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On May 18, the day after the Twin Peaks Massacre and the big Bill of Rights bonfire in Waco, the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas ran a brief on its website that told all righteous cops in Texas what they really wanted to know. “No officers were hit in the battle that left 18 wounded.”
“CLEAT lawyers and staffers were on the scene shortly after reports of the shooting surfaced,” the web story explained. “Organizer Tracy Chance was allowed access to officers at fixed positions to make sure they had access to water and sports drinks to keep them hydrated. Tracy was able to get the photos posted here.”
One of Chance’s photographs was captioned, “Crews prepare to transport the wounded.”
And, why did the police on scene need lawyers? And who were those lawyers? And what is the nexus in Waco between CLEAT, the various police departments represented at the Twin Peaks that day, Abel Reyna, and the various judges who have participated in the prosecution of people who looked suspicious to the local police? How many of these lawyers who advised the police on scene at the Twin Peaks later represented defendants in the case?
McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna, among those named in Clendennen's federal civil rights suit, requested the gag order Tuesday during a hearing in Clendennen's criminal case. District court judge Matt Johnson, Reyna's former law partner, granted the order, saying he was acting to prevent pretrial publicity from influencing potential jurors.
Johnson and Reyna's onetime partnership extends back until at least 2001, when Johnson joined the Reyna & Reyna law firm, which was owned by Reyna's father, former McLennan County district attorney and state appeals court judge Felipe Reyna.
There is nothing as simple as a list of lawyers retained by CLEAT. CLEAT does have “a legal staff of 20 including 16 lawyers, 10 field service representatives, and two full-time registered lobbyists.” Were they all at the Twin Peaks? Did they get a memo on Friday reminding them to be on call on Sunday? Did CLEAT depend on local lawyers to advise the machine gunners? Did any of those local lawyers later represent defendants in the case?
The one familiar name connected to CLEAT that appears in public records is that of criminal defender Rob Swanton. Swanton, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Waco police spokesman W. Patrick Swanton, is representing defendant Nate Christian Farish. On May 22, Swanton reportedly said “I don’t know how you can possibly represent more than one person without a potential conflict of interest.”
However, the June 2013 edition of the Texas Police Star describes Swanton as a “CLEAT Attorney.” And Swanton did represent former Waco FBI agent Lovett Leslie Ledger in a high profile case after Ledger lit up a three-pound Chihuahua in February 2008.
WACO (April 27, 2009)-- FBI agent Lovett Leslie Ledger, Jr., 40, of Lorena, pleaded no contest Monday in 54th District Court in Waco to animal cruelty charges in the shooting death of a 3- to-4 pound Chihuahua in February 2008.
The offense is a state jail felony, but prosecutors are recommending two years probation.
Ledger is seeking deferred adjudication probation, which means if he successfully completes the term of probation, the conviction will be expunged from his record.
Sentencing is set for June 23.
Ledger was indicted in July 2008 in the death of the dog.
According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Ledger told a witness that he shot the dog with a pump bb/pellet gun and said he, “must have pumped the gun up too much.”
The dog was walking on Estes Road in front of its home when it was shot once.
It ran into the yard of one of Ledger’s neighbors, where it died.
. The reports may be as important for what they don’t disprove as for what they do or don’t prove. They do not for example, disprove the notion that all, or at least most of the dead men were killed by police using M-16s and FN P90 machine guns.
Thirteen of sixteen entrance wounds were .25 inches in diameter or smaller.
FN P90s fire a round with a diameter of .224409 inches. M-16s fire slightly smaller rounds with diameters of 0.218898 inches. All but one of the victims had wounds fired from a downward trajectory. Six of the nine dead had head or neck wounds. None of the wounds contained gunshot residue which indicates that the shots were fired from at least three feet away and probably five feet or farther away. The absence of residue casts doubt on claims by prosecutors of “Bandidos executing Cossacks, and Cossacks executing Bandidos.” Two of the dead had large wounds consistent with a 12 gauge shotgun slug. Ten of 16 wounds were in the back, indicating that the victims were running away when they died. Seven of the wounds were fired from right to left. Six were fired from left to right.
Nine millimeter bullets have a diameter of 0.35433 inches; forty caliber handguns fire a bullet that is four tenths of an inch in diameter and 357 magnums fire rounds that are about .357 inches in diameter.
According to Texas Lawyer correspondent Miriam Rozen. “Two separate grand juries will conduct investigations into the shootings.” One jury will decide the fates of the 177 civilians who were taken into custody after the worst incident of biker violence in American History. The other grand jury, which seems to be already meeting, “will investigate police officer use of deadly force.”