In a motion filed under the heading “Justice delayed is justice denied,” an attorney for biker Matthew Clendennen said he opposes a prosecution motion seeking to delay Clendennen’s trial, because he has all the video evidence he needs to prove his client’s innocence.
Dallas attorney Clint Broden lost little time in responding to McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna’s motion, filed Tuesday, to postpone Clendennen’s trial scheduled for Feb. 29.
Clendennen, a member of the Scimitars motorcycle group, is one of 106 bikers indicted in November on charges of engaging in organized criminal activity in the May 17 Twin Peaks shootout that left nine people dead and more than 20 injured.
Reyna is seeking a continuance because, according to his motion, it could be up to a year before certain evidence in the complex case, including ballistic and DNA analysis, is completed at various state and federal labs.
Reyna’s motion says he is concerned that if a trial is held before the evidence is analyzed and returned, it could jeopardize his obligations under the Michael Morton Act, which requires full disclosure of all evidence.
Broden, who has said his client is ready to go to trial, questioned Reyna’s sincerity and commitment to “fundamental fairness.”
“Mr. Reyna expresses his deep concern about his ability to provide Mr. Clendennen with the discovery Mr. Clendennen is entitled to . . . and implies that he, and he alone, knows what is best for Mr. Clendennen and his family. The state even posits that some of the discovery might prove Mr. Clendennen’s ‘actual innocence,’ ” Broden’s motion states.
“If the continuance motion is accepted on its face, Mr. Clendennen and the other motorcyclists arrested in the Twin Peaks incident should now rest easy that Mr. Reyna has their best interests at heart and is truly seeking justice. But alas, Mr. Reyna’s track record of circumventing his responsibilities to justice in this case belies his claims of benevolence,” the motion says.
Reyna, who sought and obtained a gag order in Clendennen’s case, did not return phone messages Wednesday.
Broden declined additional comment because of the gag order. But, his motion charges that Reyna, “in what appears to be a concern for political opportunism rather than a concern for ‘fundamental fairness,’ ” disregarded the law by ordering the arrest of 177 bikers using “fill-in-the-blank complaints sworn to en masse.”
Broden goes on to claim that Reyna appeared to violate the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct by making press statements that attempted to paint all bikers as members of “roving biker gangs.”
After prejudicing the rights of those arrested, Reyna then sought a gag order, preventing responses to his claims, Broden’s motion contends.
Broden also claims that Reyna made a “mockery” of the grand jury system by securing 106 identical indictments that contained flawed information about the number of bikers killed and the identity of one listed as wounded.
Reyna has said those mistakes were clerical errors that can easily be corrected.
“Simply put, it was the state that chose to rush this case,” the motion says, asking why the state sought indictments so quickly if the investigation won’t be completed for another year.
Judge Matt Johnson of Waco’s 54th State District Court has not scheduled a hearing for Broden’s motion.