No Knock Raids Extremely Dangerous For Police
SOMERVILLE, TX— Last December, Henry Goedrich Magee was sleeping peacefully with his pregnant girlfriend when authorities entered his home in a “no-knock” raid around 6 a.m. With no warning, or search warrant, police swarmed Magee’s home searching for marijuana and guns. Magee believed the police were thieves and reached for his gun, which he legally owned. He opened fire and shot Sgt. Adam Sowders, who died at the scene.
The raid turned up a small number of marijuana plants and seedlings, as well as Magee’s legal guns.
A grand jury decided on Wednesday that the incident could have happened to any homeowner in a similar situation, and declined to indict Magee for capital murder. “He did what a lot of people would have done,” said Magee’s attorney Dick DeGuerin. ‘He defended himself and his girlfriend and his home.’ Magee was indicted for possession of marijuana while in possession of a deadly weapon, which is a third degree felony.
This case breaks new ground in Texas. Magee’s attorney, who has been practicing law for many years, couldn’t recall an incident where a grand jury refused to charge a defendant in the death of an officer.
DeGuerin said sheriff’s deputies did not knock on the door or announce who they were when they entered the home, but Julie Renken, the district attorney for Burleson County, disagrees.
“I believe the evidence…shows that an announcement was made,” Renken said. “However, there is not enough evidence that Mr. Magee knew that day that Peace Officers were entering his home.” The police weren’t wearing body cameras during the raid.
Magee is still in custody for his marijuana possession charge, but will soon be released on bond.