Monday, July 06, 2015

Rigged game in Waco

One of the few bright spots coming out of the Twin Peaks massacre in Waco is that Tommy Witherspoon of the Waco Tribune Herald, one of the top crime-beat reporters in the state, for Grits' money, is on the scene to cover it. (I just wish the inestimable Cindy Culp were around to tag-team with him.) Witherspoon reported in Friday's paper:
A hearing Thursday for a disabled Gatesville Army veteran who rides with the Cossacks Motorcycle Club included a strong challenge to the probable cause used to arrest 177 bikers in the wake of the May 17 Twin Peaks shootout.

Ronald Atterbury’s attorney, John H. Jackson, who also is a former state district judge from Corsicana, attacked the probable cause reported in Atterbury’s arrest warrant affidavit, which is identical to the others used to detain bikers en masse after the melee that left nine dead and 20 injured.
Officials used identical documents, labeled “cookie-cutter” by defense attorneys, changing only the names, to apply the same conduct to all those jailed.

Jackson was not successful in getting the charges dismissed, but convinced 54th State District Judge Matt Johnson to reduce Atterbury’s bond from $1 million to $40,000.

Jackson called Waco police Detective Manuel Chavez as a witness to describe how the affidavits were drafted. To obtain the arrest warrants, Chavez swore before a judge as to their content. He testified Thursday that the document was written by prosecutors in the McLennan County District Attorney’s Office on the day of the shootout.

Chavez admitted he didn’t know if Atterbury, 45, committed any of the offenses alleged in the affidavit and acknowledged that the affidavit does not accuse Atterbury specifically of any wrongdoing besides being a member of the Cossacks.

“Is membership in one of those organizations a crime?” Jackson asked. Chavez answered, “No.”
“You did not furnish any information to Judge (Pete) Peterson that my client committed any crime, did you?” Jackson asked.

Chavez said, “No, sir.”

Peterson, a justice of the peace, issued the arrest warrants and set $1 million bonds for each biker.
So, the cop who wrote the arrest warrant affidavit says he did not furnish any information to the Justice of the Peace charged with making the probable cause determination which indicated the defendant "committed any crime." Yet, District Judge Matt Johnson "ruled that probable cause was sufficient to support Atterbury’s arrest."

Talk about a rigged game!


TriggerMortis said...

Before this is all over Waco and McLennan County will be bankrupt. No way in Hell this will survive the light of dozens of federal lawsuits.

Anonymous said...

I think this illustrates the problem with allowing justices of the peace, who aren't lawyers to decide these types of things. If they don't know the law, they have to rely on what the prosecutor tells them. When in doubt, most are probably just doing to do what the prosecutor says.

Anonymous said...

Talk about a rigged game!

Yep, that's some rigged crapola.

But, honestly, Waco doesn't have sh'It' on Harris County when it comes to Rigging the Game.

They actually invented the Art of Riggin 'It' and dispersed 'It' via: former career ADAs that were run out town (forced Retirement) that either stopped in Waco on their way out or, were paid to come and teach 'It' to baby Waco ADAs.

*When the Dealer is allowed to cheat by all of the players, you end up with a Team Effort to F6ck-over the House and that there is what we call - an inside job. When the House Detective is in on 'It', everyone looses but claims 'It' as a win and that there is what they call justice.

ckikerintulia said...

Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

Anonymous said...

The judicial clown car of Waco was being driven by a retired DPS trooper, Justice of the Peace Peterson. Ain't that grand. :~)

Anonymous said...

Well announced they have no intention of complying with the Michael Morton Act.
They just sat a Waco Police Detective as foreman of the new grand jury that is going to be considering these cases.
All and all it appears the Judges in Waco have no regard for for the voters of Texas and the reforms pushed through in the last few years.