I was the courtroom sketch artist for the Branch Davidian / Waco Trial. It took place in
the federal court house in San Antonio, Texas. These sketches were used by various
media in the United States, Australia, New Zealand and Europe.
The Waco siege began on February 28, 1993, and ended violently 51 days later on
April 19. The siege began when the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and
Firearms (ATF), accompanied by several members of the media, attempted to execute
a search warrant at Mount Carmel Center ranch, a property of the religious sect Branch
Davidians located in the community of Elk, Texas nine miles east-northeast of Waco,
On February 28, shortly after the attempt to serve the warrant, an intense gun battle
erupted, lasting nearly two hours. In this armed exchange, four agents and six Branch
Davidians were killed. Upon the ATF’s failure to execute the search warrant, a siege
was initiated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation(FBI). The siege ended 50 days later
when a fire destroyed the compound when a second assault was launched. Seventy-six
men, women and children, including the sect leader, David Koresh, died in the fire.
On August 3, 1993, a federal grand jury returned a superseding 10-count indictment
against twelve of the surviving Davidians. The grand jury charged, among other things,
that the Davidians had conspired to, and aided and abetted in, murder of federal
officers, and had unlawfully possessed and used various firearms.
The Government dismissed the charges against one of the twelve Davidians, Kathryn
Schroeder, pursuant to a plea bargain. After a jury trial lasting nearly two months,
the jury acquitted four of the Davidians on all counts with which they were charged.
Additionally, the jury acquitted all of the Davidians on the murder-related charges,
but convicted five of them on the lesser-included offense of aiding and abetting the
voluntary manslaughter of federal agents. Eight Davidians were convicted on firearms
charges and received sentences up to 40 years.
The defense attorneys were Dan Cogdell, Mike DeGeurin, Doug Tinker, Jeff Kearney,
Rocket Rosen, Tim Evans. The federal prosecutors were Ray and LeRoy Jahn, and
Bill Johnston. The Judge was Walter Smith. The US Attorney General at the time was
Janet Reno. The President was Bill Clinton.