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McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna announced on Wednesday that his office will be working to dismiss 13 cases involving the Twin Peaks shootout and is refusing 24 others.
This announcement brings the total of Twin Peaks cases that have been dismissed or refused to 58.
Nine people died and dozens were hurt in a shootout that happened outside of the former Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco in May of 2015.
Raymond Hawes, a former member of a Cossacks support group, is among the 13 who had his case dismissed.
Hawes' attorney Gary Smart who stated the Twin Peaks cases were mishandled from the start said his client doesn't have any affiliation with a motorcycle club anymore.
"Mr. Hawes was emotional when we told him.Very pleased, very glad to get this behind him and over with and no longer hanging over his head," Smart said.
The 32-year-old was one of the 10 bikers who had requested to have a hearing to disqualify Reyna's office on Thursday. During the hearing, the DA was expected to testify under oath.
"In my opinion, they had not really looked at his case so when I filed the motion, it moves to the forefront of what they need to do with this case. Do they need to go on to the hearing or is this a case we can get rid off?," Smart said.
Reyna said after the trial defense attorneys have given his office additional information about the involvement of their clients, which have led to the dismissals. He said prosecutors are focusing on those who are most culpable instead of lower level gang members.
"Our office has been hard at work going through each of these cases to determine which cases warrant the attention and utilization of our limited judicial resources," Reyna said during a press conference. "Even though it's a limited number of defendants that we are going after to send the same message that McLennan County will not tolerate this type of gang violence at all."
Smart added that he believes being less than a week away from the primaries, Reyna's actions are politically motivated.
"It's really hard to tell if Mr. Reyna doesn't want to be testifying, doesn't want his staff testifying, or doesn't want stuff coming out before the elections or how much they've really done as far as evaluating these cases," Smart said.
Reyna said he is not interested in making politically correct or politically-favored decisions.
"Let their be no doubt, myself, nor is this office concerned one bit with any of my accusers taking the witness stand and I myself, I'm not concerned of taking the witness stand at all," Reyna said.
Reyna said that last night he was briefed with new information from another federal investigation into the Bandidos. He also said that the information included 8 months of wiretapping conversation between Bandidos members.
Reyna stressed that the investigation into the shooting between the Bandidos and the Cossacks that left nine dead and dozens injured in 2015 is still active.
The next Twin Peaks trial is set to begin on April 2.
The former location of Twin Peaks has been bought by Scotty's Brewhouse. Scotty's Brewhouse will be opening for business on March 5.
The list Reyna is requesting to be dismissed are:
- Raymond Hawes
- Daniel Johnson
- Edward Keller Jr.
- Jeremy King
- Brian Logan
- Leon Robert Nichols
- Anthony Shane Palmer
- Victor Pizana
- Clayton Reed
- Sergio Reyes
- Gregory Salazar
- Seth A. Smith
- Ricky Wycough
The list of names Reyna said he would be refusing to prosecute are:
- Stephen Walker
- Jimmy Spencer
- Bobby Samford
- Julie Perkins
- Morgan English
- William English
- Benjamin Matcek
- Jimmy Smith
- Bradley Terwilliger
- Justin Waddington
- Daryle Walker
- Royce Vanvleck
- Christopher Eaton
- Brian Eickenhorst
- Arley Harris
- James Venable
- Jeremy Ojeda
- Kevin Rash
- Richard Kreder
- Owen Bartlett
- Richard Dauley
- Craig Rodahl
- Walter Weaver
- Michael Woods
Reyna asked to recuse his office from the case of William Aikin, meaning he is requesting for someone else to prosecute the case.
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