One Man Has Rights Under The Castle Doctrine, Another Doesn’t
The Texas version of the “castle doctrine permits the use of deadly force when an “actor” believes someone has “unlawfully and with force entered, or was attempting to enter unlawfully and with force, the actor’s occupied habitation. Even when the Castle Doctrine does not apply, there is traditional self-defense law that is deferential to a homeowner.
On December 19, 2013, in Somerville Texas, Henry Goedrich Magee, was awakened before 6 a.m. to intruders breaking into his mobile home. Fearing for his and his pregnant girlfriend’s safety, Magee grabbed a firearm and opened fire on the intruders. He killed Adam Sowers, who happened to be a Burleson County law enforcement officer. Sgt. Adam Sowers was fatally wounded by Magee while leading an armed team during an early morning unannounced “no-knock” marijuana raid.
A Texas grand jury refused to indict Magee, citing that his sincere belief, fearing for his life and the life of his pregnant girlfriend, was a “completely reasonable act of self-defense.
The no-knock raid resulted in evidence to charge Magee with felony drug and weapon charges. He was held on a $50,000 bond.
On May 9th, 2014, just after 5:30 am, 49-year old Marvin Louis Guy of Killeen, Texas, was in bed with his wife when he was awakened by someone climbing through a window of his residence. Fearing what any reasonable person would, Marvin grabbed his gun and fired at the intruders. It was the Killeen Police Department’s Tactical Response Unit conducting a no-knock raid, based on an informant.
An 18-year veteran of the Killeen Police Department named Charles David Dinwiddle, was shot in the face and died.
The search of Marvin’s house produced no drugs. Marvin was not dealing drugs, and had no reason to believe that law enforcement would enter his house searching for anything. Yet, a Texas grand jury returned an indictment for Marvin, and he has been charged with capital murder, meaning, that Marvin is facing the death penalty.
Along with the capital murder charges, Marvin is also charged with attempted murder for the three other officers that he shot; two in whom suffered no injuries due to their bullet proof vests. Some reports say that Marvin’s bail is $5 million, others that it is $4.5 million.
The lost of life is always tragic. Here however, there is a distinct difference between how a Texas grand jury finds that police had probable cause for a no-knock raid, finding drugs, and not return an indictment for capital murder, but in another case where police had no probable cause, indict the occupant for capital murder.
Marvin Louis Guy deserves to be treated the same as Henry Goedrich Magee. Both are residents of Texas under the same laws. A petition is on change.org, asking the Bell County District Attorney to dismiss the charges against Marvin.
Posted on 10/29/2014, in Trials & Cases and tagged capital murder, castle doctrine, equality, Henry Goedrich Magee, indictment, Marvin Louis Guy, self defense, Texas. Bookmark the permalink. 61 Comments.