TYLER, TX (KLTV) - Some East Texans caught in the legal crossfire surrounding the 2015 shooting among law enforcement and rival biker gangs in Waco are seeing action taken on cases this week. Four people are under new indictments, and charges against another were dismissed, according to McLennan County records.
The change in charges comes just days before the three-year anniversary of the incident at a Waco restaurant. Twenty were injured and nine people died, including Charles Wayne Russell, of Tyler. No charges have been filed in Russell's death at this time.
Criminal charges against Phillip Sampson, of Longview were dismissed this week, according to a family member. Several others were announced earlier this week. The McClennan County district attorney's office said the dismissals were requested in order to allow prosecutors time to focus on "more culpable" cases.
Those arrested were each previously charged with engaging in organized criminal activity but were never indicted for that offense.
New indictments were handed down Wednesday by a McClennan County grand jury.
- Wesley A. McAlister, of Gilmer is indicted on two counts of riot.
- Kyle Smith, of Kilgore is indicted on two counts of riot, and one count of tampering with physical evidence.
- Jacob C. Reese, of Mt. Pleasant, is indicted on two counts of riot.
- Marshall Mitchell, of Longview is indicted on a count of riot.
Sec. 42.02 of the Texas Penal Code defines the riot charge as, "the assemblage of seven or more persons resulting in conduct which creates an immediate danger of damage to property or injury to persons, substantially obstructs law enforcement or other governmental functions or services, or by force, threat of force, or physical action deprives any person of a legal right or disturbs any person in the enjoyment of a legal right."
An indictment is not an indication of guilt or innocence, but rather a determination as to whether a trial should be held.