Judges Reduce Bonds for ‘Waco 170’ But Grab Guns of Club President

Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP
Photo: Rod Aydelotte/Waco Tribune-Herald via AP

Judge Ralph Strother, one of the judges who set $1 million bonds in the Twin Peaks biker cases, reduced the bond of the president of the local Waco, Texas, chapter of the Cossacks Motorcycle Club, but ordered that he turn over all of his guns. John Wilson has approximately 30 guns in his home.

Out of the 177 bikers arrested after the Twin Peaks shoot-out, 120 bikers are now out of jail on reduced bonds.

The Judge told Wilson that if he violates any of the terms and conditions of his release, his bond can be revoked and he can be put back in jail. He must also wear an ankle monitor.

Wilson’s bond was reduced from $1 million to $100,000.

The judge reduced the bond of the motorcycle club president, but ordered him to not congregate with other members of the club. This could prove problematic because Wilson owns a cycle shop, Legend Cycles, on Interstate 35 – the interstate highway that runs through Waco.

As reported by the Waco Tribune-Herald, Wilson said he has already had to keep his shop closed for a month while he has been in jail. He said his cycle shop is in danger of going out of business.

John Wilson’s 28-year-old son, Jake Wilson, is still in jail on a $1 million bond. Judge Strother has scheduled a bond-reduction hearing for July 10th.

Both John and Jake Wilson will have to sever their membership with the Cossacks until after their criminal court cases are determined.

During Wilson’s bond hearing, Prosecutor Amanda Dillon argued that a video shows Wilson moving towards the shooting on the day of the Twin Peaks shoot-out. Wilson said he was just trying to find his son.

According to the Waco-Tribune Herald, John Wilson told Judge Strother that the President of the Cossacks lives in Gun Barrel City. Strother retorted, “That’s an appropriate name.”

A good number of the bikers, 120 of the 177 arrested, have been released on reduced bonds after prosecution-defense negotiations. The bikers’ release occurred after Judge Strother or Judge Matt Johnson approved the reduced bonds. All of the bikers were arrested for the charge of engaging in organized criminal activity.

Breitbart Texas reported that the judges who set the $1 million dollar bonds had three of the bikers re-arrested after they bonded out on reduced bonds. Their bonds were reset to $1 million, but they were able to bond out again.

Breitbart Texas also reported that defense lawyers and bondsmen have called the $1 million bonds “unconstitutional” and “astronomical,” and that defense lawyers have sought the recusal of the judges. Motions to remove the judges from making any further rulings in the case were filed alleging bias but those motions were denied, as reported by Breitbart Texas.

Lana Shadwick is a contributing writer and legal analyst for Breitbart Texas. She has served the state of Texas as a prosecutor and associate judge. Follow her on Twitter@LanaShadwick2


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