About 100 motorcycle riders from the Waco, Dallas and Houston areas converged in front of the McLennan County courthouse Saturday afternoon to commemorate the first anniversary of the Twin Peaks shootout that killed nine people and resulted in the arrests of 192 people and indictments of 154 people on charges of engaging in organized criminal activity.
This is the weekend before the May 17 anniversary of the Sunday afternoon shootings a year ago at the restaurant at the intersection of Interstate 35 and State Highway 6 that has since closed.
Attorney Paul Looney, of Hempstead, featured speaker at the rally, celebrated the fact that almost all the indicted bikers are out on bond, and “to my knowledge, not one has violated the terms of his bond and not one has pleaded out (guilty). All these cases need to go to trial. There’s not enough evidence to convict anyone. The only person who might be in deep trouble would be a biker wearing colors, if he were the one who fired the first shot.”
Looney also said motions for discovery have resulted in the release of “enough papers to fill 26 bankers’ boxes,” storage boxes that can be filled with legal-sized papers in one dimension or letter-sized papers in the other.
“There are two ways prosecutors can defeat you on these motions,” he said. “One is to release nothing. The other is to flood you with so much that you can’t handle it all.”
But he credited his researcher and publicist Roxanne Avery with patiently processing all the material and said she found a provision in law that an attorney cannot be an attorney and witness in the same case. He expects another defense attorney to file a motion Tuesday to disqualify District Attorney Abel Reyna and others as prosecutors because they were present while some of the people arrested were processed.
Deputy sheriffs ringed the block in front of the courthouse, where the parking lots were cordoned off for the motorcycles. No disturbances were reported.
Mel Moss, of Arlington, president of the Sons of Liberty Riding Club that organized the rally, said rain showers around the state probably inhibited attendance.
“Statistics show that 90 percent of those that support a cause after an incident like Twin Peaks lose interest after six months,” Moss said. “The people here today are real riders, and we’re the ones who spend our time on safety issues and charity runs. There aren’t any outlaws here, and the ones at Twin Peaks that day had come there to talk about safety issues and pending legislation in a regular Council of Clubs.”
Looney said prosecutors are delaying trials as a legal tactic, but the defendants have strong representation dedicated to the case.
“It’s unusual for cases to go this long without a trial,” Looney said. “The prosecutors are trying to stonewall because they don’t know how to convict anybody. We have 20 attorneys now who have agreed to act as defense attorneys for less than a usual day’s pay, if not pro bono.”
Police departments across the country have become more aggressive, and the police response at Twin Peaks was a vivid example of that change, Moss said.
“All 170 of the Twin Peaks people were arrested without due process,” Moss said. “Every American should be frightened by what they saw here.”