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Sun Feb 9, 2014, 09:38 AM

Something that just never happens in Texas.

Texas grand jury refuses murder indictment on man who killed deputy on no-knock raid
By George Chidi
Saturday, February 8, 2014 21:04 EST

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2014/02/08/texas-grand-jury-refuses-murder-indictment-on-man-who-killed-deputy-on-no-knock-raid/

A grand jury in central Texas refused Wednesday to indict a man on murder charges after he killed a sheriff’s deputy who stormed his house while executing an early-morning no-knock warrant looking for marijuana in December

Henry Goedrich Magee will still face a charge for possession of marijuana while in possession of a deadly weapon, but prosecutors failed to convince the grand jury that Magee was out of line when he went for his gun while he thought he was being burglarized, ABC reported. Burleson County Sgt. Adam Sowders died during the drug raid, executing a search warrant at Magee’s rural home northwest of Houston.

<snip>

“In my opinion, the Burleson County Sheriff’s Office did nothing illegal by securing and executing a “no knock” search warrant that day,” said Julie Renken, 21st Judicial District Attorney, in a statement. “I believe the evidence also shows that an announcement was made. However, there is not enough evidence that Mr. Magee knew that day that Peace Officers were entering his home. The events occurred in a matter of seconds amongst chaos. The self-defense laws in Texas are viewed in the mindset of the actor, not the victim, which allows for tragedies to occur when one party is acting lawfully, but it can be reasonably seen as a threat of deadly force by another.”



Just think - a no knock warrant for pot????? There is no need for no knock warrants.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 09:43 AM

1. A state with "no'knock warrants" and "SYG" laws...... What could possibly go wrong?

 

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 09:47 AM

2. The Sheriffs did nothing illegal, but they did a forced entry search for pot?

That on its face is stupid.

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Response to House of Roberts (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 10:25 AM

4. Welcome to Texas. There is another notorious case like this......

Texas man freed after serving 26 years for killing he calls accidental

By Lisa Sweetingham
Court TV
Wednesday, May 26, 2004 Posted: 10:23 AM EDT (1423 GMT)



(Court TV) -- In 1978, a 27-year-old North Texas State grad student named Gregory Ott was convicted of the capital murder of a Texas Ranger. Ott, now 53, has spent almost half his life in jail for what some have called the cold-blooded shooting of an officer of the law.

But many others believe Ott's crime was an accident. Court TV's Catherine Crier, a former Texas state judge and felony prosecutor, worked to bring Ott's complicated story to light and rallied for his parole. On Tuesday morning, after 26 years behind bars, Ott was freed.

At about 8:45 a.m., Ott walked through the doors of a Huntsville, Texas, holding unit to the waiting arms of family members. The former student was now a gray-haired soft-spoken man with thick glasses and a shuffling walk.

"You made it, Bubba," his brother, Bruce, said as Ott gave his father, sister and nephews tearful embraces. "Welcome home."

Ott carried his belongings -- a notebook, toothbrush and other personal items -- in a red government-issue mesh duffel.

It was a Texas Monthly profile in 2000 that first compelled Crier to learn more about Ott, Texas Department of Criminal Justice prisoner #282372. In 1978, according to the article, Ott was an eccentric hippie with a flowing beard and long hair. He was working on a Master's thesis in philosophy, comparing Heidegger's phenomenology with Zen haiku poetry.

In February 1978, Denton County narcotics officers busted a marijuana dealer named James Leonard Baker, who cooperated by giving them names of known dealers. Baker named Ott, a pot-smoking loner, as a "heavy dealer."

According to news reports, police ordered Baker to call Ott and set up a marijuana buy. Ott initially told Baker that he didn't have the amount of dope requested, but when Baker pleaded, Ott agreed to find a way to help his friend. The unsuspecting student was about to become the target of a bungled late-night drug raid.

Some time after 10 p.m., an undercover agent, Ben Neel, bought about 20 pounds of marijuana from Ott, and then suddenly pulled his gun. Ott, who had been robbed on two previous occasions, claimed he had no way of knowing that the man pointing a gun at him was a police officer. When he turned and went for his own gun that was sitting on a nearby shelf, Neel shot at him and missed.

Ott claimed that, in the confusion, he grabbed his .38 and it accidentally discharged, after getting tangled in a beaded curtain. Prosecutors alleged Ott knew Neel was an officer and fired intentionally. A single bullet pierced through a closed entranceway, striking and killing Ranger Bobby Paul Doherty, who was waiting on the other side.

The Texas jury could have given Ott the death penalty, which prosecutors asked for, but opted instead for life in prison, presumably because the shooting appeared to be unintentional. In fact, Ott had no idea that Doherty was on the other side of the door.

In a Court TV investigative documentary, "The Strange Case of Greg Ott," which premiered in December, Crier interviewed the Texan in prison.

"There is absolutely no way that I would intentionally have done this act," Ott whispered. "Not then, not now."

By all accounts, Ott has been a model prisoner since his conviction. In 1982, he risked his life to save a guard who was under attack by another prisoner. In 1994, when Ott was a boiler room attendant, fellow prisoners beat and bound him during an escape attempt, but Ott managed to get free and alert guards minutes before the boiler would have exploded.

When Ott first became eligible for parole in 1990, the Board of Pardons and Paroles received letters from wardens, guards and even the Denton County district attorney who sent Ott to prison, all lending support for his release. And he was granted parole by a three-member panel -- only to have it denied at the last minute when members of the Texas Rangers were tipped off and began a letter-writing campaign.

The Rangers have held sway over the parole board's decision twice, effectively keeping Ott in jail after board members initially consented to his release. When Crier interviewed the slain Ranger's former partner, Bob Prince, he admitted that it did not matter to him whether the shooting was an accident.

"We don't need another convicted cop killer on the streets," Prince said, telling Crier that he believed Ott should have received the death penalty.

In a December 2003 letter to Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Crier asked the statesman to take a closer look at Ott's case and the subsequent actions of the Texas Rangers.

"The Rule of Law is being trampled by a heart-felt but misguided power play for revenge," Crier wrote.

Upon his release this morning, Ott took a moment to thank the individuals who supported him and wrote letters over the years. "To all them I answer. To all them I am responsible," he said.

By Tuesday afternoon, Ott had boarded a plane to Orlando where he intends to live with his sister and be close to his parents who live nearby. But as he was leaving the courthouse this morning, his father handed him a cell phone. Ott held the device awkwardly, saying he wasn't sure how to use it.

"Hello, Mom?" Ott answered. He cried as the words came, "We're out. We're on our way to see you."

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 10:19 AM

3. I just can't get over

a gang of people breaking into a family's house at 6am with no warning, screaming and waving guns around, and the media referring to them as "Peace Officers."

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Response to noamnety (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 10:53 AM

6. agreed

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Response to noamnety (Reply #3)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 11:10 AM

9. Well, marijuana is an evil threat to our nation.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 10:49 AM

5. Gun Rights Conservatives vs

Law and Order Conservatives.

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Response to Nitram (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 10:54 AM

7. And you would not believe the number of 'no knocks' served on wrong addresses that kill people.....

with no officials being even reprimanded.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #7)

Sun Feb 16, 2014, 01:24 AM

16. Huh?

I'm just saying that conservatives are fighting each other on both sides of this issue.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 10:56 AM

8. fucking cops while I don't believe in killing anyone

sometimes their shit comes back to bite them. Problem is that for this poor guy, he'll get the 10 years for the gun use and then they'll probably give him 20 for the mj...so because the cops fucked up, he'll still do thirty years. And what? possession? In a couple of states it's already legal. No wonder so many people hate cops!

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 11:40 AM

10. Even your standard knock and announce warrants are executed with an entry in seconds, no time for

the homeowner to respond, so ALL residential search warrants are now "no knock" in effect and execution......Judges and Juries need to start knocking on the heads of those that violate the constitution and rule of law.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 11:48 AM

11. "Peace officer"

Whatever, kicking in a door isn't very peaceful!

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 12:29 PM

12. not enough evidence that Mr. Magee knew that day that **Peace Officers** were entering his home

just noting the irony.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 12:34 PM

13. Burleson Cops

I was invaded and busted by the same PD without a warrant and my lawyer said it was legal. Then the city jailer lied to the county jailer just because he wanted to go home. As I left, 26 hours later, they invited me back. They never saw me again.

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 12:39 PM

14. SYG

It's just not for private citizens anymore...

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Response to marble falls (Original post)

Sun Feb 9, 2014, 01:53 PM

15. Excellent. k&r for exposure. n/t

-Laelth

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