Judge: 'Mr. Reyna…you should be ashamed of yourself'

McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna. (File)
McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna. (File)(KWTX)
Published: Mar. 5, 2018 at 11:04 AM CST
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A visiting judge refused to dismiss a Twin Peaks case Monday, but spent a significant amount of time reprimanding District Attorney Abel Reyna from the bench over the use of the defendant’s image in campaign advertising.

Dallas-area attorney Clinton F. Broden asked visiting Judge Douglas Shaver to dismiss the charge against Matthew Alan Clendennen because for three years Clendennen has tried to force the case to court and at each juncture Reyna's office has delayed the trial, Broden said.

Shaver has overseen the pretrial issues since 54th District Judge Matt Johnson removed himself from the case last year.

"He's exhausted every opportunity seeking trial other than buying a billboard on the Interstate that says 'I want my trial,'" Broden said.

Clendennen a Hewitt businessman who was arrested May 17, 2015 in the wake of the shooting outside the Twin Peaks restaurant that left nine dead and two dozen injured, testified Monday about his efforts to get the case to trial so he could have his day in court.

Clendennen said as a result of the charges against him, engaging in organized criminal activity, he lost his landscaping business and went through a divorce.

Broden pointed out the original indictment naming Clendennen is flawed and had to be amended after it initially was handed down.

The case now being overseen by a special prosecutor after Reyna recused his office last year and one of the special prosecutors asked Shaver for more time to review the new indictment.

He granted the extra time but only until Friday of this week.

Broden then asked the judge to dismiss the charges against Clendennen because the prosecutors had violated the rules of speedy trial.

"Everything weighs in favor of dismissal on speedy trial grounds," Broden told the judge.

The judge denied the motion.

Then the matter turned to the use of Clendennen's picture in Reyna current political advertisements on television and on the campaign's website.

"He's ruined my image," Clendennen said.

Shaver directed his comments at Reyna when he said: "I find the whole idea shameful and misleading to the citizens of McLennan County," Shaver said about the ads.

"There is a gag order in this case and I can't find a way to hold you in contempt for those ads, but if I could, I would and you'd be under arrest," Shaver said to Reyna.

He ordered the ads immediately removed from television and from Reyna's campaign website.

When Reyna rose to comment, Shaver abruptly told him: I've seen the ads, Mr. Reyna. I saw it this morning, and you should be ashamed of yourself."

WACO, Texas (KWTX)--Late Monday afternoon, F. Clinton Broden, who represents Twin Peaks defendant Matthew Clendennen, filed a motion for sanctions against McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna after Reyna had failed to remove campaign ads in which his client is shown.

Visiting Judge Douglas Shaver ordered Reyna Monday morning to remove all ads including those that appear online that show Clendennen.

Late Monday afternoon the ads were still in use.