An avalanche of requests to remove McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna as prosecutor in upcoming Twin Peaks cases have been filed this week by several defense attorneys, claiming they plan to call Reyna as a witness.
At least 19 defense attorneys have filed motions requesting Reyna’s removal.
The onslaught of removal requests comes on the heels of a request filed by Dallas attorney Clint Broden on behalf of his client, Matthew Alan Clendennen, of Hewitt. Clendennen is one of 154 bikers indicted the May 17, 2015, shootout that left nine dead and 20 others injured.
Reyna responded to Broden’s filing by requesting to be removed from Clendennen’s case but drew the distinction that he had testified in an earlier hearing in Clendennen’s case but not in the vast majority of other bikers’ cases.
“A large group of attorneys defending the remaining bikers believe that the reasons for the district attorney’s recusal in the Clendennen case also apply to their clients’ cases and that the district attorney should excuse himself from these cases,” Waco attorney Robert Callahan, who is representing Twin Peaks defendant William Chance Aikin, of Talco, said in a statement.
Reyna’s request for recusal from Clendennen’s case is scheduled to be heard by Senior Judge Doug Shaver, of Houston, on Nov. 20.
The court released a 600-member jury panel that was scheduled to fill out questionnaires in Clendennen’s trial, which had been set for Nov. 6.
It is unclear when Clendennen’s trial is expected to start.
Reyna wrapped up prosecution testimony Tuesday in the first trial of a Twin Peaks shootout defendant, Jacob Carrizal, the Bandidos Dallas chapter president. Carrizal’s attorney, Casie Gotro, is scheduled to begin defense testimony Wednesday.
Other bikers who have requested Reyna’s removal as of Tuesday include Nathan Clark Grindstaff, of Blum; Mitchell Bradford, of Gordon; Anthony Shane Palmer, of Longview; Rudy T. Mercado, of Fort Worth; Gregory Wayne Wingo, of Irving; Richard O. Luther, of Garland; Burton George Bergman, of Balch Springs; John F. Craft, of Temple; and Sergio Reyes, of Dallas; Gregory Salazar, of San Antonio; Daniel C. Johnson, of Bellmead; Billy J. McRee, of Seagoville; Robert L. Robertson, of Fort Worth; Jorge Daniel Salinas, of Lometa; Jeremy King, of Ranger; Nathan Champeau, of McKinney; Brian D. Logan, of Midlothian; and Lance A. Geneva, of Cedar Hill.
Broden’s motion filed last week states Reyna’s former first assistant, Greg Davis, can testify to conversations that the DA’s office “made” police arrest 177 motorcyclists despite the wishes of police, making him a potential witness.
Motions filed by other defense attorneys reference inconsistent statements that Reyna and Waco police Detective Manuel Chavez gave under oath during a Twin Peaks hearing last year.
Broden requested a court of inquiry to determine if either official lied when Reyna testified to what Broden calls “extensive discussions” he had with Chavez before the detective signed the identical, “fill-in-the-name” arrest warrant affidavits for 177 motorcyclists after the shootout.
Chavez testified he never spoke to Reyna that night.
No schedule has been set for the court of inquiry. Reyna did not return a phone call Monday seeking comment on the recusal requests.