McLennan County hired former prosecutor and longtime Waco attorney David Deaconson on Tuesday to represent local judges who are being subpoenaed because of their involvement in the ongoing Twin Peaks biker case.
Deaconson said he will represent McLennan County Justice of the Peace W.H. “Pete” Peterson at a hearing Thursday in Waco’s 54th State District Court.
The hearing was requested by Corsicana attorney John H. Jackson, who represents biker Ronald Atterbury, 44, of Gatesville.
Atterbury has filed an application for habeas corpus, challenging the legality of his confinement and claiming that his $1 million bond is unreasonable.
Jackson also subpoenaed for the Thursday hearing Waco Police Chief Brent Stroman and Waco police Officer Manuel Chavez, who drafted the identical complaints against the 177 bikers charged with engaging in organized criminal activity in the wake of the May 17 shootout.
McLennan County Judge Scott Felton said commissioners hired Deaconson to handle several subpoenas filed and others expected to come for Peterson, Jail Magistrate Virgil Bain and any other county official.
Deaconson filed a motion to quash the subpoena for Peterson, claiming that his testimony is “immaterial, irrelevant and can add nothing to the matters to be considered by this court” to determine Atterbury’s application.
“Requiring (Peterson’s) appearance and testimony is simply a tactic of harassment and potentially an attempt at premature and improper discovery,” Deaconson’s motion to quash says.
Jackson says in his motion that Atterbury is indigent and disabled and supports several dependents with an armed services disability.
First Assistant District Attorney Michael Jarrett has offered to reduce Atterbury’s bond to $100,000, Jackson’s motion says, but even that is not enough to free him from jail.
Deaconson’s motion also says it is improper to compel testimony from a judge about the mental processes by which the judge reached a decision.
Peterson signed the arrest warrants for the bikers and set their bonds at $1 million.
Deaconson said he is charging the county $250 an hour for his services, down $30 an hour from his normal rate.
Precinct 4 County Commissioner Ben Perry said Deaconson has more criminal experience than Mike Dixon, the Waco attorney retained by the county for most of its civil matters.