After 20 days of trial, the fate of Dallas Bandido Christopher Jake Carrizal was in the hands of 12 jurors Thursday night.
Those jurors have to decide if Christopher Jake Carrizal is guilty or not guilty of one count of directing activities of a criminal street gang, and two counts of engaging in organized criminal activity.
During closing arguments on Thursday, both the prosecutors and the defense tried their best to make their case one last time for the jury. Defense attorney Casie Gotro told jurors there was nothing criminal about Carrizal. She said being a Bandido these days was more of a lifestyle and does not mean he was a gang member.
District attorney Abel Reyna said Carrizal and the Bandidos came to Waco 20 bikers strong. He said Carrizal rode in knowing he was going to provoke the Cossacks into a fight. Once that fight broke out, Gotro claimed it took courage for Carrizal not to leave his father and uncle behind in the violence.
"Tell them no,” said Defense Attorney Casie Gotro. “Tell them that in the community you live in, there’s room for courage. There's enough cowards in the world."
District Attorney Abel Reyna strongly disagreed.
“Courage? You're going to call that courage? Or do you want to call it exerting dominance, or arrogance,” said Reyna.
Gotro said this is the part of trial that scares her. She's claimed Carrizal did not know the Cossacks were going to be at Twin Peaks. She even said the Cossacks were the aggressors and that Carrizal had every right to defend himself.
He couldn't’t even get off the bike before he was surrounded,” said Gotro. “And what? You're going to have him run? Just break out and run across the parking lot over the highway? There are some men who just aren't built like that.”
Prosecuting attorney Michael Jarrett said the Bandidos were equally responsible for what happened at Twin Peaks. Jarrett said Carrizal deserves every guilty verdict.
“The second time he's guilty is when he leads them into the belly of the beast. He's guilty when he lead them to enemy territory. If this was North and South Korea, he rode into the DMZ,” said Jarrett.
Carrizal claimed self-defense, but self-defense won't hold up in the eyes of the law if jurors decide they believe Carrizal was a member of what prosecutors described as a "criminal street gang" -- as opposed to a member of a regular club.
If the jury finds Carrizal guilty on any of the three charges, he may face up to life in prison.
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