Twin Peaks trial delayed again to get new jury panel

Jasmin Caldwell reports.

UPDATE: The panel of potential jurors was sent home Wednesday morning after the prosecution and defense held a private meeting with Judge Johnson.

The lawyers and judge decided to release them because they were frustrated after getting called back four separate times.

A new jury panel will be convened on September 29.

UPDATE: The request by Bandido Jake Carrizal's defense attorney Casie Gotro to get 54th District Court Judge Matt Johnson removed from presiding over Mr. Carrizal's case failed Tuesday evening. Carrizal will be the first biker tried in the Twin Peaks trials.

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Original Story:

One day after a visiting judge yanked 19th District Court Judge Ralph Strother off the first Twin Peaks biker trial, the defense attorney for defendant Jake Carrizal -- a member of the Bandidos motorcycle club -- filed a motion to also recuse the new Judge Matt Johnson from presiding over the case.

The move delays Carrizal's jury selection for yet another day. A deputy clerk told the pool of roughly 150 potential jurors to leave and return Wednesday at 9 a.m. Many of them were angry that the selection process had stopped, according to Channel 6 News Waco Reporter Jasmin Caldwell.

The motion's filing was no surprise. Defense Attorney Casie Gotro had previously stated she would file such court documents and implied she believed Johnson and Strother would both be biased toward the prosecution.

Channel 6 News Waco Reporter Jasmin Caldwell reported the court was trying to get a judge in for a hearing on the latest motion before 11 a.m. Tuesday, in order to speed up the process. Judge Robert Stem of Marlin arrived to the court to preside over the hearing at noon. 

Gotro claims Johnson's court had been communicating with the state about who was a Bandido or a Cossack. She argued that based on improper information, the bikers were split into B and C categories and asked by Johnson to come in with their attorneys to provide DNA. 

The state said Judge Johnson was never a judge in any of the Twin Peaks cases and the recusal holds no weight.

© 2017 KCEN-TV


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