Gag order in Twin Peaks biker case lifted

Gag order in Twin Peaks biker case lifted
Posted at 11:59 AM, Jun 15, 2016
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:30:15-04

On Wednesday, a McLennan County Judge lifted the gag order that was in place for almost a year for one of the cases in the Twin Peaks shooting.

This comes after the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas issued an opinion that denies a request to overturn a previous opinion ordering the gag order in a Twin Peaks shooting case to be lifted. 

The gag order prevented those involved in the case of Matthew Clendennen's case, including attorneys, their staffs, law enforcement personnel, representatives of the District Attorney's Office and witnesses from discussing it with the media. 

The opinion issued on Wednesday states "We deny mandamus relief and withdraw our order staying the proceedings."

This means an August of 2015 opinion issued by the Tenth Court of Appeals, which ordered McLennan County District Judge Matt Johnson to lift the order, stands. The opinion stated Johnson’s court abused its discretion by issuing its June 30th gag order.

Broden, who represents Clendennen said after almost a year the opinion of the Court of Criminal Appeals restored Clendennen's First Amendment rights.

"I'm sorry it took so long but I feel vindicated at the end of the process," said Broden."While Mr. Clendennen certainly does not welcome the publicity that has surrounded this case, neither will he allow the police and the District Attorney’s office to manipulate the public unchecked," said Broden.

Broden stated he doesn't know if lifting the gag order will impact his client or other defendants.

"I don't know it changes anything but it keeps the DA's Office and the Waco Police Department in check of making outrageous claims they were making the day of and two days after the incident," said Broden.

He added they didn't want to attact

 McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna appealed the Tenth Court of Appeals decision opinion with the Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas after it was issued. The state contended the gag order protects all of the suspects arrested in relation to the Twin Peaks incident, ensuring they get a fair trial. 

Reyna made this statement on the decision:

“The Gag Order was requested by the State to help preserve and maintain everyone’s right to a fair trial.  I want to commend the Judge on his effort in doing so by issuing the Gag Order.  While we may not agree with the Court of Criminal Appeals, we respect their decision. 

With that said, the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office will continue to make every effort to preserve everyone’s right to fair trial by not commenting any further on this matter.  In short, we will leave our talking for the courtroom. “

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