McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna voluntarily recused himself and his office from prosecuting the next Twin Peaks biker trial in order to avoid the appearance of impropriety because Reyna and two assistant district attorneys testified during a pre-trial hearing that could make them considered material witnesses in the same case they would have been prosecuting.
In a motion filed at the McLennen County Courthouse Thursday, Reyna asked the court to appoint an outside prosecutor to handle all further action in the case of Matthew Clendennen, who was scheduled to be tried Nov. 6. While he does not believe he or his assistants should be considered material witnesses, he recognizes that the court could potentially consider them as such.
Reyna's decision came after Clendennen's defense attorney Clint Broden subpoenaed McLennan County prosecutors Monday -- insinuating Reyna was under investigation by the FBI for his handling of the Twin Peaks investigations. Reyna had previously dismissed those claims as "make-believe." And, in the latest motion, the McLennan County District Attorney's Office doubled down and "categorically" denied all accusations prosecutors had engaged in any "politically motivated prosecution." The motion added Reyna's office was unaware of any federal investigation or any actions by him or his staff that would warrant one.
A gag order in the Twin Peaks trials prevents either side from commenting on this development.
But, in his own response filed at the courthouse, Broden continued to claim there was an FBI investigation into Reyna's conduct and that he had evidence to prove such an investigation was underway. He wrote the defense was ready to present that evidence at an Oct. 30 hearing.
In the court filing, Broden also claimed First Assistant DA Michael Jarrett opened a second phone to communicate with an FBI Special Agent, who Broden claimed was investigating allegations Reyna had arranged to have cases dismissed for friends and campaign contributors.
The court filing also claimed former First Assistant DA Greg Davis would be able to testify to conversations that "the District Attorney's Office 'made' the police arrest 177 motorcyclists at Twin Peaks despite the wishes of the police." And, Broden also said he could produce a local attorney he could testify that "Reyna was delivered cocaine in the period around his actions in relation to the Twin Peaks case."