Brother of Twin Peaks defendant testifies on day five of trial

Posted at 12:07 PM, Oct 17, 2017
and last updated 2018-07-24 21:31:11-04

The brother of the first defendant in Twin Peaks trial took the stand on day five of the first Twin Peaks trial.

Zach Carrizal, who is also a member of the Bandidos, is testifying in the trial for his brother Christopher Jacob Carrizal. The 35-year-old was indicted on charges of directing activities of a criminal street gang and engaging in organized criminal activity. Nine bikers died and dozens were injured after the shooting outside of the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco on May 17, 2015.

The defendant's brother, who is part of the New Mexico chapter of the Bandidos, said he joined the Bandidos because he was attracted by the brotherhood and by motorcycle riding.

Michael Jarrett with the McLennan County District Attorney's Office presented texts Zach exchanged with his brother. In those texts, Zach asked the defendant about another motorcycle club called the Devil's Disciples in the Dallas area. The defendant used slang terms to say they were not allowed to wear their patches.

When Jarrett asked Zach whether it would be fair to say that the Bandidos prevented that group from wearing a patch, Zach replied no. He said it wouldn't be fair because his brother never said who told them to do it.

Zach also discussed members of the Bandidos paying dues to help other members who he said have been wrongfully charged.

"There are a lot of wrongful cases against our club. It seems like every time, we turn around, there is someone else being pulled over for some stupid reason and have them looks thrown at them because of what we are wearing," Zach Carrizal said.

When Defense attorney Casie Gotro asked him whether he joined the Bandidos to commit crimes, he said no.

Expert Chris Schaefer with the Colorado Bureau of Investigation called the Bandidos a criminal street gang and referenced that Carrizal directed other members to bring tools, or guns, to the Twin Peaks restaurant. In addition, Schaefer said Carrizal knew what he was walking into when he went to the restaurant more than two years ago. 

SWAT Sgt. Stephen Drews who was assigned to investigate the meeting taking place at the Twin Peaks restaurant and put together a plan for SWAT officers to be present also testified on Tuesday.

"Our main focus was to maintain the safety of the public in that area and of the people who were attending this," Drews said.

He said officers met with owner of Twin Peaks restaurant and encouraged him to not allow the meeting to happen. However, he didn't cancel it

Drews describe officers wore blue uniforms and drove marked cars with the expectation that would deter any violence to happen.

"We knew [the Bandidos and the Cossacks] were not getting along but we were assured that neither gang wanted any type of violence between each other," Drews said. "We suspected there would be violence to a certain extent or that there could be because we knew they didn't like each other."

However, he said they did not think they were eminent after speaking with the Cossacks and receiving intel from the Bandidos.

Drews said after he parked near the Twin Peaks restaurant before the incident took place, he noticed a large group of motorcycles arriving and the crowd surrounding the restaurant converged to the parking lot. He said he suddenly heard over the radio there was a lot of tension and a fight was about to happen.

He said soon after he heard the first shot, he pulled up closer to the scene and grabbed his rifle out of his car. 

He describes pairing up with another SWAT officer and using cars for cover while approaching the scene on foot. He describes people running through that area.

"At first, it was one shot but then it's bam, bam, bam, bam, bam. There is glass breaking. You could hear the bullets [whizzing]," Drews said.

He said he was trying to locate where the shots were coming from but he couldn't tell who was shooting.  

"I did not shoot because I could not see who exactly was shooting from over here," Drews said.

Soon after, Drews said the shooting stopped after he started giving verbal commands to put their guns down and get on the ground and get their hands where officers could see them.

Before Zach's testimony, a Computer Forensics specialist, who used to work with Waco Police James Owens, spoke at the trial. 

Owens testimony was interrupted after the defense objected to the content on three phones because she had not viewed the content of the exhibits.

After 54th District Court Judge Matt Johnson sent the jury to recess, he told both parties: "It is slowing down the progress of this trial for these exhibits not being delivered to trial before counsel prior to them being offered."

Jarrett replied she had exact copies of those exhibits on her computer. However, Johnson said there is no way she can know the content of those discs unless she is given a chance to review them. She spent almost an hour reviewing the files, as the jury was recessed.

The trial will resume on Wednesday at 9 a.m. 

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