Jurors in the initial Twin Peaks trial watched two men die Wednesday when they got their first look at law enforcement video from the brutal 2015 shootout.
After setting up three large monitors in front of the jury box and one near the witness stand, prosecutors played video from a hidden pole camera Department of Public Safety investigator Chris Frost had installed earlier on the morning of the melee.
Frost testified Wednesday about his role in the May 17, 2015, incident during the trial of Jacob Carrizal, 35, Bandidos Dallas chapter president.
Carrizal is charged in Waco’s 54th State District Court with directing the activities of a criminal street gang and two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity.
The actual start of the shootout between the feuding Cossacks and Bandidos was not visible on the video shown Wednesday. The hidden camera was pointed at the patio area, where Cossacks had crashed a Sunday afternoon meeting of a coalition of biker groups they were not a member of.
Prosecutor Amanda Dillon served as narrator for the video, stopping it frequently to ask Frost to explain to jurors what they were seeing.
For more than 30 minutes, Bandidos or members of their support groups walked around the patio area filled with Cossacks with seemingly no reaction from either of the group’s members.
Dillon mentioned a number of times that it did not appear the Cossacks were trying to hide in any way or were luring the Bandidos into a trap.
That was a reference to defense attorney Casie Gotro’s assertions that the Cossacks sprung a trap on the Bandidos, ambushed them and that the Bandidos acted only in self-defense.
A group of Bandidos, led by Carrizal, rode into the Twin Peaks parking lot about 12:20, and Cossacks and Bandidos could be seen running off camera minutes later when the fight started.
Soon, bikers were running back in the camera’s view as they fled the barrage of gunfire. As bikers ducked for cover behind the Twin Peaks sign, a man identified by Frost as Jesus Rodriguez is fighting with another biker when a third man walks over and appears to shoot him in the back. Rodriguez was one of nine bikers who died in the shootout. More than a dozen others were wounded.
Not far from the Twin Peaks sign, another biker running from the scene could be seen falling face down after he appeared to be shot in the back.
Earlier in the morning, Marshall Mitchell, identified by Frost as president of the Bandidos Nomads, was seen talking and shaking hands with Owen Reeves, a Cossacks Nomad. The fighting didn’t start, prosecutors said, until Carrizal led his group of Bandidos into the parking lot.
Frost, like other law enforcement officers, testified about the ongoing bad blood between the Cossacks and the Bandidos and officials’ concerns about a violent confrontation when they learned both groups planned to attend the meeting of the Coalition of Clubs and Independents at Twin Peaks.
Frost said DPS and Waco police planned to insert an undercover officer inside Twin Peaks that day but the Cossacks arrived too early and they called off that part of the plan.
In other testimony, witnesses from Palo Pinto County, Midlothian, Fort Worth and Longview testified about altercations and assaults between Cossacks and Bandidos at a truck stop, bars and a restaurant. A fifth incident occurred in Lorena just off Interstate 35.
Prosecution testimony will resume Thursday morning.