The term of the McLennan County grand jury that indicted 106 bikers in the Twin Peaks incident has been extended by 90 days so it can conclude its investigation into the deadly May 17 shootout.
Judge Matt Johnson of Waco’s 54th State District Court ordered the 90-day extension Wednesday, beginning when the grand jury’s term expires Dec. 31.
While the grand jury met Wednesday, prosecutors did not present any cases related to the Twin Peaks incident. The panel has no more scheduled meetings before the end of the year and has not scheduled a date to return.
The grand jury met Nov. 10 in a different grand jury room located in the district attorney’s office on the day it returned identical indictments against 106 of the 177 bikers arrested in the Twin Peaks shootout.
Since then, the grand jury has met in its traditional chambers on the fourth floor of the courthouse and has not returned other indictments in the shootout between rival biker groups.
Of the 106 indictments returned last month, nine were sealed because the defendants, most of whom were wounded, had not previously been arrested. The nine since have been taken into custody, and those indictments were unsealed.
That leaves 80 cases left to be considered by the grand jury.
District Attorney Abel Reyna did not return a phone message seeking comment about the grand jury extension.
Since the indictments were issued, attorneys for the bikers have derided the charges as “cookie-cutter” and “fill-in-the-blank,” and at least one has filed a motion to quash the indictment, alleging it is being pursued under a flawed prosecution theory.
Those indicted were charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, with the underlying offenses alleged to be murder and assault. The charge is a first-degree felony, punishable by up to life in prison or from 15 to 99 years in prison.
“We are not done,” Reyna said last month after the indictments were returned. “We still have a lot of work to do. We will continue to do that. My office is dedicated, as is the team, to seeing that justice is done in all those cases.”
The indictments, like the arrest warrant affidavits filed to support the biker arrests, are identical, alleging the same acts for all 106 indicted Nov. 10.
The indictments charge that the defendants engaged in organized criminal activity by intentionally or knowingly causing the death of an individual, and names the nine bikers killed May 17.
The charges allege the defendants killed the victims by “shooting and/or stabbing and/or cutting and/or striking” the victims. The indictments also allege the defendants used or exhibited a deadly weapon, namely “a firearm and/or a knife or a sharp object and/or a club and/or an asp and/or a whip and/or brass knuckles and/or a chain.”
“And the defendant did then and there commit the offense as a member of a criminal street gang,” the indictments allege.
The indictments also charge that the defendants caused bodily injury to those injured and names 24 bikers who were either shot, stabbed, cut or struck.
“They are practicing law in a way that is unique to McLennan County,” Houston attorney Paul Looney said last month. “Nobody else in Texas treats people the way they are treating people. All these fill-in-the-blank charging affidavits and indictments. That is an outrage. These people are entitled to be treated individually, whether they are being arrested and booked or making bonds. They are also entitled to individual assessment when they are going before a grand jury.”