No murder charge for man who fatally shot Texas deputy
Magee's attorney, Dick DeGuerin, said his client thought he was being burglarized, reached for a gun and opened fire.
DeGuerin has acknowledged his client had a small number of marijuana plants and seedlings, as well as guns he owned legally. The grand jury did indict Magee for possession of marijuana while in possession of a deadly weapon, a third-degree felony.
"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," DeGuerin added. "He defended himself and his girlfriend and his home."
The longtime defense attorney said he could not immediately remember another example of a Texas grand jury declining to indict a defendant in the death of a law enforcement officer.
Julie Renken, the district attorney for Burleson County, said in a statement Thursday she thought the sheriff's office acted correctly during events that "occurred in a matter of seconds amongst chaos."
"I believe the evidence also 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."
Magee is still in custody in neighboring Washington County, but should be soon released on bond since he only faces a marijuana possession charge, DeGuerin said.
Renken said her office would "fully prosecute" that case.
Mixed Opinions On Shooting Death Of Police Officer During No-Knock Raid
At a court hearing earlier this month Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza said he will seek the death penalty in the charge related to Dinwiddie’s death, according to KWTX.
Dinwiddie, 47, was an 18-year veteran of the Killeen Police Department and 15-year veteran of the department’s SWAT team. He died of wounds sustained while serving a no-knock search warrant on Guy’s apartment at 5:30 a.m. on May 9.
Another officer, Odis Denton, was shot in the leg. He was treated at a local hospital and released, KXXV reported at the time. Two other officers were hit by gunfire but sustained only minor injuries because of their protective gear.
Although Garza plans to proceed with seeking the death penalty, some question whether or not the officer’s life could have been spared.
Radley Balko, who writes about criminal justice and the drug war for The Washington Post, notes that no drugs were found in Guy’s apartment upon execution of the warrant.
The police, Balko wrote, were acting only on the information of an informant who claimed to have witnessed bags of cocaine being transported in and around the house.
But given what police did find in the home — a glass pipe, a grinder, and a safe — it was unlikely that Guy was running a major drug operation out of the apartment. He might have been a drug user, given the suspected paraphernalia, but there was nothing in the home linking him directly to drug dealing of any sort.
Balko argues Guy likely opened fire on police simply because he was surprised to be awakened by armed men climbing through his windows that morning in the no-knock raid. He certainly had nothing in his home so incriminating that he would risk death in a shoot-out in order to conceal it.