By John Carroll and Paul J. Gately |
Posted: Mon 4:41 PM, Sep 11, 2017
WACO, Texas (KWTX) A visiting judge Monday removed State District Judge Ralph Strother from the trial of the first of the Twin Peaks bikers scheduled to go to court.
Former District Judge Daniel H. Mills, of Burnet County, issued the ruling late Monday afternoon.
He said State District Judge Matt Johnson could take over the trial, but Casie Gotro of Houston, who represents Christopher Jacob Carrizal, indicated she would seek his recusal as well.
Strother had already been barred from presiding over three of the Twin Peaks cases set in his court and on Aug. 1, Gotro filed paperwork that sought to have him removed from her case, as well.
Strother in response filed a notice with the district clerk that said he had no intention of stepping aside, in spite of the fact that Gotro asked him twice to recuse himself.
The administrative judge for the local region assigned Mills last Tuesday.
In her original hand-written recusal motion, Gotro claimed Strother was using “the authority of the bench to aid and assist the state in prosecuting the defendant” and to prevent Gotro “from accessing evidence, addressing the court, making legal arguments, (and) preserving the record.”
It also claimed that Strother “stated without reading any motion to rescues…would not be granted” and “refused without reading any one of the 18 subpoenas to enforce or order compliance.”
Carrizal was among the 177 bikers arrested after the May 17, 2015 shootout that left 9 bikers dead and more than 20 others injured.