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A local justice of the peace was removed Thursday from an examining trial in the case of a Hewitt biker accused of engaging in organized crime in relation to the shootout at Twin Peaks restaurant.
Joe Carroll, senior judge of the 27th Judicial District Court, granted a motion to recuse Justice of the Peace W.H. “Pete” Peterson from the case involving Matthew Clendennen after Clendennen’s attorney, Clinton Broden, filed a complaint against Peterson
Broden’s complaint, filed June 2 with the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, alleges Peterson violated several judicial ethical canons when he set the bonds for the jailed bikers. Broden has said his complaint is based on comments Peterson made to the Tribune-Herald after the shooting.
“I think it is important to send a message,” Peterson said at the time. “We had nine people killed in our community. These people just came in, and most of them were from out of town. Very few of them were from in town.”
Broden’s complaint alleges Peterson’s “public comments would cause persons to believe that they could not get a fair examining trial before Peterson.”
In the complaint, he alleges it is unlawful to set bonds to “send a message” and that Peterson’s quotes “indicate that he sets bonds out of bias against people who visit Waco.”