Texas County Seeks Grant from State to Cover Cost of Twin Peaks Bikers Incident

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

McClennan County, Texas, officials are asking the state to give it about $270,000 to cover some of the costs incurred as a result of the Twin Peaks bikers shootout in Waco on May 17, 2015. County officials say they may ask for more in the future.

The Waco Tribune Herald reported that commissioners in the county on Tuesday directed county personnel to apply for a state grant from the Texas County Essential Services Program.

This program provides financial assistance to counties for “essential public services.”

The Tribune Herald reported that County Administrator Dustin Chapman said that the $270,000 may not be the only amount the county seeks and they will apply for more funding.

The county administrator said the county is seeking grant funding to cover the $190,000 costs associated with housing the inmates, and for costs associated with autopsies and transportation of bodies, and overtime costs for the McLennan County Sheriff’s Office.

177 bikers were arrested on the day of the shootings, and nine more have been arrested subsequently. 106 were indicted by a grand jury. Nine people were killed and over 20 wounded on that day.

Most of these bikers remained in jail for months because they could not afford to bond out of jail. As reported by Breitbart Texas at the time, defense lawyers and bondsmen called the $1 million bonds “unconstitutional” and “astronomical.”

County Judge Scott Felton said that the Twin Peaks biker incident was a statewide issue and not just a county matter, reported the local media outlet.

The city of Waco has also applied for funding from grants related to the incident reported the Tribune Herald. The city asked for $248,841 from a Justice Assistance Grant from the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) to cover costs which includes overtime for city police officers.

According to a report from Texas Governor Greg Abbott’s Office, the state strategy for deciding reimbursement is part of the Criminal Justice Division’s effort “to administer state grant dollars aimed to provide financial assistance to counties for essential public services including law enforcement services, jail services, court services, or reimbursement of extraordinary costs incurred for the investigation or prosecution of a capital murder or crimes committed because of bias or prejudice.”

McLennan County received between $40,000 and $50,000 from the Governor’s office and the County Essential Services Program for a two-week capital murder trial in 2013 that was moved to Williamson County, reported the Tribune Herald.

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