Prosecutors and an attorney for Bandidos Dallas chapter president Jacob Carrizal continued to discuss evidence in the case Tuesday as the trial of the first Twin Peaks shootout defendant draws closer.
Carrizal, 36, is set to be the first of 154 indicted bikers to stand trial in the May 17, 2015, shootout at Twin Peaks in Waco between rival biker groups that left nine dead and dozens injured.
Judge Matt Johnson of Waco’s 54th State District Court, who took over Carrizal’s case after 19th State District Judge Ralph Strother was recused last month, waded through a number of pretrial discovery issues Tuesday morning, including more requests for information subpoenaed by Carrizal’s attorney, Casie Gotro, of Houston.
Johnson has ordered 600 potential jurors to report Sept. 29 to be impaneled and to fill out questionnaires for Carrizal’s case. Jury selection is set to begin Oct. 9.
A previous jury panel intended for Carrizal’s case that also started with 600 notices was excused Sept. 1 after multiple delays caused the group to report and be sent home four times since Aug. 4.
Gotro issued subpoenas to the Department of Public Safety, Waco Police Department and the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office to provide her with a variety of evidence in the Twin Peaks cases, including photos, videos, phone records, radio communications and property seized, including 17 bulletproof vests reportedly worn by bikers that day.
Gotro told the judge that she also has an issue with cellphones confiscated on the day of the deadly shootout.
She said she knows 346 phones were confiscated, with the contents of 211 phones turned over to the defense. She said 42 others have been disposed of or returned to their owners, but she has been unable to account for 100 phones taken up that day in evidence provided to her by the state.
She said she knows bikers were taking photographs after the shootout as they were waiting to be processed.
However, the data from many phones provided to her has been redacted or contained no photos.
“It’s just implausible, Judge, that there are that many phones with no data and no photos on them,” Gotro said.
Prosecutor Michael Jarrett said the state has expert witnesses who will testify that the phones have been analyzed but the data has not been compromised. District Attorney Abel Reyna said the state will make sure Gotro gets the available information she needs.
Kelsey Warren, an assistant attorney general representing the DPS, asked Johnson to quash subpoenas for DPS records, saying Gotro did not follow proper legal procedures to get the information she is seeking.
Johnson denied the request, but said he will review certain information that the DPS deems confidential or privileged, such as a database that lists Texas gang members, before determining if the defense is entitled to it.
Jarrett argued that she should not be given access to the DPS gang database because it is a confidential law enforcement tool and will not be used at trial to determine whether Carrizal or other bikers are member of a criminal street gang.
“There is motorcycle profiling going on in Texas,” Gotro said. “Guns are being taken away from innocent people just for wearing colors on their backs.”
Carrizal faces one count of directing activities of a criminal street gang, a count of engaging in organized criminal activity with an underlying offense of murder and a count of engaging in organized criminal activity with an underlying offense of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon.