Video of the deadly May 17 Twin Peaks shootout between rival biker gangs shows “Bandidos executing Cossacks and Cossacks executing Bandidos,” a prosecutor said Friday at a bond-reduction hearing for a Cossack from Northeast Texas.
The revelations from First Assistant District Attorney Michael Jarrett during Laurance Kemp’s bond-reduction hearing were among the first detailed glimpses provided by authorities of what occurred during the incident that left nine bikers dead, 18 wounded and 177 arrested.
In arguing against reducing Kemp’s bond to an amount that would allow him to be released, Jarrett said Kemp traveled 3 1/2 hours from his home in Bogata in Red River County that Sunday morning, proudly wore his Cossacks colors and associates himself with a group law enforcement considers a “criminal outlaw gang.”
After hearing testimony from the 40-year-old Kemp’s fiancee and her mother, 54th State District Judge Matt Johnson reduced Kemp’s $1 million bond to $250,000. His family said after the hearing that they would not be able to raise the money to secure his release.
Jarrett said video from the incident showed a group of Cossacks arriving at Twin Peaks and “spreading out across the patio in sentry positions,” obviously keeping close watch on their surroundings.
Later, video shows Cossacks looking in their vests and checking their holsters for weapons, Jarrett said. As a line of Bandidos rode through the parking lot, Cossacks scramble over patio railings as the shootout ensues, Jarrett said.
“The video clearly shows Bandidos executing Cossacks and Cossacks executing Bandidos, some at point-blank range,” Jarrett said. “The facts and circumstances of this case are so extraordinary and so different from anything we have ever dealt with, we believe adequate bonds need to be in place to ensure the safety of this community.”
Kemp’s attorney, Lawrence Johnson, argued that there is no evidence that Kemp did anything wrong that day and he shouldn’t be held on excessive bond just because of his biker affiliation.
Kemp’s fiancee, Julie Harrison, the mother of his 20-month-old twins, said one of the twins is disabled and that Kemp, who works for a road construction company, is the family’s sole breadwinner.
She said her 95-year-old grandmother has offered to help pay a portion of Kemp’s bond, but said $2,500 would be the maximum amount her family could raise.
The family would have to pay $25,000, or 10 percent, to make Kemp’s new bond.
Wiping away tears after the hearing, Harrison said her son has brain cysts that cause seizures and the family needs Kemp at home. With Kemp in jail, her family is suffering financial hardships, she said.
Harrison testified that the Cossacks group Kemp is associated with are good people who raise money for charities and who helped her family when their twins were born prematurely.
In other developments in the bikers’ cases Friday, two attorneys have petitioned the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals in Austin on behalf of 144 bikers, seeking a “prompt and efficient administration of justice.”
The petition asks the court to order Judge Billy Ray Stubblefield, the regional administrative judge, to assign visiting judges to McLennan County to conduct immediate bond hearings for the bikers still in jail.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys for the bikers have negotiated lower bonds in about 70 cases, with about 53 of the 177 bikers being released after negotiating reduced bonds.
There were other bond reduction hearings set for Friday, but they were canceled after negotiated reductions.
More bond hearings are set for every Friday in June and several in July.