Texas-size indictment: 106 bikers charged in Waco shooting

One attorney in the case says there is a "serious lack of evidence" to indict 106 people in the deadly shooting between biker gangs outside a Waco, Texas, Twin Peaks restaurant in Ma.

(AP Photo/Jerry Larson, File)
- In this May 17, 2015, file photo, authorities investigate a shooting in the parking lot of Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas. A grand jury on Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2015, returned indictments for engaging in organized criminal activity against 106 of the 177 bikers arrested following the deadly shootout, the McLennan County district attorney said.

A grand jury has returned sweeping indictments for all 106 cases brought before them on charges of engaging in organized criminal activity following the deadly shootout between biker gangs outside a Waco, Texas, Twin Peaks restaurant in May, the McLennan County district attorney said.

The grand jury's decision to unanimously act on the charges took nine hours, District Attorney Abel Reyna said at a press conference Tuesday evening. Mr. Reyna said the grand jury will return to consider charges against the remaining 71 bikers who were also arrested on the same charges following the May 17 shootout that killed 9 and left 20 injured.

Nov. 18 is the next grand jury session, but Reyna would not say if the rest of the cases will be presented then.

"We are not done," Reyna said. "We still have a lot of work to do. We will continue to do that. My office is dedicated, as is the team, to seeing that justice is done in all those cases."

Grand jury proceedings are closed to the public.

Authorities have acknowledged the confrontation was between the Bandidos and the Cossacks motorcycle gangs, an eruption of violence that preceded a meeting of a coalition of motorcycle clubs that promotes biker safety.

More than 430 weapons were recovered from the crime scene, including 151 firearms. Investigators have not offered any further detail into why the fight broke out or who shot whom. 

An editorial in The Dallas Morning News takes McClellan County officials to task for what the paper calls a "stranglehold" on information pertaining to the case.

The paper questions the gag order for all of the bikers who were arrested in connection to the shootout, as well as bail bonds that were negotiated down from $1 million to $50,000 in "backroom negotiations." The shootout occurred more than five months ago, and no charges have been filed for the nine deaths that resulted, the paper points out, attributing some of this lack of judicial action to the fact that "no one is allowed to talk" and the role of law enforcement officers, who were present at the Waco restaurant during the shootout, remains veiled.

Jay Norton, an attorney who is representing six of the bikers, all of whom were indicted Tuesday, says there is a "serious lack of evidence" to indict 106 people. His claims are based on the pretrial discovery materials he reviewed.

"This is amazing and truly scary. We do not understand what the district attorney's office is doing, but it's not about reality," Mr. Norton said in an interview with The Associated Press.

John Wilson and his son, Jacob Wilson, were both indicted Tuesday. Wilson told the AP that the indictment "doesn't mean much," adding that he suggests that since the indictments were done in such a short amount of time that they were "a cookie-cutter deal," and if he is offered a plea bargain, he will not accept. 

Material from the Associated Press was used in this story.

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