Mistrial declared in Twin Peaks case

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) A mistrial was declared Friday afternoon in the trial of the first Twin Peaks shootout defendant after jurors reached consensus on one of three counts late Friday morning, but told the judge they could not agree on the other two.

Christopher Jacob Carrizal in court. (File)

Jurors sent a note to the judge at around 11:15 a.m. that said there was no chance they could reach a verdict on the other two counts against Jacob Carrizal, 35.

Carrizal, the president of the Dallas chapter of the Bandidos, is accused of directing activities of a street gang, engaging in organized criminal activity with the underlying offense of murder and engaging in organized criminal activity with the underlying offense of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in the May 17, 2015 shootout that left nine bikers dead and more than 20 injured.

The note said some jurors are willing to wait, but unwilling to review evidence.

"At this point we have jurors who are willing to wait a month or longer and are unwilling to review any evidence or testimony provided over the past weeks in the trial," the note read.

"We do not believe that any amount of deliberation will change minds."

The judge said he was sending a note back to the jury with the "Allen charge."

"If the jury finds itself unable to arrive at a unanimous verdict on a count, it will be necessary for the court to declare a mistrial on said count or counts and discharge the jury," Johnson said.

"The indictment and the unresolved counts will still be pending, and it is reasonable to assume the case will be tried again before another jury at some future time."

Johnson said another jury would likely hear the same evidence presented to this jury, and would face the same questions and challenges as the current jury.

Gotro objected to the "Allen charge."

"I believe a second jury is going to hear a very different set of evidence," Gotro said.

Johnson overruled her objection and directed a bailiff to deliver his instructions to the jury in “note form.”

Deliberations resumed at around 9 a.m. Friday after the jury was sequestered overnight.

Jurors sent a note to the judge late Thursday night that said they were deadlocked, and then later asked to be allowed to resume deliberations on Friday.

They were allowed to contact family members under the supervision of a bailiff to arrange for clothing and medications and then were sequestered overnight at a local hotel.

Deliberations started at around noon Thursday after the prosecution and defense presented closing arguments.

The defense rested Wednesday afternoon the first trial of a defendant in the deadly May 2015 shootout at Waco’s Twin Peaks restaurant.

11.09.17 trial notes

2 p.m. update

After lunch, before the jury returns, Jarrett tells Judge Matt Johnson the state would like to offer testimony of a Jack Smith.
Gotro objects because it denies the defense a chance to cross-examine this witness because there’s been new evidence in the case.
Judge Johnson said when the video-recorded testimony was taken last week, it was made clear, the testimony would be offered as an exhibit.
“The court indulged the defense and allowed the defense to call the witnesses,” said Gotro.
The jury is brought back in.
Videotaped testimony of Jack Smith begins.
He is a member of the Bandidos, Tyler Chapter President, and not members of the COC.
Rides about 5,000 miles a month, on average when at home.
Was never asked to commit a crime with the Bandidos and doesn’t tolerate support clubs committing crimes.
“Dope slinging or any other things like that, doesn’t wash,” said Smith.
He said guys get fined if they get out of line.
Said ‘expect no mercy,’ means you’ve been injured defending a club, Smith said.
Said ‘our colors don’t run,’ means if we’re threatened we won’t back down, we stand our ground.
He said he tried talking his son out of joining the Bandidos because he wanted to make sure it was something he wanted to do on his own.
He said Cossacks, law enforcement and firefighter clubs also wear “Texas” bottom rockers.
Said the Cossacks had their origin in Tyler in 1969.
He designed a T-shirtwhere a Bandido is stomping on a Cossacks flag.
“The seven shell casings, six shell casings, represent the six original members of the Tyler chapter of the Bandidos, the Cossack flag is because the Tyler chapter is in Tyler which is the home and the mother chapter of the Cossacks.”
“It’s not so much a disrespect, but a saying ‘we’re here,’” said Smith.“It was never a Cossack town.”
He said the Bandidos were the only one percent club at the top in Texas.
He said the ‘no mercy’ patch was like a purple heart for defending the club.
“Nobody fights to lose,” said Smith.
All testimony is finished.
Court will go into recess until 9am, Judge Johnson said they need time to prepare the ‘jury charge.’

Noon update

Trial resumes from morning recess.
Carrizal said he’s not a member of the ‘fat Mexican crew.’
He said he did not want revenge or retribution for his Bandido brother Rolando.
“No, it does not mean I’m going to retaliate for an assault like that,” said Carrizal. “We don’t start fights.”
Carrizal said when something bad happens to a Bandido, they don’t forget.
“It doesn’t mean we retaliate,” said Carrizal.
Gotro gets to question her client again.
She said the colors of the Marine corps are also red and gold.
“Are you personally responsible for all the people in Texas who wear red and gold and do bad stuff?” said Gotro.
“Absolutely not,” said Carrizal.
Said a Bandido brother came down from Arkansas to go to a party the night before and rode to Twin Peaks with them.
Testified he continued to hang out with fellow Bandidos, especially ones from Twin Peaks, because they understood what he went through at Twin Peaks.
“What I continue to go through,” said Carrizal. “I know it was against the court’s decision, but it helped me get through what we were going through, it did.”
He said he’s not a racist, does not hate Jewish people, and has nothing in common with Nazis.
“No ma’am, I’m Hispanic,” said Carrizal.
Jarrett gets another chance to question Carrizal.
Said he wore his Bandido cut to a restaurant in Waco, Texas last weekend with brother and fiancé.
Gotro questions her client again.
She said his bond conditions don’t prevent him from wearing his vest.
His brother, who is also a Bandido, was with him, also wearing his cut at the restaurant, which is a violation of his bond conditions, Jarrett said.
“I am a Bandido, I’m not a criminal, and I’m hoping this jury and this town will see that,” said Jarrett.
He said he would die wearing his patch.
“I hope to be buried as a Bandido,” said Carrizal.
The defense rests.
The prosecution has to rebuttal witnesses.
Keith Stefka, of Axtell, takes the stand. He’s a senior equipment operator for Pct. 1.
Never been a cop, secret agent, or undercover.
He’s the man in the ‘blue shirt’ at Don Carlos.
Said he was not making any symbol to anybody.
Has no affiliation with the Bandidos or Cossacks.
He said he was making a reservation for 13 people for a birthday party, his girlfriend’s grandfather.
He said he was not a law enforcement plant that day.
Said he’s positive he’s not a secret agent, does not work for the federal government, did not set up the Twin Peaks biker fight.
He said he found out three weeks ago he was wanted as a witness in the trial because of a friend, a deputy Sheriff, told him about ‘folks on the internet’ talking about him.
Said his girlfriend, Nita Shilling, picked him up that day in the parking lot by Best Buy.
Said her grandfather was turning 80 years old.
They were waiting for everyone to get there before they could get a table.
He said it took him four days before he could get his pickup back.
He said he saw motorcyclists but wasn’t paying much attention until he heard gunshots.
“I’m tellin’ ya, I ran,” said Stefka.
Said he brought his cell phone records.
He said he knows a Cossack named Gage Yarborough, but hasn’t talked to him for more than 20 years.
Said he didn’t know a Raymond Haws.
Said he didn’t know Owen Reeves.
Broke for lunch recess.

10.08.17 trial notes

10:45 a.m. update

Trial resumes Wednesday morning with the state's cross-examination of Carrizal.
Carrizal said he met up with his group, Bandidos and support clubs, in Wintergreen and traveled straight down I-35 to Twin Peaks.
He chose to move on past open parking spots and parked in front of Cossacks bikes.
Carrizal he didn't know they were Cossack bikes.
He said it wouldn't have bothered him if the Cossacks had parked in front of their bikes.
He said as soon as they arrived, even before he got off his bike, the Cossacks started mouthing off to them.
He said he understands verbal provocation is not enough to assault someone.
He said his bike was covered on all sides by Cossacks.
The state says he was flanked by his own supporters, but Carrizal did not agree with that.
ADA Michael Jarrett said Shaniqua Corsey said the man in the yellow helmet started the fight with a 'dirty Harry' looking gun.
Carrizal said his gun was silver, but doesn't believe she could have seen what she said she saw from her angle.
He said he was one of the men in a yellow helmet, Carrizal said there was at least one more with a yellow helmet.
"I do not deny wearing the multi-colored helmet," said Carrizal.
He said he tried to reload his derringer but was shaking and unable to reload it.
He said he threw down the bullets with the gun.
He said he would do just about anything for his brothers.
"I wouldn't lie for 'em, I wouldn't kill for him, I wouldn't lose my integrity or my honor for them," said Carrizal.
He said he lied 'for himself' during his first police interview after the shooting because he was scared about having a gun.
Jarrett said he also lied about the helmet.
"At that time I still couldn't comprehend what was going on, I honestly didn't know what was going on," said Carrizal.
Jarrett inferred he was in this position, his family members nearly died, because of his membership with the Bandidos.
"It's not because of the Bandidos," said Carrizal. "I believe we were targeted as Bandidos."
"I believe that we were targeted and we were ambushed because they were Bandidos," said Carrizal.
Knowing that being a Bandido subjects you to gunfire, subjects you to death, isn't stopping him from being a Bandido, Jarrett said.
"In fact you've moved further into the Bandidos," said Jarrett.
"I didn't push it forward, but yes, I wanted my chapter to continue the right way, then after time I did come back around," said Carrizal.
After Twin Peaks he said he was given the 'expect no mercy' patch from a brother in Houston.
"He said that I was facing everything I'm sitting up here for and he knows that I had a long road ahead of me, and in my position I cannot expect mercy from the outside," said Carrizal.
Said it means to expect no mercy from the system.
He said he got the patch because he was being tried in a courtroom, and because he's being judged by all of law enforcement who has no idea what our society is about.
Jarrett said he was given the patch before he was even indicted, so it wasn't because he was first to go to trial because he hadn't even been indicted yet.
Jarrett said not every Bandido at Twin Peaks got the patch, and Carrizal agreed.
Carrizal said he ended up taking it off.
"I took it off because I was being told by family and friends it looked bad on there," said Carrizal.
Not in a fashion sense, but to law enforcement.
"We didn't wanna give 'em anymore to come after me about," said Carrizal.
He said 'milandro' means 'bad guy' or 'bad joker.'
He said patches are 'tokens' of 'love or brotherhood' when they're given to you, don't have hidden meanings.
"They're all earned," said Carrizal. "Even our memorial patches, we feel like it's an earned privilege to wear those."
He said this is his third 'cut.'
He has a new denim/leather one which he got after Twin Peaks sometime in 2015.
"Why do you put things that put you out there as a criminal if you're not a criminal?" Jarrett asked.
"We like that image but now ya'll are using it against," said Carrizal. "You're using it literally against us, it's not meant to be as literal as law enforcement is taking it."
After March when Gotro became his attorney, he became 'clear on the issue' of associating with motorcycle clubs was a violation of his bond conditions.
He went on a motorcycle run, the Georgetown run on March 11, he said it was before Gotro became his attorney.
He admitted he had a new cut even after he was ordered by the court not to associate with any motorcycle clubs.
He said he still associated with the Bandidos after Ms. Gotro became his attorney.
"Yes, sir, after," said Carrizal.
He was arrested in Grand Prairie in July for a traffic violation, not changing his address on his driver's license, he admits.
He said he got some new tattoos this year on his hand, one reads 'lucky mother f***ker,' he says because he survived Twin Peaks.
There's a former Nazi death squad symbol on his cut, he said for him it doesn't mean anything Nazi-related, but thought it looked cool.
"But I have honor in my brother giving it to me, it means something to me," said Carrizal.
Morning recess.