The jury panel in Jacob Carrizal’s Twin Peaks case was released Wednesday morning by agreement of Judge Matt Johnson and the parties in the case.
About 145 potential jurors were expected to report at 9 a.m Wednesday, but after the agreement, officials told the potential jurors who reported that they are no longer needed and are excused.
Carrizal, 36, president of the Dallas Bandidos chapter, was to have been the first of 154 bikers indicted in the May 2015 Twin Peaks shootout to stand trial. He still may be the first, but his trial, set to start this week, was postponed Wednesday.
The potential jury panel had reported and been excused three times after motions were filed to recuse Johnson and Judge Ralph Strother, and the parties agreed it would be better if a new panel comes in.
“I’m concerned this jury panel might mutiny on us by being rescheduled now four times,” Johnson said Monday morning.
Johnson has set a pretrial hearing in Carrizal’s case for Monday. The parties agreed to try to work together to establish a new trial date.
Judge Robert Stem of Marlin denied a motion to recuse Johnson after a six-hour hearing Tuesday in which Johnson said he had no bias against Carrizal and pledged to be fair.
Visiting Judge Dan Mills granted defense attorney Casie Gotro’s motion to recuse Strother on Monday, and Johnson was appointed to step in to hear the case. Jurors reported Tuesday but were sent home again after Gotro filed a similar motion against Johnson.
“We agreed to release the jury panel for a number of reasons,” Gotro said. “These poor folks have been dragged down here four times in a row now so we just thought it would be better to let them go.”
Strother was recused last month by Retired Judge James Morgan from hearing the cases of three bikers who alleged the judge showed favoritism toward the state over the defendants.
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.