A Dallas attorney representing a biker arrested in the Twin Peaks shootout fired off a series of motions Tuesday, including one to quash the indictment that includes an illustration of a ham sandwich.
Clint Broden, who represents former Scimitar member Matthew Clendennen, is asking 54th State District Judge Matt Johnson to order District Attorney Abel Reyna to identify specific evidence his office intends to use against Clendennen contained in what Broden describes as a three-terabyte “document dump” of materials collected against 155 bikers indicted.
Broden contends the sheer volume of materials released by prosecutors to defense attorneys, “almost all of which appears to have absolutely no relation to Mr. Clendennen,” amounts to searching for a needle in a haystack.
“While the state cannot be faulted for complying with the Morton Act, due process requires it to go further,” Broden wrote. “Indeed, this court should not endorse a method of document production that merely gives the requesting party access to a ‘document dump,’ with an instruction to the party to ‘go fish.’ ”
The Michael Morton Act requires prosecutors to provide defense attorneys with evidence in the case.
Reyna did not return calls Tuesday.
Broden claims it is not possible for defense attorneys to review all the information provided in a timely and efficient manner.
Clendennen, of Hewitt, is set for trial Oct. 9.
In another motion, Broden says that despite the massive “document dump” by prosecutors, they did not provide the discovery in Clendennen’s case “as soon as practical.”
Broden’s motion quotes a transcript from the hearing in which Reyna says he instructed Chavez in detail to carefully read over the warrant affidavit and to make sure he could swear that every element was true and correct. Chavez obtained the arrest warrants for the 177 bikers.
Chavez testified he never spoke to Reyna that night.
“Manuel Chavez … offered plainly contradictory testimony to the extent that, if Mr. Reyna’s testimony is truthful, Mr. Chavez’s testimony must be perjurious,” Broden’s motion states.
In a related motion, Broden seeks to suppress what he calls the “fruit of the unconstitutional arrest.” Broden alleges that Chavez did not have personal knowledge of facts included in the identical arrest warrant affidavits used to arrest the bikers.
Finally, Broden seeks to quash the indictment against Clendennen, punctuating his request with an illustration of a ham sandwich and a citation from a New York case in which a judge is quoted as saying a grand jury would indict a ham sandwich.
The grand jury gave little consideration to each of the bikers’ cases it indicted, Broden claims, and returned indictments that alleged 10 bikers, not nine, were killed at Twin Peaks.
“The grand jury actually indicted Mr. Clendennen, and many of the other motorcyclists indicted on Nov. 10, 2015, for causing the death of William Anderson despite the fact that Mr. Anderson was not killed at Twin Peaks. Mr. Anderson actually died in a motorcycle accident in the state of Nebraska several months after the Twin Peaks incident,” Broden’s motion says.
“In short, there was no more evidence that Mr. Clendennen was involved in the death of William Anderson that there was evidence that he was involved in the death of John Fitzgerald Kennedy,” according to the motion.