Two dozen bikers indicted on new charges in Twin Peaks shootout

Published: May. 8, 2018 at 11:52 AM CDT
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Two dozen bikers were indicted Wednesday on new charges stemming from the deadly May 2015 shootout at Waco’s Twin Peaks restaurant, three of them for murder.

The superseding indictments handed up Wednesday morning replace the original engaging in organized criminal activity indictments returned against the bikers.

“Consistent with statements issued in February of this year, this is the culmination of our office’s reevaluation of those cases as we have worked to focus our efforts and limited resources in the pursuit of justice for the nine people that lost their lives on May 17th, 2015," McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

Ray Allen, Jeffrey Battey and Glenn Allen Walker were named in indictments charging murder and riot, both first-degree felonies.

Battey’s attorney, Seth Sutton, issued a statement in which he said he and his client “look forward to the day when we finally get to present exactly what happened on May 17, 2015 to a jury of twelve McLennan County citizens.”

“It is this kind of misguided prosecution that has wasted millions of taxpayer dollars, has undermined the public confidence in our system of justice, and has produced hundreds of dismissals with no convictions,” he said.

“As we have maintained from the beginning, we believe that justice will prevail for Mr. Battey and that he will be acquitted of all wrongdoing.”

Walker is accused of killing biker Richard Kirschner, who struck once in the buttocks by a shot fired from a pistol and also struck twice—in the right thigh and left knee-by shots fired from a police rifle.

Most of the rest of the bikers were indicted on riot charges including Christopher Jacob Carrizal whose trial on the original engaging in organized criminal activity charge ended in a mistrial in November 2017 after jurors reached consensus on one of three counts, but told the judge they could not agree on the other two.

He has a new trial date in early September.

Also named in indictments charging riot Wednesday were Mitchell Bradford (two counts); Aaron Carpenter (two counts); Richard Cantu; Nathan Champeau (two counts); William Flowers (two counts); John Guerrero; Richard Lockhart; David Martinez; Wesley McAlister (two counts); Tom Mendez; Marshall Mitchell; Jerry Pierson; Marcus Pilkington; Jacob Reese (two counts); Owen Lee Reeves (two counts/habitual); Timothy Shayne Satterwhite (two counts/enhanced/plus unlawful possession of a firearm by a felon); Kyle Smith (two counts plus tampering with evidence), and Reginald Weathers.

Roy James Covey was indicted for tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, and Richard Luther, was indicted for tampering with physical evidence

Attorney Clint Broden, who represents Luther, blasted prosecutors in a statement issued after the indictments were returned Wednesday.

“One would have thought that (the) repudiation of Abel Reyna in the March primary would have resonated with Reyna and his assistants. Instead, Reyna appears intent on being the last player at the blackjack table at 3:00 in the morning who keeps doubling down until he is out of chips,” he said.

“It is particularly ironic that Reyna has now sought an indictment against Mr. Luther for tampering with physical evidence, because the defense possess actual video evidence of law enforcement officials planting evidence on Mr. Luther at the time of his arrest,” he said.

“The District Attorney’s Office is in possession of that same evidence. Indeed, today’s indictment is as specious as the original indictment.”

The indictments were handed up just eight days before the statute of limitations ran out on the lesser charges as the third anniversary of the shootout approaches.

The decision about whether the 25 bikers will be re-arrested rests with the county's district court judges.

During a hearing last week trial dates were set on the original charges for two of the re-indicted bikers, Jacob Reese and Timothy Satterwhite.

The indictments came a day after two state district court judges dismissed more than 60 Twin Peaks cases.

More than 150 bikers were originally indicted for engaging in organized criminal activity in connection with the May 17, 2015 shootout between members of several motorcycle clubs and police at Waco’s Twin Peaks restaurant.

Nine bikers died in the melee and 20 others were hurt.

Since last Thursday, more than 90 cases have been dismissed, and so far, a total of 118 of the cases have been dismissed.

Tuesday morning State District Judge Ralph Strother Tuesday dismissed the cases of 42 of the bikers charged in the deadly shootout.

Later Tuesday, State District Judge Matt Johnson dismissed another 20.

Bikers whose cases Strother dismissed Tuesday include Timothy Bayless, John Arnold, Melvin Pattenaude, Salvador Campos, James Ensey, Matthew Folse, Lawrence Garcia, Terry Martin, Juventino Montellano, Jason Moreno, Eliodoro Munguia, Joseph Ortiz, Ares Phoinix, Larry Pina, Daniel Pesina, Andres Ramirez, Kristoffer Rhyne, Robert Robertson, Andrew Sandoval, Jacob Wilson, Phillip Smith, John Wilson, Matthew Yocum, Ronnie Bishop, Christopher Julian Carrizal, Jason Cavazos, Michael Chaney, Lance Geneva, Valdemar Guajardo, Bryan Harper, Tommy Jennings, Edgar Kelleher, Michael Kenes, Martin Lewis, Keith McCallum, John Moya, Jr., Jerry Pollard, James Stallings, Blake Taylor, Christian Valencia, Mark White and Philip White.

Bikers whose cases Johnson dismissed include Rene Cavazos, Richard Benavides, Gage Yarborough, Brian Brincks, James Gray, James Devoll, James David, Lindell Copeland, Michael Thomas, Seth Tyler Smith, Dusty Oehlert, Rudy Mercado, Eleazar Martinez, Josh Martin, Jarrod Lehman, Jarron Hernandez, James Hardin, Gregory Wingo, Lawrence Yager and John Vensel.

WACO, Texas (KWTX)—Chances are that whoever succeeds McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna next year will inherit the bulk of the remaining Twin Peaks cases.
Waco attorney Barry Johnson upset Reyna in the GOP primary in March.

Daniel Hare, the director of career development and employer relations at the Baylor Law School, from which he graduated, intended to run as an independent, but because of a filing error, may be forced to run a write-in campaign. Both say the cases will be a top priority.

"They are doing exactly what we advocated during our campaign and that is they're looking at all of those cases hopefully under a microscope which is what I intend to do if elected," Johnson said Wednesday.

"I'm hopeful I suppose and optimistic that we're getting to the place where we should've been all along," Hare said.

"Let's wipe the slate clean. Let's look at each one with some fresh perspective and let's just go through and make sure where the case is today, and is it on the right track," he said.  (John Carroll)