge and only he can answer some of these questions.”
Reyna did not return a phone message Thursday.
Broden alleged in the initial motion that Reyna lied at a hearing in August 2016 when he said he gave specific, detailed instructions to Waco police Detective Manuel Chavez the night of the Twin Peaks shootings about making sure the officer had spoken to others so he could swear that “every single line and word” in the Twin Peaks arrest warrant affidavits are true.
Chavez testified at the same hearing that he never spoke to Reyna that night.
Broden alleges Johnson should be recused from hearing Reyna’s disqualification motion because the judge failed to disclose to the parties that he and Reyna are former law partners.
“As a result, Judge Johnson’s order denying disqualification is voidable since there was no waiver of a mandatory ground for recusal,” the motion states.
Johnson declined comment on the motion Thursday.