CENTRAL TEXAS -- An attorney, representing one of the motorcyclists who was arrested in the aftermath of the 2015 shootout at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, has requested a hearing to determine if the McLennan County District Attorney's Office is withholding evidence and, if so, how much.
Clint Broden, who represents biker Burton George Bergman, has filed a motion in the 54th District Court of McLennan County.
"In this case, it certainly appears that State is purposely and with calculated design withholding discovery," Mr. Broden wrote in the motion.
Mr. Broden attached an audio recording to the motion that he argued supports his position that the DA's office has ignored its constitutional obligations and withheld evidence in the multiple Twin Peaks cases.
The recording was made by another attorney, Casie Gotro, who represented another biker Jake Carrizal during the very first Twin Peaks trial, which was prosecuted by McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna and ended in a mistrial.
Ms. Gotro said the recording was made in early November at the popular Dichotomy Coffee & Spirits in Waco, where Ms. Gotro had agreed to a meeting with Christopher Lindsey -- the Attorney General's liaison to the McLennan County District Attorney's Office in this case. Texas is a one-party consent state that does not require a person like Ms. Gotro to tell someone like Mr. Lindsey he is being recorded. She said Mr. Lindsey had requested the meeting, but based on her prior interactions with him, she wanted a record of the encounter.
In the recording, Mr. Lindsey can be heard suggesting that the McLennan County District Attorney's Office has "hidden things" and engaged in "double-dealing." At one point in the recording, Mr. Lindsey asks the rhetorical question in reference to McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna: "You can't trust your local prosecutor?" before answering himself "Not in this case. Not even a little bit."
Parts of the recording were redacted by Ms. Gotro, who explained they involved materials that had been sealed by the court. But, in a phone conversation Friday, Ms. Gotro said she, too, thought the McLennan County District Attorney's Office was not being transparent.
"The District Attorney's Office has been intentionally withholding evidence," Ms. Gotro said.
She said her client, Mr. Carrizal, was not given a fair trial.
"They hid evidence," Ms. Gotro explained, referring to Mr. Reyna's office. "They knew that it wasn't favorable to their case. And, they did it over and over again."
As previously reported, the jurors in Mr. Carrizal's case were leaning toward a not guilty verdict at the time of the mistrial. The jury had initially agreed to a not guilty verdict on the count of directing a criminal street gang and was split 10-2 in favor of not guilty verdicts on the other two charges, which were underlying offenses of murder and aggravated assault, according to Gotro's account, which was consistent with a juror's prior comments.
"What's happening here...I don't even have words to describe it," Ms. Gotro said. "Travesty comes to mind. But, that doesn't seem strong enough."
Asked what was next for her client, Mr. Carrizal, Ms. Gotro said: "I'd like a dismissal and an apology."
Mr. Reyna released the following statement to Channel 6 regarding the recording.
"Mr. Lindsey approached me almost a month ago about his comments in this conversation and apologetically explained to me the context and reasoning behind his statements. I can assure you that the District Attorney's Office and the Attorney General's Office are on the same page regarding this matter. As for the subject matter of the motion, the DA's office is not withholding any evidence. There were items that were discovered during the Carrizal trial that were sealed and placed under protective order. Judge Johnson will address those matters on a case-by-case basis. For Mr. Bergman's case , it will be addressed January 5."
Channel 6 left a message for Mr. Lindsey on Friday. On Monday, Jennifer Speller, a spokesperson for the Attorney General's Office called and said Mr. Lindsey would not make any comments on the matter -- at least until the trial was over.