A suspect in the deadly shootout featuring two biker gangs in Waco over the weekend is a retired San Antonio Police Department detective.
Martin Lewis served 32 years before he retired in February 2004, said the department in a statement released Tuesday night. No further information was made available.
Lewis is one of 170 people booked on charges connected to the shoot-out in the parking lot of a Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco during which nine people were killed and 18 injured.
Bond was set at $1 million each for the suspects – believed to be from as many as five different biker gangs – who have all been charged with engaging in organized crime.
The scale of the incident is likely to overwhelm McLennan County District Attorney Abelino Reyna and his team of about a dozen felony prosecutors, predict legal experts.
‘It’s pretty much unchartered territory for anybody,’ defense lawyer Walter Reaves Jr., told USA Today. ‘It’s going to put a strain on the entire court system.’
Engaging in organized crime can bring a sentence of five years to life in prison, but some of those charges could be upgraded to murder, a capital offense. Texas has the death penalty.
Michael Heiskell, a former federal and state prosecutor, said he didn’t expect many trials to emerge from all the resulting charges.
‘The magnitude of the arrests is amazing,’ Heiskell said. ‘It could break the bank in McLennan County.’
The cost of a death penalty case can reach ‘high six figures’ and possibly $1 million, said Heiskell. If defendants can’t pay, then the county has to.
‘I think when the dust settles you may have maybe a few capital charges filed,’ said Heiskell. He also predicts that those will be plea bargained down.
While jailers are working hard to keep rival biker gang members apart in lockup, police in Texas remain on alert after two biker gangs allegedly issued orders to shoot and kill uniformed law enforcement officers.
State and federal authorities distributed memos to local police warning that the Cossacks and Bandidos motorcycle gangs had been told to arm themselves and head to North Texas in the wake of last weekend’s bloody shootout.
An incredible image showing the moment a lone police officer kept at least seven bikers down during the deadly shoot-out in Waco on Sunday was shared by the Mclennan County Sheriff’s Office on Monday.
The photo, pictured below, shows the officer walking past the gang members with his weapon drawn.
‘This photo is the perfect example of what COURAGE looks like,’ the sheriff’s office said. ‘Great job to the Waco Police Dept. and Texas DPS for their quick actions. There is no doubt that lives were saved as a direct result of the officers bravery and commitment to keep this community safe.’
Experts have revealed that confrontation between the Cossacks and the Bandidos – the two main gangs involved in the shooting – had been simmering for months when one biker’s foot was apparently run over by a rival in a restaurant parking lot.
Police said the injury to the biker’s foot is thought to have sparked the shootout when the rivals faced off at a gathering at a so-called ‘breastauraunt’.
And Edward Winterhalder, a former member of the Bandidos who has written 10 books about biker gangs, told Daily Mail Online that the feud began when the Cossacks angered their rivals by putting a Texas patch on a territory-claiming part of their vests known as the ‘bottom rocker’ a year ago.