In what may be a ruling that will effect how police conduct their raids going forward, a Texas grand jury has refused any charges against a Texas man who shot and killed a deputy executing a no-knock tactical raid on his home.
The raid took place on December 19th of 2013, when the Burleson County SWAT team raided the home of 28-year-old Henry Goedrich Magee.
Magee said he shot Burleson County Sgt. Adam Sowders, 31, because he thought he was an intruder invading his home. At the time he was home with his pregnant wife and children and the jury concluded that they did not have ample evidence that Magee actually knew it was the police breaking into his house.
After all, it’s called a no-knock raid for a reason, and anyone in their right mind would try to protect their family when the door was kicked-in in the middle of the night.
“This was a terrible tragedy that a deputy sheriff was killed, but Hank Magee believed that he and his pregnant girlfriend were being robbed,” DeGuerin said in an interview Thursday.
“He did what a lot of people would have done […] He defended himself and his girlfriend and his home,” said Dick DeGuerin, Magee’s lawyer.
The jury agreed, citing a lack of evidence Magee knew the invader was actually a law enforcement officer, they neglected to charge him despite his being a “cop killer.”
There may be a case that the police actually did plan on robbing Magee since the reason for the raid was that the deputies believed he had some illegal guns. While they did find some marijuana plants in the home, all of the guns that Magee owned were owned legally, including the one used to defend his home.
Because of the murder charges, Magee was facing life in prison without parole, but after the grand jury’s ruling he will soon be reunited with his family. While we are saddened by the death of the deputy and wish his family the best, hopefully this will help change how police conduct their military style no-knock raids on citizen’s homes.
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