An attorney for biker Tom Modesto Mendez did not file a motion to recuse 19th State District Judge Ralph Strother as expected Monday, but he filed a variety of other motions, including one seeking to quash the indictment.
Strother and court officials had made preparations for attorney Jaime Peña to file a motion to recuse the judge after Peña said he could not be prepared for a scheduled Sept. 10 trial setting in Mendez’s Twin Peaks case.
While Peña did not file the recusal motion, he said late Monday afternoon that he has up until 10 days before trial to file the recusal motion, should he decide to do so. Strother set Monday as the deadline for standard pretrial motions to be filed.
Peña declined comment on the motions and would not reveal if he intends to try to remove Strother from the case. He said Friday that he would file a recusal motion on Monday.
In anticipation of the motion, Strother contacted the regional administrative judge to see if an expedited recusal hearing could be held.
Strother has a pretrial hearing in Mendez’s case set for Thursday. Mendez, the Bandidos San Antonio chapter president, is charged with riot, a first-degree felony, in the May 2015 biker brawl at Twin Peaks that left nine dead and 20 injured.
Mendez would be the second Twin Peaks defendant to stand trial. The trial of Jacob Carrizal, the Bandidos Dallas chapter president, ended in a hung jury and mistrial.
In his motion to quash, Peña alleges the indictment should be thrown out “as unconstitutional for vagueness and overbreadth.” Strother granted Peña a continuance earlier this month from an Aug. 27 trial setting. But Pe a said that extension was not long enough for him to prepare for trial, leading court officials to expect him to file the recusal motion.