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.

Somerville, TX
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
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Drug "War" more like War on Samity

The War on Drugs has been a terrible terrible stain on America.  What POSSIBLE value is a drug bust at the potential, in this actual, loss of life? The bad guys flush the drugs? So what, the drugs are gone. If the target was a dealer his profit is gone; if the target was a distributor he is likely in a lot more trouble with his dealer than with police --- these people kill each other for losing the 'stash'. Knock on the door, announce as police and wait for the druggie to flush the stash then say good  night. More damage done than an arrest can possibly do and no one gets killed.

Idoits Logic

What kind of logic says, that when guns are suspected to be present in a home, its a good idea to bust into said home, unannounced, at 3 AM with guns drawn? 

LEAP_Speaker's picture

No Sense in No Knock Warrants

No knock warrants were approved by courts back in the cocaine days, so suspects couldn't destroy evidence.

Why a no knock warrant, did they think he could flush an entire marijuana grow down the toilet. Even if they did, we would have the water department shut off the water at night, and wait for them to call.

 

In the West, he only thing breaking into someone's home at 4 AM, wearing a mask, and yelling will get you, is shot.

no knock

2 words: 'no-knock'.  the end.  it's that simple.  when you rush a house, at night, you may get shot.  bad policies by stupid people get other people killed.  4 pot plants and 4 legal guns and a guy had to die because of 'no-knock'.  this man should not be tried at all.  he protected his home from what he only knew to be an intruder.  someone else's stupidity should ruin this guys life?  i don't think so.

We'd expect this from the Nazi's

That cop got everything he deserved. The rest of the gang should have gotten the same. Charging the homeowner is absurd, they play their little cops n robbers game and lost, too bad. This is still America god damn it, if you don't want to get shot, don't do stupid things. The drug war is treason, since declaring war on an inanimate object is insanity, it must be a war on the citizens who disagree with the insane law.

No-Knock Warrants are Bad Law-Enforcement Practice

Henry Goedrich Magee was exercising his constitutionally protected right to self-defense and defense of his property when he shot and killed sheriff's deputy Sgt. Adam Sowders. In the darkness of the wee sma' hours of the morning, before sunrise, a homeowner has no way to know who is breaking into his house when no announcement (such as a knock on the door) is beforehand made.

The risk of being killed by a homeowner who is exercising his lawful right to self-defense is borne by law-enforcement when they engage in no-knock raids. If the homeowner can't tell the LEO from a bandit, simply because the LEO is acting exactly like a bandit would act, then the homeowner isn't to blame for assuming the worst and following the old advice "better to be judged by twelve than carried by six."

This unfortunate episode illustrates the foolishness of no-knock raids. CITIZENS DO HAVE THE RIGHT TO DEFEND THEIR HOMES AND THEMSELVES. They always will. If law-enforcement wants to be safer, then they will knock. They will announce themselves. They will display their badges and the warrant upon request. There is a right way to do things, which, if followed, will minimize risk to both the LEO and the citizen. If LEO chooses not to follow that correct procedure, then LEO has no business blaming the citizen for doing what he believes is necessary to protect himself from someone who might be a criminal.

The arrest of Henry Goedrich Magee was pure revenge and retaliation upon him by law enforcement for shooting one of their homies, one of their fellow gang members. Oh, yes. They'll seek the death penalty. Oh, yes. They will try to stack the deck in court, too. If by some chance Magee is cleared by a jury, they'll seek revenge in other ways. Because LEO organizations are gangs, too. They just wear nicer clothes than some of the other gangs do.

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