WACO, Texas (CN) – A Texas grand jury indicted three members of the Bandidos motorcycle gang on murder charges Wednesday for their alleged role in a deadly 2015 restaurant shootout with rival Cossacks and police that killed nine and injured 20.
A McLennan County grand jury returned murder charges against Jeff Battey, Ray Allen and Glenn Walker – the first such charges in the case. Their attorneys did not immediately respond to requests for comment, according to The Associated Press.
Waco police say Battey and Allen were seen “triangulated” over deceased Cossacks member Matthew Smith. Ballistics evidence suggested Walker also fired his weapon, the AP reported.
The trio were among 38 remaining defendants who were re-indicted Wednesday. They were first indicted in 2015 or 2016 of engaging in organized criminal activity. The superceding indictments now include counts of murder, first-degree and second-degree rioting and tampering with physical evidence.
The dispute between the gangs was allegedly over the Cossacks wearing the “Texas” bottom rocker patches on their vests without permission from the Bandidos, who claim Texas as their territory.
The most noteworthy defendant to be re-indicted was Jacob “Jake” Carrizal, president of the Dallas Bandidos chapter. He is the only defendant to have gone to trial. A mistrial was declared in his case six months ago on three organized criminal activity charges.
Prosecutors unsuccessfully argued that Carrizal had prepared his bikers for violence before a biker coalition summit at the Twin Peaks restaurant, where the Cossacks were not invited.
Carrizal’s attorneys disagreed, arguing Cossacks started the shootout, showing up wearing bulletproof fests and ambushing the Bandidos before they could dismount.
The new indictments come one day after charges against 63 other bikers were dismissed. McLennan County District Attorney Abel Reyna said the dismissals were due to his office focusing on “more culpable” defendants, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported.
In February, charges against 13 other bikers were also dismissed.
Defense attorneys argued at the time the dismissals were to prevent politically damaging testimony against Reyna leading up to March’s Republican primary election. His office has dismissed 117 of the 155 original indictments in the case.