SPI stabbing Mexican Mafia members in court

Saul Acevedo's client Daniel Garza, is one of 12 men accused of stabbing Dallas college student Derek Madrigal last Spring Break on South Padre Island.

While six of the of the suspects have criminal histories Acevedo said Garza and five others don't.

Defense attorneys said their job is to clear their clients of charges of attempted murder, aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and engaging in organized criminal activity in this case.

However, they add it TMs nearly impossible when they are not getting information they need from prosecutors.

"What you have is simply a brawl on the beach, Acevedo said. The only thing we've been provided is a video tape of the incident, which hundreds of thousands of people have seen on YouTube and other social media."

Cameron County Assistant District Attorney Peter Gillman said defense attorneys want information on key witness, but he TMs concerned about their safety since the suspects are linked to organized crime.

"We're dealing with individuals that are known Mexican Mafia members, Gillman said. They are a very dangerous group of individuals and they are (found) throughout the state of Texas and other states. Because of the type of people we're dealing with, we're taking different action within our office. Usually we have an open file policy, right now, we're closing that file just because of this case."

Acevedo argues this policy leaves him and other defense attorneys little to work with.

"We all know that any defendant has a right to confront their accusers, and how can you really confront them if you don TMt know who their accusers are?" Acevedo said.

The suspects are due back in court on February 13 for a status hearing.

They are expected to go to trial this year.