WACO — A hearing on whether to modify the bond conditions for a member of the Bandidos motorcycle club ended Friday with biker, Jeff Batey, yelling at the judge over how long it has taken for his case to go to trial.
Battey's attorney, Seth Sutton, asked 19th District Court Judge Ralph Strother to release all three of Battey's current bond conditions. Under the conditions, Battey cannot travel outside the state of Texas, carry a firearm, or speak with other members of motorcycle clubs.
Sutton said he asked the judge for the request because Battey had no criminal history prior to the Twin Peaks Shootout on May 17, 2015. Sutton said Battey is a Marine veteran who still has a bullet in his arm from the shooting.
Prosecutor Amanda Dillon asked Judge Strother to deny the request.
“This case is going to be a trial. This case will not be dismissed,” said Dillon.
According to Dillon, Battey and other Bandidos were seen standing over a dead Cossack on the day of the Twin Peaks shooting.
Nine bikers were killed in the shootout at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco. Rival biker gangs, the Bandidos and Cossacks, were there, as well as law enforcement.
Defense Attorney Seth Sutton said he has no reason to believe this case is going to trial this year or at all. Sutton also said Battey is not a threat to the community.
"If Mr. Battey speaks to other co-defendants, how does that put Waco in jeopardy?” Sutton asked.
Judge Strother denied two of the three requests. Battey will be allowed to travel outside of Texas, but he cannot leave the country. The judge denied the request to allow Battey to carry a firearm and speak to other bikers.
Right as Judge Strother was about to set a trial date for Battey, newly appointed District Attorney First Assistant Robert Moody, asked the judge to wait to set the trial because new prosecutors are on the case, including himself.
“This has been going on way too long,” said Judge Strother.
"My beard was black when this all started," Sutton said, referencing his now gray beard.
Judge Strother decided to set the trial date at a status hearing on May 25th. Battey then became agitated and yelled at Judge Strother.
“What are we doing? Three years and nothing!" said Battey.
"You need to speak to your lawyer,” said Strother.
Battey responded by saying, “I am speaking to my lawyer.”
Sutton whispered in Battey's ear before leaving the courtroom. The District Attorney's office did not wish to comment.