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Twin Peaks biker grand jury to return March 23

Twin Peaks biker grand jury to return March 23

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Twin peaks

Staff photo-Rod Aydelotte

A McLennan County grand jury that returned indictments against 106 bikers in November will be called back into service on March 23, a judge said Thursday.

Judge Matt Johnson of Waco’s 54th State District Court extended the term of the grand jury by 90 days in December so it could continue its investigation into the May 17 shootout at Twin Peaks that left nine bikers dead and dozens injured.

The grand jury’s extended term is set to expire at the end of March.

Johnson said Thursday that he was notified that the grand jury will be summoned to meet again March 23.

Of the 106 indictments returned last month, nine were sealed because the defendants, most of whom were wounded, had not yet been arrested. The nine have since been taken into custody, and those indictments were unsealed.

That leaves 80 cases left to be considered by the grand jury.

> LIST: 106 bikers indicted in May 17 Twin Peaks shootout

It is unclear if McLennan County prosecutors will present the remaining 80 cases or present evidence concerning the Waco police officers who fired their weapons during the melee.

Prosecutors may want to present the officer-involved shooting evidence to another grand jury that is not considering evidence against the bikers, courthouse sources said.

District Attorney Abel Reyna and his first assistant, Michael Jarrett, did not return phone messages left at their offices Thursday.

Since the term of the grand jury considering the biker cases was extended, a second grand jury was empaneled by 19th State District Judge Ralph Strother and it has been hearing regular cases not related to the Twin Peaks incident.

Attorneys for the bikers have been critical of the way the cases have been handled, charging that the identical indictments are “cookie-cutter, fill-in-the-blank” indictments and do not clearly specify an offense.

> MORE: Civil rights suits filed against officials in Twin Peaks case

First-degree felony

Those indicted already were charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, with the underlying offenses alleged to be murder and aggravated assault. The charge is a first-degree felony, punishable by up to life in prison or from 15 to 99 years in prison.

“We are not done,” Reyna said in November after the first round of indictments were returned. “We still have a lot of work to do. We will continue to do that. My office is dedicated, as is the team, to seeing that justice is done in all those cases.”

> MORE: Questions, answers about Twin Peaks indictments

No trial date has been set in the cases, despite efforts by at least two attorneys who have pushed for speedy trials for their clients.

Jarrett has said prosecutors need more time to prepare for trial while multiple local, state and federal agencies continue to analyze cellphones, DNA, ballistics and other evidence.

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Related to this story

FORT WORTH — A grand jury has now returned indictments alleging that 106 bikers arrested after a deadly shootout outside a Waco, Texas, restaurant were engaged in organized criminal activity. Nine people died and 20 were injured during the May 17 shootout between police and bikers outside a Twin Peaks restaurant, a conflict authorities say arose from an apparent confrontation between the Bandidos and the Cossacks motorcycle clubs.

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