DA files motion to be recused from upcoming Twin Peaks biker's trial

(Photo by Rissa Shaw)
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The McLennan County District Attorney has voluntarily recused his office from prosecuting one of the Twin Peaks biker cases.

A motion Abel Reyna filed Thursday in state district court says: “In the interests of justice, the McLennan County Criminal District Attorney's Office hereby voluntarily requests recusal from all further action in this case and requests the Court to appoint an 'attorney pro tem.'"

The move comes after Reyna was subpoenaed Wednesday in the case of Matthew Clendennen, one of the 177 bikers arrested and jailed following the deadly shootout at the Waco Twin Peaks restaurant on May 17, 2015.

Nine bikers were killed and more than 20 were injured in the turf war between rival motorcycle clubs, the Bandidos and the Cossacks.

Clendennen was a member of the Scimitars, a support club of the Cossacks.

His Dallas-based attorney, Clint Broden, has tried multiple times to remove Reyna from the case, including a failed attempt to disqualify Reyna from prosecuting the case based on financial interests last August.

During a hearing stemming from the attempted disqualification, Reyna and two of his assistant district attorney's took the stand, which, combined with the subpoena, opens them up to the possibility of being called as material witnesses in Clendennen's case.

In Texas, attorneys cannot act as legal counsel in cases in which they may be material witnesses.

"The state stands by its assertion that Mr. Reyna and his assistants are not material witnesses. However, Mr. Reyna, Mr. Jarrett, and Mr. Parker previously testified during a hearing in this particular case. This court could potentially consider that specific testimony material to the defendant's case. Given the possibility of creating such an issue in this particular case, the State wishes to avoid even the mere suggestion of impropriety," the motion filed Thursday says.

If Reyna’s motion is granted, Clendennen would be tried by prosecutors from the Texas Attorney General’s Office or a larger Texas county.

So far, 154 bikers have been indicted in the deadly shooting, but Reyna has testified during a hearing in only one of those cases, involving defendant Serio Reyes.

The recusal motion is not related to a motion filed by Broden last week alleging Reyna was under investigation by the FBI, which Reyna vehemently denies.

Neither side could comment because a gag order in the case remains.