Another update on the aftermath of the Waco shootout:
A Texas grand jury indicted 48 more bikers Wednesday in connection with a May 2015 shootout outside a Twin Peaks restaurant that left nine dead, bringing the total number of people facing felony charges to 154.
Prosecutors in Waco announced that all the bikers indicted are charged with engaging in organized criminal activity, meaning they’re accused of being complicit in the shooting that also left 20 people injured. They face 15 years to life in prison if convicted.
McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna won indictments against 106 other bikers in November. In a statement Wednesday, he did not rule out more indictments in what he called “an ongoing investigation.”
Six of the 48 people newly indicted have not been arrested, and their indictments remain under seal. But Reyna and the McLennan County district clerk’s office confirmed they were facing the same charge as other bikers. A spokeswoman for Reyna did not respond to a question about whether the grand jury declined to indict in any cases presented.
Reyna has been harshly criticized by attorneys who say he’s prosecuting dozens of bikers who were at the restaurant only for a peaceful gathering of motorcycle clubs.
Prosecutors have not indicted anyone specifically for murder in the nine deaths. The organized criminal activity charge incorporates allegations that every person indicted was responsible for the deaths and injuries that ensued in the gunfire.
Dallas attorney Don Tittle said Wednesday’s indictments appeared to center on bikers who weren’t members of the two major clubs present — the Bandidos and the Cossacks — but rather part of smaller “support clubs.” Dozens of Bandidos and Cossacks have already been indicted.
DA Reyna seems to be working on the novel (to America, anyway) theory of “collective guilt,” that if he can just get a grand jury to indict every member of every motorcycle club present at Twin Peaks that day merely for being in a motorcycle club, that will make up for his inability to charge any individual with murder.
That’s not going to fly. Quantity is absolutely no substitute for quality in the criminal justice system. Ten months after the Twin Peaks shootout, public officials seem no closer to determining who killed who that day, and what role law enforcement overreaction and incompetence played in those deaths.