Criminal complaints and bond conditions against more than three dozen bikers who were arrested in the May 17 Twin Peaks shootout but who have not been indicted were dismissed this week as a matter of law because the term of the grand jury considering their cases expired, a Houston attorney said Friday.
As of midnight Thursday, the term of the grand jury, which had been extended by three months, expired, meaning the criminal complaints and obligations of bonds against 38 bikers technically were dismissed.
Attorney Paul Looney, who represents William and Morgan English, met with 54th State District Judge Matt Johnson, District Attorney Abel Reyna and Reyna’s first assistant, Michael Jarrett, Friday morning and said the Englishes, who are expecting their first baby, are no longer under the shadow of pending first-degree felony charges or onerous bond restrictions.
“They are just as free of the charges as you and I are,” Looney said. “There are times when it really feels good to be a lawyer, and this is one of those days. They deserve to be let out of it, they are out of it and I couldn’t be happier.”
William English, a welder from Brenham, said Friday he was pleased to get the news. When they were arrested, the husband-and-wife bikers were wearing patches that identified them as members of a group called Distorted, officials said.
“I’m so excited about this because, holy crap, I can’t put it into words,” William English said. “I really can’t. Knowing that it’s over and we don’t have to worry about it anymore is just amazing. “
The district attorney’s office is not precluded from seeking indictments against the 38 at a later date. But for now, they are free and clear of the charges.
Neither Reyna nor Jarrett returned phone messages left at the DA’s office Friday afternoon.
The grand jury indicted 106 bikers in November and returned 48 more indictments last week, all identical documents charging bikers with engaging in organized criminal activity while acting as members of criminal street gangs.
“As to the Englishes, we had an examining trial where we proved they had no evidence against them of any kind of criminal activity,” Looney said. “They could not stretch an indictment against the Englishes. It would be legally impossible to stretch the facts to include the Englishes, and the prosecutors acted with a lot of integrity by not even presenting them to the grand jury.”
Defense attorneys for many of the bikers have argued that their clients merely were in the wrong place at the wrong time and had nothing to do with the escalating bad blood between the Bandidos and Cossacks motorcycle groups.
Prosecutors contend those indicted were there as a show of support for one or the other warring factions.
“The case ended just the way we thought it would,” said Clay S. Conrad, Looney’s law partner. “These are people who were held on $1 million bonds. The cases have all ended with a whimper, dismissed because there were no facts justifying the charges against them.”
Waco attorney Jonathan Sibley represents three members of a motorcycle club called Vice Grips, a small group from Austin that builds antique motorcycles and has no affiliation to other groups, Sibley said. They include Jonathan Lopez, Theron Rhoten and Ryan Craft, who also were not indicted before the grand jury’s term expired.
“I am looking at the law and will be talking to the DA’s office to see where we are with my guys,” Sibley said. “They had already modified the conditions of their bonds by lifting travel restrictions and removing their ankle monitors. But they were only there (at Twin Peaks) for the meeting. They were there for legislative purposes, looking for legislative updates on biker issues.”