By James “Hollywood”Macecari
Insane Throttle has been covering the grossly unjust situation in Waco that is “Twin Peaks” for quite some time now. This is a situation that has become a turning point for those in the motorcycle community. Why? Because independent and club members were wrongfully arrested in this incident, people whom had nothing at all to do with what transpired other then being at the wrong place at the wrong time. If “Twin Peaks” wasn’t a wake up call for all bikers, I don’t know what would be.
That day we seen a government agency murder, cover-up and charge American Citizens in a incident that the government had the power to stop before the first shot was even fired. They had the intelligence before hand that a situation could develop between the Cossacks Motorcycle Club and Bandidos Motorcycle club and did nothing to prevent it. A phone call from the authorities to the establishment holding the event could’ve avoided the incident, a damn police cruiser blocking the entrance to the establishment could’ve turned away the clubs they knew would have issues with each other could’ve stopped the incident. Instead, the cops waited in military flank positions with snipers for the pack of Bandidos to pull in, waited for the clubs to start walking towards each other and started opening fire with AR-15s. No tear gas to disperse the crowd, no orders to fall to the ground and drop weapons, just seconds after a situation that could’ve been prevented, 9 people lie dead, 20 injured and over 177 people arrested.
Watching some of the videos from that day, how this overly corrupt District Attorney got any of these cases to move through the court pipeline is beyond me. How and why only a trickle of cases have finally begun to be dismissed is beyond reason. The cases that have been dismissed are ones where this corrupt District Attorney would have to answer questions under oath. Any reasonable person can see this whole situation was driving by corruption and political motives. What is worst, peoples entire lives have been upended for something they had nothing to do with.
March 6th the primary for this District Attorneys office comes up. Abel ” The Corrupt” Reyna is going up against Barry Johnson. This is a chance for the citizens of Waco and McLennan County to right this very terrible wrong. This is a chance for those affected to be vindicated, a chance to see that all the suffering that they have been through see a fair outcome. My question is this. Have those biker rights groups, clubs, COC, family and friends involved in this situation mobilized to get people to the polls? If not, there is still time to do so. Talk with Barry Johnsons office, ask how you can help get out the vote, bang on doors and talk with people, offer rides on election day to get them to the polls.
My hopes that there is already organization drives to vote Reyna out, or at least a consensus among Waco and McLennan County residents that Reyna is nothing but corrupt and power hungry and don’t represent their interest. But in a country where people only care about the (D) or (R) behind those who are running for office, it will always be hard to tell an outcome of an election. No longer are elections in this country about what is “Right or Wrong”, it’s all about who the party picks as it’s champion and the masses will follow. Hopefully, especially in this race, that will not be the case. If it turns out Renya wins this primary challenge, everyone outside of Texas involved in situation will see the election system down there in Waco as truly a Boss Hawg type of system . “Good ol boy politics and Governance”
Both men like to talk about their fathers and grandfathers.
Reyna’s father, Felipe Reyna, is a former McLennan County district attorney and a former justice on the 10th Court of Appeals. His grandfather was the janitor at the McLennan County Courthouse and was loved by county employees.
Johnson’s father, Joe N. Johnson, was a McLennan County justice of the peace for 24 years and was judge in 170th State District Court for 16 years. His grandfather owned and operated the first service station in Waco at South Fifth Street and Webster Avenue.
Reyna, 45, and Johnson, 61, are embroiled in a hotly contested Republican primary battle as Reyna seeks his third term as McLennan County district attorney. Reyna has declined to answer questions from the Tribune-Herald or return phone calls for the past five years and continued that informational black-out for this story. Reyna, a former defense attorney, defeated 24-year incumbent John Segrest eight years ago and had no opponents on the ballot four years ago, beating back a last-minute write-in campaign from Robert Callahan.
Waco attorney Seth Sutton withdrew his name from the Democratic primary last week, and Daniel Hare, director of employee relations and engagement at the Baylor University Law School, will be on the November ballot for DA as an independent.
Johnson was a plaintiffs’ attorney in Dallas for 30 years and ran an unsuccessful campaign in 2016 for state district judge in Dallas County before moving back to Waco last year. In recent public forums, Reyna has criticized Johnson for living and working outside McLennan County and his lack of experience in criminal court.
Johnson has countered that his trial experience with complex civil actions and his management of a law firm that employed 30 people for 30 years gives him ample experience to be the next district attorney.
“I think that is my strength, to be able to work with people and to motivate people and to be an effective administrator,” Johnson said. “When elected, I look forward to talking to every one of the current employees in the district attorney’s office and sit down and listen to them and see what their concerns are. Hopefully, I will be able to keep most of them.”
While Johnson said he wants to set aside the negative aspects of the race and focus on his qualifications and experience in the final days before the March 6 primary, it is clear the colossal Twin Peaks case and the manner in which Reyna has handled the cases of 154 bikers indicted in the shootout has hung over the campaign like a murky haze.
Reyna has been bombarded with dozens of motions from defense attorneys representing Twin Peaks defendants, some of which came with affidavits from Reyna’s former first assistant, Greg Davis, who said he resigned over what he described as Reyna’s two-tiered system of justice and because he effectively dismissed cases for political gain. Twin Peaks defense attorneys continue to seek to disqualify Reyna on allegations that he thought he could benefit politically from the mass arrests of the Twin Peaks defendants, that he hijacked the initial investigation and usurped the authorities of veteran police officers and that he has a financial stake in seeing the cases prosecuted because of more than 100 pending civil rights lawsuits filed against him and others by bikers in an Austin federal court.
Last week, Reyna dismissed 13 Twin Peaks cases that had been pending almost three years, refused eight others that were not indicted and recused his office from two other biker’s cases just hours before a hearing at which two bikers were seeking his disqualification from their cases. Reyna’s actions canceled the necessity for the hearing.
Reyna explained that he and his staff re-evaluated the Twin Peaks cases and dismissed some while the office refocuses on those with a higher degree of culpability.
However, Johnson and the attorneys charged that Reyna took the actions necessary to cancel the hearing because he didn’t want to be put under oath as a witness and he couldn’t afford for voters to hear what the other witnesses, including Davis, were going to say before the primary election.
According to court filings, a former Waco police detective was prepared to testify that two of Reyna’s close friends were implicated in an illegal gambling investigation the detective was looking into, and a Waco attorney was going to testify that one of her clients told an FBI agent investigating Reyna for corruption a few years ago that he delivered cocaine to Reyna.Reyna has denied the allegations and has said he has never used drugs. Reyna has said in Republican forums that crime is down since he took office and implemented stricter plea-bargain arrangements that he said are more in line with verdicts handed down by McLennan County juries.Reyna told the Republican crowds that his office has won 110 life sentences, that it has returned millions of dollars to merchants through the hot check department and returned money to the county from unused funds in his budget. Unlike in past years, the Waco Police Association and the Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Association of McLennan County will not endorse a candidate this year in the DA’s primary race. The Waco Police Association endorsed Reyna over Segrest, a six-term incumbent, eight years ago.
“We are just not comfortable endorsing anybody right now,” said Waco police Detective Ken Reeves, Waco Police Association president. “Our biggest decision this year was, amid all the controversy, we just decided to sit it out. Right now, with Abel, all the allegations that are being made, it is hard right now to endorse anybody with those allegations out there. We don’t know what is true and what is not true. We hope they are not. But still, it is hard to endorse anybody with all of that going around. It’s not that we think Abel has done anything or we don’t like Barry Johnson. It’s just not the right time to endorse anybody right now.”
Sgt. Brad Bond, Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Association of McLennan County president, said members voted recently not to endorse any political candidates this year.
Early voting for the March 6 primary starts Tuesday and continues through March 2.
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