Trena Mitchell, who is legally blind, is accused of causing the death of Richard Craig ” Hat Trick” Schroeder, in December when she pulled out in his path. Mitchell who has been cited before for driving without a license, had worked out a plea bargain with prosecutors where she would plead guilty to second-degree felony manslaughter and be placed on deferred probation, which essentially meant no jail time.
Once this deal became public, outraged motorcyclists across Texas and Louisiana began a letter writing campaign flooding State District Judge Ralph Strother’s office with more than 1,200 letters condemning the plea bargain.
Schroeder, a member of Bikers Against Child Abuse was out that day collecting toys for children whose parent(s) are in jail. According to police reports, Mitchell pulled her Honda Accord into Schroeder’s path, causing his Harley-Davidson to collide with her Honda Accord, sending him almost 100 feet from the point of impact.
Motorcyclists from across Texas and surrounding states began circulating an email call to action and the letters began flooding the courthouse. Most say they feel prosecutors and judges do not place the same value for a motorcyclists life as they do for the general public.
Brian “Spock” Peterson, a 51-year-old member of the Confederation of Clubs & Independents told the Waco Tribune, “It is conspicuous when a biker is killed or injured that he gets different treatment because there is prejudice and discrimination against us riders,” he said. “Another thing is that we are more vulnerable, so we are involved in a lot more accidents that are not our fault, and we would like to see punishment be equal, and we are not seeing that.
Mitchell’s attorney told the Tribune that the biker’s letter writing campaign is inappropriate and the judge should not influenced by public opinion.
Hundreds, perhaps thousands of motorcyclists are saying they will attend a rally to show support for the victim either before or during the August 17th trial date.