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WACO (November 18, 2015) Two Dallas lawyers representing five defendants in the Twin Peaks biker shootout cases have filed separate lawsuits in federal court in Austin seeking relief for their clients in the wake of indictments in the cases.
Matthew Alan Clendennen, Robert Clinton Bucy, Burton George Bergman, Noe Adame and Jorge Salinas all claim their 1st, 4th and 14th U.S. Constitutional rights were violated when they were arrested and eventually jailed in the hours following the May 17 biker gang shootout at Twin Peaks Restaurant, in Waco, where nine died and 20 were injured.
MISSTATEMENTS AND EXAGGERATIONS TO THE MEDIA
Within hours of the Twin Peaks incident, information was provided to the media that was inaccurate, exaggerated, and highly misleading. Defendant Stroman allowed WPD representatives to set forth a narrative that was inaccurate in many respects. The “shootout between outlaw motorcycle gangs” theme that continues to be trumpeted is patently false. Perpetuating the narrative has caused irreparable harm to the reputations of the many individuals, including Plaintiff, who had nothing to do with the fatalities and injuries.
Perhaps the most misleading characterization of the events was made days after the incident by Defendant Reyna when he implied that those arrested were guilty because “if they’re victims, then they shouldn’t have any problem coming to law enforcement and cooperating... and, at least in the first round of interviews, we ain’t getting that.” This is blatantly false. A review of investigators’ records documenting the interviews that were conducted with the detained bikers clearly establishes that the vast majority, including Plaintiff, were completely cooperative during interviews, and voluntarily submitted to questioning and requests for forensics from law enforcement. Defendant Reyna knew of these facts at the time he made the above described public statement.
A Houston lawyer, representing a biker charged in the Twin Peaks clash, traveled to Waco Monday with a bold offer that might be too intriguing for a judge not to indulge him.
The plan, described in a motion filed in McLennan County, stands to save the 105 other defendants as well as prosecutors, police, and dozens of other lawyers and courthouse personnel from a massive, expensive legal boondoggle.
As lawyer Paul Looney sees it, there is no way the county can handle the cost, time and logistics of prosecuting 106, and maybe more bikers, especially if most of them refuse plea agreements and demand trials.
Even if the county held a trial a week _ week in and week out without a break _ it would be about two years before all would be resolved, he said.
“The primary issues in this case are legal ones; there are few disputed facts,” Looney said.
Although authorities have not yet revealed how many of the dead or wounded were shot by police or bikers, Looney notes that so far none one is charged specifically with shooting, stabbing or harming anyone else.
The way matters stand now, Looney said the majority of bikers – most of whom have no prior criminal records – will seek trials to clear their names.
Dallas attorneys Clint Broden and Don Tittle filed the suits Tuesday night and Wednesday on behalf of bikers Matthew Clendennen, Robert Bucy, George Bergman, Noe Adame, John Vensel and Jorge Salinas.
The lawsuits, filed in an Austin federal court, allege the bikers’ civil rights were violated because they claim they were falsely arrested after the shootout. They claim their rights to due process under the law were violated.
The five individual suits also describe the conduct of the respondents to the suit in a way that virtually begs for a RICO indictment. The complaints allege: “In the hours and days immediately following the incident, Defendants Stroman, Chavez, Reyna, and Doe entered into a conspiracy to deprive Plaintiff of his right to be free from unlawful seizure and incarceration in violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. Defendants acted in concert either to orchestrate or to carry out the illegal seizure and cause the illegal arrest and incarceration described in this Complaint when they knew there was no probable cause to arrest him or to charge him with the offense of Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity.”
And, the complaints reference the spurious nature of the indictments handed down a week ago; noting that they are, “identical for every single individual. To date, there has been no attempt to state with any particularity the facts on which the first degree felony against Plaintiff is based. From a fill-in-the-name template probable cause affidavit, to a fill-in-the-name template Indictment, violations of Plaintiff’s constitutional rights continue.”