Several Twin Peaks cases dismissed

WACO, Texas - Big changes Thursday in several cases connected to the deadly Twin Peaks shootings from May 2015.

The McLennan County District Attorney's office filed paperwork to have several cases dismissed.

By 9:15am, Judge Johnson of the 54th District Court had signed off on seven dismissals: Marco Dejong, Michael Doyle Moore, JamesRosas, Colter Bajovich, Jose Valle, Diego Nerio Obledo, and William Redding.

Judge Strother dismissed cases against Clifford Lee Pearce, Andrew Ramond Stroer, Jorge Daniel Salinas, Mario Gonzalez, Boyce Rockett, and Narciso Luna, Jr..

Eight others who had not been previously indicted were also dismissed: Ester Weaver, Ryan Craft, Jonathan Lopez, Theron Rhoten, Jim Harris, Bonar Crump, Juan Garcia and Drew King.

Judge Strother also recused McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna from the case against Billy McCree.

He has yet to name a special prosecutor.

At 1:30pm, several defense attorneys will hold a press conference on today's events.

As you remember, more than 170 people were arrested after the deadly shootings.

The first biker trial for Jacob Carrizal ended in a mistrial, followed by his defense attorney asking to be removed from the case

During the Carrizal Trial, there was also controversy involving a juror who knew one of Carrizal's rival bikers.

One judge from the 54th State District Court has already been recused from two separate upcoming biker trials. 

On multiple occasions, hearings have been requested to disqualify District Attorney Abel Reyna for taking part in the biker trials. Reyna was also accused of taking part in illegal activity, including handling cocaine.  He denied those allegations.

The deadly shooting in 2015 resulted in over 170 people being arrested. It was a shootout between the Bandidos and the Cossacks - two rival biker gangs.

More than 100 bikers were charged after nine people died and over a dozen were injured.

McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna issued the following statement regarding the dismissals:

"Earlier today, my office filed 13 motions to dismiss, 2 voluntary recusals, and 8 Refusals for
Prosecution on cases stemming from the violence that occurred at Twin Peaks. As stated in
each of the motions, “While probable cause for the Defendant’s arrest and prosecution remains,
based on continued investigation, the State is exercising its prosecutorial discretion in dismissing
this matter in order to focus its efforts and resources on co-defendants with a higher level of
culpability.” These dismissals should not be considered an exoneration of the individual
defendants or the gangs they belong to."

"As District Attorney, my sole driving force is to see that justice is served for the good people of
McLennan County. While the arrest and indictments of these individuals was soundly based in
the law, I have made the decision to dismiss these matters in order to focus our attention on
defendants even more culpable in the Twin Peaks violence."

"This effort to narrow our focus has been ongoing since the trial that took place last fall. While
the result of the trial was not what we desired, the information gleaned through trial was
invaluable in our continued investigation of these matters."

"This decision should not be viewed as “folding” or “giving up” by any means. Rather, this is an
effort to narrow in on those more culpable without expending your precious judicial resources on
lower level gang members. I firmly believe this strategy can still achieve the impact of the
message that our community will not tolerate gang violence in any form."

"We will continue to review and investigate the pending cases. It is entirely possible that other
cases may require similar action while others will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
As the public is aware, we have been awaiting evidence in the possession of the U.S. Attorney’s
office in San Antonio. We have requested this evidence, but will not be permitted to view this
evidence until the conclusion of the federal trial sometime in March. We anticipate that this
long awaited evidence will be released within 60 to 75 days. Once received, we will commit to
making additional decisions in each of the Twin Peaks cases within 30 days from receipt of that
evidence. Each of those decision will be with the original objective in mind: to see that justice
is brought to the individuals and groups responsible for these killings."

"While outlaw motorcycle gang defense attorneys and their sympathizers may say that this is an
effort to avoid a hearing, this is simply not the case. The continued abuse of the criminal justice
process and repeated attempts at political smear tactics are nothing more than an attempt to vote
me out of office, avoid justice and distract from the events of May 17th, 2015."

"I have seen and heard the allegations made against me. Let me be clear, I have NEVER shown
favoritism to friends or supporters. I have followed my oath to do the right thing at every turn.
I do not use, nor have I ever used drugs and in fact, sit on the Cenikor board dealing with drug
and alcohol abuse. I have no higher political ambition than to serve each of you as the District
Attorney of McLennan County. I was born here. I grew up here. I live here. I will give my
all to make sure McLennan County is a better place for our children to grow up. McLennan
County justice is not just a passion for me; it is in my blood, my soul and heart. Justice is not a
political game. It is at the heart of everything we do. I will not be deterred by the political
opportunism of my opponents and their ilk. We will push back and in the end, we will prevail.
With God as my witness, justice will be served in this matter."

- Abel Reyna

FOX 44's Sarah Macias was live tweeting throughout the day as things developed, you can check out her Twitter handle here.


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