Influx of inmates to impact local jail and courts - KXXV Central Texas News Now


Influx of inmates to impact local jail and courts

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MCLENNAN COUNTY, TX (KXXV) - McLennan County court officials say the arrests of 170 motorcycle gang members booked into the county jail will have a “huge impact” on the local jail and court system.

Local defense attorneys say there aren't enough lawyers in Waco to represent all the suspects if they need a court appointed attorney.

High profile Defense Attorney Walter Reaves Jr. says county officials have already started reaching out to lawyers nearby to see if they're available to help.

"I've been practicing law for almost 34 years and I don't know if I can compare this to anything,” says Reaves. “I haven't seen anything even remotely like this with the number of individual defendants involved. It's unprecedented as far as I know of."

After the biker brawl broke out Sunday afternoon, police were able to contain the situation and detain the bikers at the scene. Most involved are members of the Cossacks or Banditos Motorcycle Clubs, as well as three other unnamed biker gangs.

Authorities say because of the sheer number of suspects involved, the Waco Convention Center, which is usually the home to business, charity, and entertainment events, was turned into a mass booking facility. Waco Transit had to bus those suspects to the convention center and then to the McLennan County Jail.

“You're adding a lot of court cases to the system all at once so I mean that has to have an impact and it has to have a huge impact on the jail because all of those people are going to be held in jail,” says Reaves. “You're all of a sudden adding probably a third of the jail population, you're adding that number of people to the jail and you're going to have to keep them there for a while.”

The McLennan County Sheriff's Office says jailers are keeping the rival gang members separated for safety reasons.

Authorities called the process of booking all 170 suspects slow and tedious. The sheriff's office had to call in all of their staff who worked through the night Sunday and most of Monday afternoon to get it done.
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