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.

Henry Magee

Henry Goedrich Magee

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.

 

 

Marvin Guy

Marvin Louis Guy

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 Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 61 Comments.

  1. Texas. It kind of says it all. Except in reality, this could be any Southern or Mid West state. How in good conscious could any one think this is fair?

    Hopefully the petition will garner many more signatures and if nothing else, at least shows Marvin that there are those of us who CARE and who KNOW this is wrong.

    Thank you so much for this Xena.

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    • kindheart101

      Same scenario, yet different standards of judicial justice?

      I agree with you Mindy, this is not fair at all.

      Like

      • 2 nights ago this petition had 484 signatures, now it’s at 644.. This poor guy.. I can only imagine how desolate he must feel. Like no one cares.

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        • kindheart101

          Unfair Mindy. And I’ll say it again, it’s a double standard! I don’t know where this world is going, but I can’t say I think it’s in the right direction, at all. I went and signed the petition a few minutes ago. I pray more will do so also, and that it helps.

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          • I do think things will turn around for the better, eventually. Drawing attention to these cases of injustice will help too! This double standard is almost comical in it’s obviousness. I mean really.. who can’t see how Unfair it really is!

            I’ve been posting the petition on my FB, several friends are sharing the petition and I also have been posting it sites of those in politics in Bell County Texas.

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    • Mindyme,
      Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

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      • When I first saw this story months ago, I was somewhat complacent, I signed the petition and thought ‘what a shame’, thinking surely someone would take up this cause.

        When the story came back around a few nights ago, I was horrified to see the petition had less than 500 signatures. How can we not help this guy, in any way we can, even if the help turns out to be more spiritual in the sense of letting him know that he has not been forgotten about. That there are folks who care.

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  2. kindheart101

    Yet another “Double Standard” for what appears to be based on race.

    This is So Wrong.

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  3. The picture the media shows of Marvin Guy is a mugshot. The picture they media used of Mcgee, the other man who was acquitted is a family type of photo with him and his child.

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    • Mindyme, the pictures in the media don’t surprise me. Remember that the White Supremacists complained about Trayvon’s photo in the T-shirt, which was actually taken just several months before Zimmerman shot him in the heart?

      Well, during the Dooley case, the media published photos of James holding his infant daughter, although the girl was 8 years old when he was killed by Dooley.

      Marvin’s situation reminds me so much of Dooley’s. Although Dooley was walking away, removing himself from the verbal altercation when James attacked him, the jury decided that James had the right to attack Dooley because he feared him. They also decided that if not but for the fact that Dooley left his garage with a gun and approached James, that they would not have had close contact with each other.

      Yet, in Zimmerman’s case, with no DNA or fingerprints proving that Trayvon as much as touched Zimmerman, the jury took no concern about Trayvon’s fear, and completely dismissed the fact that if not but for the fact that Zimmerman left his truck with a gun and followed Trayvon, that the two would not have come into physical contact with other.

      So, fear has now been placed on a scale according to race, rather than what is reasonable for all humans. It makes me sick.

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      • I remember that too, with Dooley.. mugshot vs family shot…

        In researching another issue this morning, When the NRA became so powerful in America, I came across this, the NRA has an organization that helps those wrongfully accused when they used a gun for legitimate self defense,

        http://www.nradefensefund.org/eligible-cases.aspx

        I wonder if they can help Marvin Guy? Or if the help they offer is only for a ‘select’ group of Americans.. but I’m going to find out.

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  4. butterflydreamer2

    Yes this is wrong, in fact if anyone is charged with murder it should be their informant for providing false information which then led to the officer being killed. Marvin’s case should be dismissed and he should be able to sue the police for emotional distress for the harm it has cost him and his family, and racial discrimination.

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    • Yes this is wrong, in fact if anyone is charged with murder it should be their informant for providing false information which then led to the officer being killed.

      BINGO!

      Back around 2003 a couple I knew in South Beloit, WI went to prison on drug charges. They didn’t use nor deal drugs. What she told me is that a guy befriended her husband who he subsequently invited over for beer and conversation. The man arrived with a paper bag that he put down, and then “forgot” to bring in the beer so he went back to his car. Instead of him coming back, the cops ran into their house, held them at gunpoint, handcuffed everyone including the children, then went straight to the paper bag and discovered cocaine inside.

      When they were taken to the police station, they were told that if they helped to set someone else up that their sentence would be reduced to probation and community service.

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      • butterflydreamer2

        Don’t we always hear “you may not like it, but that’s the law.” What I am hearing now is, It’s not the law, and who cares if you don’t like it.

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        • kindheart101

          So true Butterflydreamer2……….and they are lying to protect officers.

          It used to be said that “Officers are to Protect”………….Now…………”Officers are Protected”

          This makes me sick.

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      • butterflydreamer2

        Xena,

        I think I told this story already about my daughters ex-husband sister. She had 2 guyfriends over to her apartment, and the bought some pot from some guy. After he left they decided they got ripped off, so they told her to call him to come back. They went around the corner to work on a car, and when they guy showed up, she told him to go around the corner they were working on a car. He did, and they told him they wanted their money back, and when he said he didn’t have, they shot and killed him. She didn’t know they were going to kill him, but she was charged with murder, because she sent him around the corner.

        So she sat in jail for 2 years awaiting a jury trial. Just as she was getting ready to go to trial, they dismissed all the charges. My daughter heard that she was released because she agreed to do something similar to what you describe above.

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        • That is horribly sad.

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        • Butterflydreamer,
          It’s been going on for decades. Police departments want the “stats” and notches on their belts. You know, I’ve watched some episodes on “Cops” where they stop people for being in an area of a drug house and I talk to the television; “Why don’t you close the drug house?”

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      • ARRGGGHHH!!

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  5. yahtzeebutterfly

    When, oh when, will we see equal justice and fairness??

    Like

  6. chuquestaquenumber1

    Once again this proves that even a white person engaged in criminal activity,gets treated better than a black person not engaged in criminal activity.This is Dooley/Zimmerman revisited. AG Holder recently restated America is a nation of cowards when it comes to race. This as well as many other cases proves he’s correct.

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    • He’s right. He IS right. Too many people are afraid to ‘rock the boat’ and take the chance of being ostracized by others of their race. Ostracized by the lowest elements of their own race.

      Like

    • This deserves repeating;

      Once again this proves that even a white person engaged in criminal activity,gets treated better than a black person not engaged in criminal activity

      We also need to get politics out of prosecution. State and District Attorneys are elected by County, and although state law is the same, it depends on how each prosecutor thinks, and what they think is important to get them re-elected. I don’t know how to resolve that, but something has to be done so that state law is consistently applied.

      Like

    • yahtzeebutterfly

      Echoing Ida @EchoingIda · 44m
      From the #FergusonFireside chat last night. Wise and poignant words from @deray

      Like

  7. yahtzeebutterfly

    Michael Skolnik @MichaelSkolnik · 10h
    Spend 14 minutes of your life and watch this. @NateParker just ripped my heart open.

    #AllLivesMatter #MikeBrown http://youtu.be/5HtCfm7SKbU

    Like

    • oh WOW!

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      • yahtzeebutterfly

        Yes, wasn’t that intense and heartbreaking!?

        I hope millions of people view it.

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        • butterflydreamer2

          OMG, intense and heartbreaking yahtzee!!!!

          Like

          • yahtzeebutterfly

            It is telling of the state of our society that it takes a movie like this to help bring so many people along to an understanding….to help people “get it.”

            Sadly, there will still be some who will refuse to understand and who will chose to be willfully ignorant and coldhearted.

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    • A definite heart ripper and real.

      Always, thanks for good articles/links.

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  8. I was reminded of Anonymous’ warning to the informants in Ferguson when I saw this, this morning.

    http://samuel-warde.com/2013/11/anonymous-hacks-website-finds-ron-paul-connection/

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  9. The guy who had drugs and other items in his trailer gets off but the one who had nothing in his home and was based solely on an informant gets charged………stinks to high heaven.

    I’m not a fan of no knock warrants, it sets up too many for disaster. You’re sleeping in your home and hear glass breaking……who wouldn’t in their right mind think that someone was breaking in to do you harm? I would be going for a gun myself. Cops should just surround a home and wait it out after properly id’ing themselves and knocking on a door or calling a phone number.

    Like

    • Towerflower, I agree. The no-knock raids have resulted in too much harm to innocent people. Remember the infant in his crib who was injured and is scarred for life because of a no-knock raid in the wrong house? Cops really need more evidence than the word of a criminal trying to get their sentence reduced. I agree with Butterflydreamer that they are the persons who should be arrested for murder.

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  10. That Is mind boggling, and my mind does not get boggled much these days! There doesn’t appear to be any reasonable reason to charge this man other than the unfortunate color of his skin. Yes, Martha, race actually matters…a lot!

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  11. Complete and utter BS. Could colour have had something to do with it, you think? Since in both cases it was enforcement officers that were killed, it can’t be that. Or is it ’cause the drug pusher had the dough for a better attorney?

    Like

    • Kev,
      There is a person who posts comments here who helped open my eyes to the racial prejudices that exist. In 2012, I wanted to believe that people called upon to serve on juries are fair. I have learned differently. Since both of those guys’ cases were taken before a grand jury, and one jury did not indict while the other did, I place the blame on the grand jury members and prosecutors.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The defence should have pulled notes from the previous case to strengthen his position. That’s what they normally do in tough cases. He could have used that case to highlight the differences and state that if the jury could find the other not guilty than they had no choice, give the reasonable doubt, but to also find him, not guilty. Like I said, he probably couldn’t afford a good defence attorney and if he was awarded a state one… well, need I say more?

        Like

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