About 20 bikers indicted in the May 2015 Twin Peaks shootout made brief court appearances Thursday, with nine also submitting DNA samples to the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office.
The bikers assembled in 54th State District Court on instructions from Judge Matt Johnson as trial dates for several of the bikers approach. Those in court Thursday were either Cossacks or members of one of the Cossacks support groups.
A similar number of Bandidos and members of their support groups have been called to court next week.
The DA’s office obtained search warrants to require nine bikers in the group to submit to DNA testing by taking swabs from inside their mouths. Court officials said the other bikers in the group Thursday already had voluntarily submitted DNA swabs.
Prosecutor Michael Jarrett told the bikers and their attorneys the DA’s office has released six rounds of discovery and two more batches will be ready by the end of the month.
The bikers’ appearances Thursday are part of the court’s announcement docket, another preliminary step in proceedings as the parties try to determine how to dispose of the 155 indicted cases related to the shootout that left nine dead and two dozen injured.
Besides the DNA swabs, the hearing basically was called to give prosecutors and defense attorneys a chance to consult about the cases.
McLennan County officials called up extra officers to beef up security inside and outside the courthouse. No incidents were reported, and the bikers and their attorneys filed from the courtroom after about 30 minutes.
The DA’s office recalled its sixth round of evidence last month after it was discovered some of the bikers’ cellphone images that were released contained child pornography. The discovery has led to additional reviews of the images on the phones but is not expected to delay the start of the first biker trial, set now for April 17 in Waco’s 19th State District Court.
The first biker to stand trial likely will be Christopher Jacob Carrizal; his father, Christopher Julian Carrizal; or Jerry Pierson, all Bandidos from Dallas.
Seven more bikers have tentative trial dates from June through December.