Joseph Ortiz


A Bandido from San Antonio who remains jailed after his arrest in the May 17 Twin Peaks shootout likely will be released soon after an agreement Friday morning between his lawyer and prosecutors.

Joseph Ortiz, 35, a former Marine, should be free by Saturday after an agreement with prosecutors and 19th State District Judge Ralph Strother to reduce his bond from $100,000 to $20,000, according to Ortiz’s lawyer Jay Norton.

Like the other 177 arrested bikers, Ortiz’s original bond was $1 million. He is one of four people who remain jailed two months after the deadly shootout at Twin Peaks restaurant that killed nine bikers and wounded another 20.

Norton had subpoenaed a number of people, documents, records and videos that were to have been the subject of a hearing Friday morning.

But after the parties met with Strother behind closed doors, they reached a number of agreements that cut the hearing short.

Twin Peaks officials agreed to release videos from the day of the shooting to Norton, who, in turn, agreed not to release it to the media. He can release it to his fellow attorneys who represent other jailed bikers.

Strother did not issue a gag order in the case — requested by First Assistant District Attorney Michael Jarrett — after the parties agreed to comply with ethical canons regarding information released to the media.

Norton agreed to withdraw his subpoenas for other evidence in the case after Jarrett pledged the state would provide him all the discovery information it has within the next 30 days.

Norton also withdrew his subpoenas for medical examiners from the Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences in Dallas and their records, photographs and reports. Final autopsy reports on the nine killed are pending.

Ortiz has no other charges pending against him, unlike the three others who remain in jail, but Ortiz hasn’t been able to make the $100,000 bond.

Norton told the Tribune-Herald last week that Ortiz has lost his job in the South Texas oil fields and been evicted from his home since his arrest. He said he plans to live with his brother when he gets out of jail, but added that could cause problems under the conditions of release because his brother also is a Bandido. Those released on bail are forbidden from associating with motorcycle club members.

If Ortiz is released in the next day or so, he, like many others, will be fitted for a GPS ankle bracelet to track his movements.

“Mr. Ortiz is a perfect example of what is being done incorrectly up there,” Norton said last week. “There was no investigation of Mr. Ortiz. It’s just guilty by association for being a member of an organization that it is not against the law to be a member of. No one has alleged a single overt act that Mr. Ortiz did in furtherance of any alleged conspiracy. He simply took cover in the parking lot.”

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