A fight over a fake deal to break up the large case load of arrests after the Twin Peaks shooting on May 17, is making for a very real battle between lawyers.
On Sunday, the Houston based law firm Looney and Conrad, PC. sent out a statement saying jailed bikers had been presented with a deal that would reduce their bond amount in exchange for their agreement not to sue the Waco Police Department.
"It appears the public defenders office in McLennan County is involved in this scurrilous activity,” said Paul Looney in the release, but McLennan County does not have a public defenders office. Looney also said he originally thought the waiver had been approved by the office of the McLennan County district attorney.
One day later, Looney said he worked with the DA, Abel Reyna, to release his clients and said the lawyer responsible for the fake deal was Valley Mills attorney Brittany Lannen, and his clients had been approached by other inmates he suspected were Lannen's clients.
"Her behavior in this matter is bizarre, unprofessional, unethical," Looney said.
Reyna himself did not comment, but his office did release a short set of statements surrounding the waiver via e-mail which said, "There have been numerous statements regarding this issue," Reyna said. "It is totally false, ridiculous, and sad that someone would make such baseless allegations."
Lannen is name partner of the Diaz-Lannen-Wright Law PLLC, which is located in Rosebud. After the allegations were made public, the firm posted on Facebook and said, "Contrary to what has been posted on social media by another law firm, Attorney Lannen did not develop the 'waiver of civil suit' idea to break the 'biker bond log jam."'
Lannen contacted News Channel 25 after the story aired at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. on Monday. She denies the allegations made by Looney.
Lannen said she initially heard about Looney's release regarding a waiver after one of her client's relatives sent it to her Sunday afternoon.
She said that release did not mention her name at that time. After the initial release was sent, Lannen said she talked to Looney about sending a joint statement between her clients and one of Looney's clients regarding an upcoming peaceful motorcycle protest. She said the three clients all belong to the Distorted motorcycle club. However, she said that conversation turned to very unhealthy and aggressive rather quickly.
Lannen said her name appeared in the press release after she had that conversation with Looney.
"It seems like he had taken a conversation about a news release about protest and somehow weaved into creating a waiver. He is the one who informed me about it the first place," said Lannen.
Her clients, Steven Walker and Julie Perkins, had their bonds reduced from $1 million to $25,000 after Lannen's law firm reached an agreement with the DA's office. Walker was released from jail on Monday and Perkins is expected to be released Tuesday.
Looney said Lannen will be reported to the Texas Bar Association. As of June 1, Lannen did not have any sanctions from any state bar on her record, according to the association.