UPDATE: According to the Daily Mail, the murder charges against Henry Goedrich Magee have been dropped:
A Central Texas man who shot and killed a sheriff’s deputy entering his home will not be charged with capital murder, attorneys said Thursday.
A local grand jury declined Wednesday to indict Henry Goedrich Magee for the December death of Burleson County Sgt. Adam Sowders, who was part of a group of investigators executing a search warrant for Magee’s rural home.
Sowders and other officers entered the home about 90 miles northwest of Houston without knocking just before 6 a.m. Authorities were looking for guns and marijuana.
Magee’s attorney, Dick DeGuerin, said his client thought he was the victim of a home invasion, 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 following post was shared with the CopBlock Network by Amber Eldridge, via the CopBlock.org submissions page. Along with her submission she states:
Hi, I am a close family friend of Henry (Hank) Goedrich Magee. He is currently being held in the Washington County Jail in Brenham, TX and charged with capital murder. HE is the victim of a botched no knock raid on his home. The deceased sheriff’s deputy that requested the no knock warrant received false information from someone he had recently arrested.
We are trying to get support and fight this with whatever we can; we have been researching and we are seeing that these no knock tragedies are happening all over the country. We are asking for any help/support we can get. He is a good man. We have created a support group and a blog page for updates and contact information.
He is a good person and does not deserve to be in jail right now. His story is eerily resembling the Matthew Stewart case, Cory Maye and so many others! Please help us; I’m reaching out to everyone we possibly can. Below are a few of the articles out now.
Support group on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/720261987991455/
‘Henry Goedrich Magee Claims He Fatally Shot Officer Thinking Home Was Being Invaded’
DALLAS (AP) — The attorney for a Central Texas man accused of killing a sheriff’s deputy says the man thought he was the victim of a home invasion when he opened fire.
Henry Goedrich Magee is accused of capital murder of a peace officer in the death of Sgt. Adam Sowders. The Burleson County Sheriff’s Office said Monday that investigators had found the semi-automatic rifle used to kill Sowders at Magee’s rural home near Somerville, about 90 miles northwest of Houston.
But Magee’s attorney, Dick DeGuerin, says sheriff’s deputies did not announce themselves when they entered Magee’s home just before 6 a.m. Thursday. DeGuerin says Magee opened fire without knowing that the person he shot was a sheriff’s deputy.
District Attorney Julie Renken declined to comment on specific allegations due to the investigation.
‘Deputy Killed As SWAT Team Breaks Through Door to Serve “No Knock” Warrant’
On December 19th, a sheriff’s deputy was shot and killed during an attempt to serve a “no knock” warrant near Sommerville, Texas. Just before 6:00 A.M. an 8 member SWAT team broke through the door of Henry Goedrich Magee to serve a warrant which would permit the team to search the mobile home in which Magee and his pregnant girlfriend were living. Reacting to the pre-dawn, forced entry Magee grabbed a rifle propped against a bedroom door frame and fired at the unidentified intruders, killing 31 year old sheriff’s deputy Adam Sowders. No one else was injured and Magee was taken into custody. He is being held on $1 million bail and has been charged with capital murder, punishable in Texas by life in prison without possibility of parole or death by lethal injection.
These are the broad facts of the case as first reported by a number of print, radio and TV sources. The following additional information has been made public during the past few days:
1.) The “no-knock” warrant was issued at the request of Deputy Sowders who was proceeding according to information provided by an investigator who told the officer that Magee “…was growing marijuana and possibly had stolen guns, as well as other drugs inside his home.” According to Magee’s attorney, Dick Deguerin, four weapons were recovered by police; 3 legally owned by Magee, one legally owned by Magee’s mother. Also according to Deguerin, the only drugs found in the home consisted of a small number of marijuana plants, constituting “…a misdemeanor amount.” The warrant itself was signed by District Judge Reva Towslee Corbett. As a copy has yet to be made available, it’s not known whether the warrant was for a drug search only or also for a search for firearms.
2.) According to the AP, “Magee has been arrested twice for driving while intoxicated and twice for possession of marijuana.” The Bryan-College Station Eagle writes that Magee “has a felony and misdemeanor drug conviction.” According to Texas law, a resident with a felony arrest may own a weapon IF 5 years have elapsed since the felony conviction or end of parole. The weapon must be kept at the individuals home. None of the sources make it clear if this statute applies to Magee.
3.) Speaking for his client, Deguerin told the media that Magee and his girlfriend were awakened by the sound of “explosives” which seemed to be going off near the front windows and a loud banging on the front door. Magee claims he did not know that law enforcement officers were responsible for the noise or the break in.
4.) A spokesman for the Burleson County Sheriff’s Office said she “…did not know if or how deputies announced their entrance into the home.” None of the deputies were wearing body cameras and it is unknown if dashboard cameras on police vehicles were operating.
It’s a safe bet that a mountain of additional information will be forthcoming should Magee stand trial. But based upon the information that has been released, should Henry Magee have been charged with capital murder? In fact, should he face a murder charge of any kind? IF the SWAT team (as it was called by Texas Ranger Andres de la Garza) entered without identifying its members as law enforcement officers, did Magee have an absolute right to shoot, given that he feared for his life, that of his girlfried and of their child? Must officers accept any risk which goes along with the serving of a “no knock” warrant, the purpose of which is to confuse, intimidate and catch suspected criminals off guard?
It is perhaps a tragic irony that Deputy Sowders himself requested Judge Corbett issue the no knock warrant which might have contributed to his death. With prior arrests for drunk driving and possession of marijuana, it’s difficult to imagine that such a warrant would have been issued at all. Assuming Magee was not engaged in criminal activity as yet unreported, shouldn’t SWAT team tactics be reserved for individuals with far more extensive records, or suspected of more serious offenses?
Countless articles have recently been written about the “Militarization” of police departments across the U.S. If police are preparing for “war” against the American public, it seems likely that shoot-outs between citizens and officers could become all to common.
‘Texas Deputy Killed in Dawn No-Knock Drug Raid’
A Burleson County, Texas, sheriff’s deputy leading a dawn, no-knock drug raid was shot and killed by the homeowner last Thursday. Sgt. Adam Sowders becomes the 40th person to die in US domestic drug law enforcement operations so far this year.Deputy Adam Sowders was killed executing a no-knock drug raid over some marijuana plants. (http://www.co.burleson.tx.us)
Although Sowders was killed early last Thursday morning, we delayed reporting the story because the sheriff’s department refused for several days to release search warrant information that would have verified it was indeed a drug-related search warrant.
According to the Bryan-College Station Eagle, Sowders had obtained a search warrant for the residence after obtaining information that the homeowner was growing marijuana and possibly had stolen guns. The warrant was a “no-knock” warrant, meaning police could forcibly enter the residence without giving residents a chance to respond.
Sowders, the first officer through the door, was shot and killed by homeowner Henry Goedrich Magee, 28, who has now been charged with capital murder. But Magee’s attorney, famed Houston defense lawyer Dick DeGuerin, said Magee and his pregnant girlfriend were sleeping in the home when they heard “explosives” going off and loud pounding at the door. Moments later, the door burst open and a person Magee couldn’t identify entered the residence. Magee grabbed a rifle leaning against his bedroom door frame and shot Sowders. According to DeGuerin, Magee shot him because he “believed the man rushing in was an intruder and he needed to defend himself.”
Magee has a felony and a misdemeanor drug conviction, but DeGuerin said all investigators found inside the trailer were a few marijuana plants and four guns that were all legal. DeGuerin pointed at the no-knock warrant as a contributing factor in Sowder’s death.
“The danger is that if you’re sitting in your home and it’s pitch black outside and your door gets busted in without warning, what the hell are you supposed to do?” DeGuerin said.
Kelly is a lifelong resident of Las Vegas, who’s been very active in local grassroots activism, as well as on a national level during his extensive travels. He’s also the founder/main contributor of Nevada Cop Block, served as editor/contributor at CopBlock.org and designed the Official Cop Block Press Passes.
Connect with Kelly at these social networks; Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
That comment is to all you dumb fucks like NO COMMON SENSE and T! You fuckers have nothing better to do than spend all your time on this website!
First of all I’m glad a POLICE OFFICER was KILLED during a no knock raid!!! This is happening all over the United States due this countries WAR ON DRUGS. And 95% of the time usually the person’s home being invalid is killed or a family member is killed and for what? A couple of marijauna joints or sometimes the FUCKING STUPID COPS get the address wrong or the information giving to them is incorrect.
When COPS kill people during these worthless raids 99% of the time they get off with NO punishment but when we “US CITIZENS” kill a cop during these raids we spend the rest of our lives in prison.
I wish you good luck with your case but unfortunately, the person that killed this WORTHLESS COP will probably spend the rest of their lives in prison.
Hmm, overzealous cop who didn’t take the necessary precautions to protect himself on the job was killed “in the line of duty”. The homeowner, an illegal drug using citizen that cares not what the law says is looking at a life sentence for his actions. I’d call this one a wash. We, the middle, get one taken off the field from both teams. I’m good with it.
Glad the dog didn’t get shot. The guy’s through. There’s no way the cops or DA will let him get away with it. It would be like declaring open season.
Kill a cop in Texas? Had the state decided that its was “self defense” then he would not have been charged with murder. Hope you do well during voir dire, you’ll need it.
So where is the “botched” part of this story? No confirmation on whether or not his felony conviction was within 5 years of this incident. That would be the only “botched” part.
Who keeps a loaded gun propped next to the door? (Besides Alvin)
Ovator do humanity a favor and to clean your ears with a slug from a shot gun.
Hard for me to drum up any sympathy for someone that sneaks up a home by the dark of night, announces their presence with the detonation of a flash bang grenade, then bust down the door and expect the victim of the flash bang [stunned, blinded, deafened and balance impaired] to just roll over and surrender. It speaks to a lack of understanding or human nature…the “fight or flight” response to trauma. Police typically kill those wired for the fight response, more out of opportunity than any real concern for safety. If safety were a concern, they wouldn’t do dumb ass no-knock raids on unsuspecting people.
I am surprised only one deputy was shot. I suspect the ol’ “everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth” thing happened, once the lead invader ate lead, the rest ran into the night, shrieking like 13 year old girls. “HANK! IT”S US, DEPUTIES!!! DON”T SHOOT!!!!
There’s a lesson in this: Having access to tactikewl toys and the ability to bullshit a judge out of a warrant makes one a commando as much as buying a guitar makes you a rock star.
This type of raid should be reserved for only the most dire situations, not this penny-ante crap. If the resident had been shot to death in his bed, just the presence of guns in the house would have justified his murder for most people. The resident trolls would have said something like:’ Don’t pull a gun on the Police’ or something similar. Everybody get the point that the basis for the warrant was unfounded? The dead cop brought this on himself. Unfortuantely the resident may probably get fried for clear self-defense.
I remember seeing a Law & Order episode years ago where something similar happened. Maybe it was some other cop show, but whatever.
A guy kept a surveillance camera running 24×7 on himself in his his apartment for….protection (?) and a loaded shotgun sitting next to him at all times. A cop kicked in his front door and the dude grabbed the shotgun and killed him. Took all of 2.5 seconds. They charged him with murder, but once the jury saw the video, he was acquitted of the murder charge. It didn’t matter that he was a drug dealer living in a gang-infested building, he was protecting himself from an unknown intruder.
Too bad Mr. Magee doesn’t have a video to back him up, but if you’re a cop and you kick in somebody’s front door without any warning, being killed is a risk you take.
….how’d that Kelly Thomas trial end?
You were right t.
I am stunned the Mr Magee and his girlfriend where not killed. If the lead member of a stack goes down the rest of the stack will usually light that shit up. I am truly stunned this story didn’t end in his death. More over I think this lend credit to Mr. Magee’s story and once he recognized it was law enforcement he surrendered. Sorry and officer lost his life but maybe this will help put a stop to this no knock shit if this happens more often. Good luck Mr. Magee you are gonna need it.
To all you pussy cowards like t and the girls, say whatever you want, how this guy is through, but the bottom line, another cop is dead, so smile on that you fuckers. It should be open season. If someone no knocks and comes into your house, you SHOULD kill them, and quickly. Especially cops.
Why when cops mistakes in these raids, we’re supposed to be understanding, even though they started the commando raid. But if a surprised citizen kills a cop, no allowance for confusion is allowed. This is part of the double standard of police.
This officer had no need for this, but chose to raid because it is fun. Good ridence.
The self defense shooting is justified with a defective warrant. Research Housch V. People, 75 111.49. The court ruling was reaffirmed numerous times.
What was the original warrant being served for ……………………..?? Never says.
So far, one good thing has come of this…….
There is one less cop in the world that believes they are entitled to violate another’s rights. Let’s hope it starts a trend.
I am the victim of a “No announce” by cops, I warned and fired warning shot thinking it was my son who had been threatening me all week. Turns out my son made a bogus 911 call asking cops to “check on me”. Knowing I was expecting him (and he has a rap sheet a mile long), he set the police up. However, their lack of proper police protocol led to me believing it was my son at the door. They then let him in after I was arrested despite me telling them not to let him in. He robbed me with the help of the police! AFTER Trial, we discovered the evidence used against me was altered!