DA defends $1M bonds, says arrested bikers not cooperating with - KXXV Central Texas News Now

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DA defends $1M bonds, says arrested bikers not cooperating with police

WACO, TX (KXXV) - In his first lengthy interview since Sunday's shootings, McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna defended the $1 million bonds keeping most of the arrested bikers in jail, and said the ones claiming to be victims need to start acting like victims and cooperating with police investigators.

"I've heard enough about my person was a victim and most of the people were victims," he said. "Well, guess what? If they're victims they shouldn't have any problem coming to law enforcement and cooperating to be sure justice is done and the individuals solely responsible are brought to justice - and through the first round of interviews we aren't getting that," Reyna added.

According to state law, a criminal street gang is defined as "essentially three or more persons having a common identifying sign or symbol or identifiable leadership who continuously or regularly associates in criminal activities." The DA says that fits bikers who showed up Sunday wearing colors, jackets or vests of known gangs who have criminal records.

"As many weapons as were found out there, they weren't out there just to eat lunch, they weren't out there to just have their little meeting, they meant business," Reyna explained with a serious look.

He proudly described how local law enforcement officers took control of the scene quickly when gunfire erupted and then managed the difficult apprehension and arrest of nearly 200 people, many of them armed.  But he also cautioned the investigation is just a few days old, and people shouldn't rush to judgement.

"We need to see what that evidence reveals, but I can tell you this - we're gonna get to the bottom of it and law enforcement is all working together as a team, and I'll bet on our own gang before I bet on their gang," Reyna promised.

He believes the bond subsequent conditions fit the crime, especially considering the brazen way some of those bikers boldly fired shots at their rivals even though police were nearby in plain sight.

One jailed biker, Jeff Battey, from the Dallas-Ft. Worth area was released Wednesday morning after he put on an electronic ankle monitor, which is covered by the bond payment. Another inmate is scheduled to be released on bond Thursday morning, under those same bond conditions.

The bond conditions prevent the inmate from doing a number of things while out on bond, including not coming back to McLennan County unless its for court proceedings, as well as not having contact with other gang members, victims, or witnesses of the Twin Peaks attack. They are also prohibited from owning a weapon or consuming any drugs or alcohol.

"Somebody might say the bond conditions are a lot more than somebody else might have, but when's the last time somebody saw nine dead and 18 injured in the middle of broad daylight?" he added.

A number of former prosecutors and district attorneys in Texas have called the DA's office and offered to help in any way possible, according to Reyna. That's bred confidence that 170 cases won't overload the district attorney's office "We'll be fine, we can handle it," Reyna said. "Nobody's going to come into McLennan County and do something like that.  Not on my watch."
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