Even so, one detail from Waco is extraordinary. On November 16, a blog called The Aging Rebel, written by a biker who has been following the case, noticed that “the indictments charge at least some of the defendants with murder and assault rather than just the original charge of engaging in organized criminal activity. The indictments name ten murdered persons. Those victims’ names are: Richard Matthew Jordan II; Jesus Delgado Rodriguez; Charles Wayne Russell; Daniel Raymond Boyett; Wayne Lee Campbell; Jacob Lee Rhyne; Richard Vincent Kirschner, Jr.; Manuel Isaac Rodriguez; Matthew Mark Smith; and William Anderson. Anderson’s name had not been previously associated with the other murder victims.”
Indeed, the inclusion of that 10th name was very weird.
Authorities in Waco had consistently referred to nine dead from the outset. Who was this 10th dead man, William Anderson? The bikers and their attorneys were confused, but were barred from speaking out to the press thanks to a dubious gag order.
It took until four days ago for the Waco Tribune to notice: “While authorities have said for months that nine bikers died in the May 17 Twin Peaks shootout, indictments in the cases attribute a 10th death to the melee.” The newspaper asked the cops about the mystery man, but they said they were only aware of nine deaths. The district attorney’s office didn’t return phone calls. Prosecutors wouldn’t comment.
The truth finally reached the public in a classic “Friday news dump”:
District Attorney Abel Reyna acknowledged Friday that a clerical error resulted in a 10th dead biker's name to be included among some of the indictments returned against 106 bikers in the Twin Peaks shooting. Only nine bikers were killed in the shootout on May 17th…
Reyna released a statement on the error Friday:
"The inclusion of the '10th dead biker' in some of the Twin Peaks indictments was a clerical error on our part that can and will be corrected at a later date closer to trial. The additional name has absolutely no effect on the charges or the viability of those indictments. I regret this minor error has shifted focus away from the violent and dangerous crimes that occurred in the heart of our community on May 17, 2015."
These people are entrusted with charging murders in a state with the death penalty. Their due diligence is sufficiently inadequate that individuals totally innocent of murdering William Anderson––and known to be innocent of that by everyone––still find themselves on the wrong end of an indictment for that crime. And an indignant district attorney calls that “a minor error”!
Dubious behavior by the Waco authorities hardly ends there. From the start, they’ve actively suppressed evidence, making it impossible for the public to know how many of the nine dead bikers were shot by other bikers and how many were shot by police. In September, I noted an Associated Press report that the gunfire that day “included rounds fired by police that hit bikers, though it isn't clear whether those rifle shots caused any of the fatalities.”