First trial of biker indicted in Twin Peaks shootout underway

Posted at 1:32 PM, Oct 11, 2017
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:31:11-04

The first trial for a biker indicted in the Twin Peaks shootout started on Wednesday afternoon with the testimony of a witness who said she suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after the incident.

Nine bikers died and dozens were injured following the shooting outside the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco in 2015.

Christopher Jacob Carrizal who was the vice president of the Dallas chapter of the Bandidos when the shooting happened faces charges of directing activities of a criminal street gang, engaging in organized criminal activity that led to murder and aggravated assault.

In opening statements, McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna told jurors evidence will show the Twin Peaks incident was not an isolated act of violence but it came from conflict brewing between the Cossacks and Bandidos.

“Twin Peaks on May 17, 2015, did not happen in a vacuum. The evidence will show you that it was a crescendo of conflict that had been occurring for over a year,” Reyna said.

He added the Cossacks refused to bow down to the Bandidos and ask for permission to exist. In addition, he said they started wearing a Texas bottom rocker patch on their vests without their permission.

Reyna said they tried to reach a truce, but when it fell, the Cossacks held their first meeting ever outside of Austin. He claimed that in preparation for that meeting in Waco, Carrizal told members of the Bandidos to go to the planned meeting to rectify the situation.

Witness Lettie Jones who used to work as a cook at the Twin Peaks restaurant said she saw at least 50 Cossacks in the patio area and at separate groups of other bikers who were wearing yellow and red came in.

The witness said she went to the front area of the restaurant because she noticed she was the only one in the kitchen and heard motorcycles coming in.

“Somebody started yelling there was a fight and our manager told us to go inside as he picked up the phone. That’s when I heard the first pop and there were lots and lots of other pops after. It seemed unreal. I thought there were fireworks going off in the parking lot,” Jones said.

She said after she heard the gunshots, the Cossacks started jumping the railing of the patio area into the parking lot, where she said the sound of the gunshots was coming from.

Jones became emotional when she explained seeing injured and dead bikers as she was being escorted off the restaurant by police.

She added he has not been able to work and had to seek counseling help after the shooting happened.

The trial started on Wednesday after a day and a half of jury selection, during which the defense asked the jurors whether they could be open to the possibility the Bandidos were not a criminal street gang.

She also asked them whether they would be able to give Carrizal a fair trial, which most of them responded yes to.

Before the 10 men and two women were selected as jurors in the trial, two men who were attempting to communicate with potential jurors were escorted out of the courthouse. The McLennan County Sheriff’s Office is investigating what happened.

Sheriff’s deputies also had to bring in a potential juror who did not appear in court on Wednesday morning.

The trial is expected to continue on Thursday at 9 a.m. 

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