The Texas Criminal Defense Lawyers Association filed a judicial complaint against Justice of the Peace W.H. “Pete” Peterson on Thursday, saying the 3,000-member group is “astounded” by the way the judge handled setting bonds for 177 bikers after the deadly May 17 Twin Peaks shootout.
After being formally recused in Matt Clendennen’s case and the case of another motorcyclist, Justice of the Peace “Pete” Peterson has agreed to turn all the examining trials set in his court over to a visiting judge. JP Peterson stated he was doing it “in the interest of transparency, to avoid the appearance of impropriety, and for judicial efficiency.” Peterson is the justice of the peace that signed almost all of the “fill in the name” complaints and set the $1,000, to “send a message”, The examining trials will be held by Judge James Morgan who is a retired visiting judge from Bosque, Comanche and Hamilton counties.
More legal challenges are stacking up against Waco authorities in the wake of the May 17th shooting incident outside a Twin Peaks restaurant. After last week’s recusal motion, another attorney has filed a complaint with the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct against Waco Justice of the Peace Walter H. “Pete” Peterson.
The complaint is based on comments made by Peterson and reported by the Waco Tribune:
I think it is important to send a message. We had nine people killed in our community. These people just came in, and most of them were from out of town. Very few of them were from in town.
That is not how the law is supposed to work, as Breitbart Texas reported last week in an interview with attorney Kent A. Schaffer. “Bond is supposed to guarantee the defendant’s appearance in court, but this judge set bonds based upon his desire to teach the defendants a lesson, and not out of some concern that they will not appear in court,” Schaffer charged.
HEWITT — Speaking from the home of a biker jailed after the Twin Peaks Shooting, Clint Broden, an attorney for Matthew Clendennen, said a polygraph showed his client did not take part in any of the violence on that day.
Clendennen, a member of the Scimitars Biker Club and with his family by his side, told a room full of members of the media his reason for becoming a member of the Scimitars.
“The fact that every person that I talked to was a hard working individual, supported their families, were involved in charity events and giving back to the community.”
Clendennen said on the day of the Twin Peaks Shooting on May 17th he arrived at the restaurant and was waiting to order food. He said he heard a large group of bikers pull into the parking lot. He said after that there was some sort of commotion, a verbal argument and a short time later he said he heard the first gunshot.
A local justice of the peace was removed Thursday from an examining trial in the case of a Hewitt biker accused of engaging in organized crime in relation to the shootout at Twin Peaks restaurant.
Joe Carroll, senior judge of the 27th Judicial District Court, granted a motion to recuse Justice of the Peace W.H. “Pete” Peterson from the case involving Matthew Clendennen after Clendennen’s attorney, Clinton Broden, filed a complaint against Peterson.
Peterson set the initial $1 million bonds for the 177 bikers arrested in the aftermath of the May 17 shootout, and he was on the scene that day to pronounce death and order autopsies on all nine bodies of those who were killed.
WACO (July 24, 2015) The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press filed a brief Friday with the 10th Court of Appeals in Waco on behalf of a group of major media organizations including The Associated Press in support of a challenge to a gag order issued in the case of one of the 177 bikers arrested after the deadly May 17 shootout at Twin Peaks restaurant.
State District Judge Matt Johnson issued the gag order on June 30 after ruling that Dallas lawyer F. Clinton Broden, who represents Matthew Alan Clendennen, 30 of Hewitt, could obtain surveillance video of the shootout from the owners of the Waco Twin Peaks franchise, but could not release it to the public.
Broden argued that he needed the video to prepare for an examining hearing in August for Clendennen.
A pro-law enforcement, pro-military, ex-judge and ex-federal prosecutor with 39 years of public service said he has “looked at the facts” and “there are many, many, red-flags in this case.”
Mike Snipes represents Matthew Alan Clendennen, one of the “Waco 170” Twin Peaks bikers. He suggested that “the Department of Justice get involved in this case.”
Breitbart Texas was in Waco on Monday when Snipes said, “I was a federal prosecutor for many years, very proud to have been in the department. They’ve got the kind of professionals that are needed to come down here and straighten this case out and to give some assistance.”
Snipes said “generally speaking, I am extremely pro-law enforcement, pro-military, very, very, proud of our great country, and have served, I hope, with some degree of honor and duty for the last 39 years.”
Despite the gag order in the prosecution of 177 bikers in Waco, one lawyer has still found a way to make some noise and news.
Dallas attorney Clint Broden, who is representing biker Matthew Clendennen, isn’t going away quietly.
He’s filing a six-page motion today – posted below – that objects to a McLennan County grand jury foreman being a Waco Police detective. James Head has 24 years on the job.
Head’s role on the grand jury, people who potentially consider evidence in the biker case, was first reported by the Waco Herald Tribune.
This of course comes on the heels of a justice of the peace in the case being a retired Texas Department of Public Safety trooper who quickly ordered each defendant held on $1 million bail.
After the shooting and stabbings and beatings were over, police began rounding up bikers who had gathered that day at the Twin Peaks restaurant here in central Texas. A fight had erupted between rival motorcycle gangs, police said, and in the end, nine bikers were killed and 18 injured.
Police marched Matthew Clendennen, with scores of other bikers, into the parking lot, where they were flex-cuffed, loaded on a city bus and driven to the convention center for processing, then taken to jail.
Clendennen texted his mother that it might take awhile before he was released. “I knew with the number of people there that it would take a long time. But I was thinking maybe later that night,” he said.
Instead, two days after the May 17 incident, a jail magistrate set bond for him and others at $1 million each.
“It didn’t make any sense,” Clendennen, 30, said Thursday.
WACO, Tex. — Matthew A. Clendennen, one of the nearly 180 bikers who were jailed after the deadly shootout here last month among rival biker gangs and the police, said he had one weapon on him during the melee — a pocketknife with a two-inch blade that was a Christmas gift from his parents that he uses as a screwdriver and box cutter at work.