Authorities probe possible attempt to influence Twin Peaks jury

(Photo by John Carroll)
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) Two men were detained outside the McLennan County Courthouse Wednesday because of concerns they were trying to influence Twin Peaks potential jury members.

As some 140 potential jury members stood outside the courtroom in the hallway, 54th District Judge Matt Johnson called the case on record and explained to attorneys and others in the courtroom that deputies had raised the possibility of an attempt to influence prospective jurors.

The two men were seated in the back of the courtroom and Johnson called them to the front.

Johnson asked both men who they were and what they had been talking with panel members about.

Both told Johnson they were just there to observe.

But when Johnson questioned a deputy about why the two were detained, he said a courthouse employee heard them talking about the case and even took a picture of the exchange.

Johnson ordered the photo be turned over to the court for review.

Casey Gotro, attorney for Jacob Carrizal, who is the first of the bikers to go to trial in connection with the Twin Peaks massacre that left dead and more than 20 injured on May 17, 2015, objected while Assistant District Attorney Michael Jarret was explaining the situation.

From the bench Johnson immediately responded: “Be quiet, Miss Gotro. Mr. Jarrett is speaking. You shut your mouth.”

After Johnson ordered the photo turned over to him, he had the two men remanded to custody of the sheriff’s office and had them taken to another courtroom where they could be interviewed more in depth.

Johnson put the remainder of jury selection on hold until he could resolve the tampering matter.

The two men, whose names weren't released, were ultimately released, but were ordered off the courthouse grounds and told not to return.