Austin – An Attorney General’s ruling released today holds that McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna must release text messages between a defense attorney and First Assistant District Attorney Michael Jarrett regarding a proposal to have defendants in the Twin Peaks cases sign hold harmless agreements promising no litigation against authorities in return for reductions in $1 million bonds set across the board by Justice of the Peace “Pete” Peterson on 177 defendants.
Defense attorneys present at a meeting between Jarrett and the jurisdiction’s two Criminal District Judges revealed to media outlets that Jarrett rejected the proposal of the attorney as “improper” under the rules of criminal prosecution and constitutional rights of those accused of a crime.
The assistant to AG Ken Paxton also held that though the names of 62 persons arrested but not charged along with 177 other defendants with the offense of engaging in organized criminal activity is “intertwined with the investigation,” their names must be released because public records law “does not except from disclosure basic information about an arrested person, an arrest, or a crime.”
In the opinion sought by public information activist R.S. Gates, Assistant Attorney General Paige Thompson held that “the characterization of information as ‘public information’ under the act is not dependent on whether the requested records are in the possession of an individual or whether a governmental body has a particular policy or procedure that establishes a governmental body’s access to the information…Because this information is maintained by the District Attorney’s Office for the transaction of official business, it does not constitution a record of the judiciary.
“In summary, the portion of the requested text messages that relate to the official business of the District Attorney’s Office are subject to the (public information) act.”
Ms. Thompson held that the e-mail addresses of persons arrested but not charged, information obtained from questionnaires during the period the accused were detained at the Waco Convention Center over a period of 48 hours while law enforcement processed the arrests, must be redacted, but any other information regarding the arrests is subject to public scrutiny.
Raw news: Press release from Looney and Conrad Law Firm representing many of the jailed bikers in Waco.
For immediate release
Waco, Texas – Earlier today, detainees in the Jack Harwell Detention Center in Waco were told that in exchange for bond reductions, they must sign a document stating the Waco police “had the right to arrest the inmate and that he/she will not file a lawsuit against McLennan County and/or the City of Waco.”
On the two-week anniversary of the “shootout at high noon” at the Twin Peaks restaurant between motorcyclists and law enforcement officers, at least 170 people remain detained on $1 million bonds.
This latest information was reported to an attorney representing at least one of the detainees. “It appears the public defenders office in McLennan County is involved in this scurrilous activity,” said Paul Looney, a Houston attorney with Looney & Conrad, P.C. “I’ve never seen anything like the lawlessness that the authorities have perpetrated on these people and now to add insult to injury they are trying to cover their own tracks in exchange for bond. I will be in the reception area of the McLennan County D.A.’s office tomorrow morning at 8:30 with the intention of not leaving until we have the issue of bond resolved.”
“They know these people aren’t dangerous or they wouldn’t be offering the bond reductions and they know the police and the D.A.’s office have violated the law and now they are trying to hold people hostage until they agree to waive their rights. It’s unconscionable,” said Clay S. Conrad, Looney’s law partner.
One family member of a biker summed up the news like this:
In other words, the Waco PD is putting a gun to the head of the accused by holding their freedom for ransom. “If you want out, give us a pass.”
Such a thing is nothing short of extortion! If they refuse, they intend on continuing to hold them on the $1-million bond.
Let that sink in for a moment. The Waco PD and feds would have you believe that nearly 170 Americans, whom are locked away, are so dangerous, that they cannot be trusted with freedom. Yet, if they’ll agree to absolve the Waco PD of any crime, suddenly they’re outstanding citizens?
Like I’ve been telling you since the beginning, these men and women were kidnapped to attain their silence. They were kidnapped to protect the Waco Police from having to answer for their crimes. And we can prove it, now.
The Waco Police wants absolution for murdering 9 people, and kidnapping and abusing 170 witnesses. But they want to circumvent the legal system. They don’t want their crimes to be exposed to the public.
This is another case of government believing that they are above justice. We cannot allow such a thing to happen. The truth needs to known, and it needs to spread from coast-to-coast. If they get away with it in Waco, they’ll do it again. Maybe next time, you’ll be the target.