Shock As Texas Jury Sides With Cannabis Grower Who Killed SWAT Officer

UPDATE: This story was actually from this time last year, but the other news is current. I cannot find information relating to what eventually happened with the separate drug and weapon charges. Know more? Let me know in the comments.

A Texas Grand Jury failed to indict a cannabis grower over the death of a police SWAT team officer, because he believed he was being burgled during a police raid.

Burleson County Sgt. Adam Sowders was shot dead in the early hours of December 19th, 2013, by Henry Goedrich Magee, while executing a search warrant on the man’s home. Law enforcement claimed Magee had large amounts of “marijuana” in his property, as well as illegal firearms.

A jury heard how the SWAT team may have failed to make their presence known before bursting in to the house, and Magee immediately fired at the intruders, killing Sgt. Sowders in the process.

Remarkably the other officers did not return deadly fire and Magee was apprehended. No illegal firearms were uncovered, but they did find a small number of cannabis plants, which the defendant claims were for personal use.

He was indicted on both drug and weapons charges, despite his guns being legally owned, because in the presence of illegal drugs weapons automatically become an accessory to the crime.

The jury however would not indict him for the death of Sgt. Sowders because they could not be convinced that he was aware the intruders were law enforcement.

“He did what a lot of people would have done,” said Magee’s attorney Dick DeGuerin. “He defended himself and his girlfriend and his home.”

Julie Renken, the district attorney for Burleson County says that she believes the officers knocked and made an announcement, but because it all went down so fast, Magee may legitimately have been unaware of what was taking place.

If convicted of third degree felony weapon and drug charges, Magee will still face a mandatory prison sentence, between a minimum of two or maximum of ten years.

DeGuerin says 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.”

Indeed, it seems case after case involving police raids – often on the wrong people’s homes, or when no crime ends up being proven, and innocent people are shot – still falls in the favor of the police. Perhaps so many high profile cases of this kind has swayed public opinion.

The sad thing is, even when some US states like Colorado are allowing its citizens to grow their own cannabis, people are needlessly winding up dead in other states on the suspicion that plants are being grown.

In this case an officer is dead and a man faces prison, simply for growing a relatively harmless plant for personal use (there was no indication nor evidence Magee was dealing).

This could all have been prevented if states had an open and honest review of the drug laws. And there is still hope yet as the debate has re-energized in DC.

download (2)U.S. drug czar Michael Botticelli recently stated that the nation’s capital should be able to implement its own drug laws outside of the Federal government, which currently does not recognize the medicinal benefits or recreational use of “marijuana.”

“As a resident of the District, I might not agree about legalization, but I do agree with our own ability to spend our own money the way that we want to do that,” said Botticelli at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Friday.

Obama’s US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy told CBS news on Wednesday that the feds are beginning to recognise that “marijuana can be helpful” for certain medical conditions.

“We have to see what the science tells us about the efficacy of marijuana. We have some preliminary data showing that for certain medical conditions and symptoms, that marijuana can be helpful. I think that we have to use that data to drive policy-making. I’m very interested to see where that data takes us.”

Advocates claim the data has been very clear for a long time and the government are dragging their heels for various reasons. Not long after Murthy’s appearance
The US Department of Health and Human Services made it clear that this was not a sign that the federal government are altering the law.

While clinical trials for certain components of marijuana appear promising for some medical conditions, neither the FDA nor the Institute of Medicine have found smoked marijuana to meet the standards for safe and effective medicine for any condition to date.

The debate rages on as lives continue to be lost.

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  • Arch Angel

    This kid is a the definition of “lucky to be white”.

    • Guest02

      I remember a story just like this a few months ago, the guy involved was black. It did not end the same…

      • Dale Burden

        I do not recall that. Where was it again?

      • 55Q

        Hire a better lawyer.

  • theallseeingmaster .

    What the DA ‘believes’ only means that they do not know. I used to believe that the sky was blue; I know better now.

    • Ya jackass

      But the sky IS blue.

      • theallseeingmaster .

        It only appears to be blue; at daybreak and sunset, it appears to be reddish. It has everything to do with our atmosphere and the sun’s rays filtering through it.

  • Ian Battles

    Maybe once the cop corpses start piling up, police will think twice about conducting no-knock raids.

    • Smilein Bob

      it would be nice if it worked that way, but more than likely it will just make them armor up more…

      • SBr&on

        I used to think that… but then again, look what happened in NYC… and that was just 2. If only we could get a nationwide stand down like that… ironically it might start to repair the public’s perception of police.

    • Dale Burden

      So you want them to knock on doors they are going to raid when they think there may be guns in the house

      • redscream5

        Yes. The original purpose of no-knock warrants were for apprehending suspects KNOWN for being dangerous. They have been bastardized into being used under the pretense of protecting evidence.

        This is America. Owning a firearm doesn’t make you dangerous – it means you are exercising your right to own a firearm. Having weapons registered legally isn’t proper justification for a no-knock warrant.

      • WuzYoungOnceToo

        I guess staking out the house and grabbing him when he comes out of it would just be too simple and safe…and not nearly dramatic enough.

  • 420 Jiisan

    Jury nullification… hope he gets off on the other chrarges.

    • uniquename72

      This isn’t jury nullification; it’s just a not-guilty verdict.

      • jake

        It’s also not a not-guilty verdict it’s lack of an indictment.

  • Sam Mdws

    It doesn’t hurt that his attorney was Dick DeGuerin.

  • Vorter Jackson

    If I were this guy I would find my way out of Texas and probably the US for good measure. LEOs aren’t gonna let up and he has a family to take care of.

    • s0undtribe

      Law enforcement officials follow orders, it doesn’t mean they believe in them. Do you think they felt it was necessary to lose their friend over some stupid plant? They know that this guy did what any of them would’ve done in his situation. They probably hate the guy who gave them the order to perform the no-knock raid, or the fact that the laws exist where they have to put their lives on the line and raid some dude’s house for his weed.

      • Dale Burden

        Follow orders? Are you shitting me? All they need is an excuse and orders go right out the window.

      • Nubby Mcquilicutty

        BULL!! Hate they guy who gave the order..what a bunch of crap. They RELISH the chance to do this stuff…the love it, get off on it and live for it. I grew up in a LEO family, this is what they get off on dude…they love this stuff. They are the ones that drag it out of the informant and then decide to do it that way

      • BIue Cheese

        If they think it’s so wrong, they should take a stand!
        I would not do my job, if I tought is was the wrong thing to do..
        Everybody that wants to punish somebody for smoking weed, should get the same punishment themself!

  • iEatWoofers

    And all of this over a little bit of marijuana. Great…

    • 55Q

      …and the use of paramilitary assault tactics. About time common sense breaks out. Barney Fife may want to rethink playing GI Joe.

  • jimmyt

    No sympathy for the dead cop

    • 55Q


  • Bill

    If only that cop had a gun to defend himself with!

  • James in NC`

    Why isn’t the informant being charged? At the least he is quilty of reckless endangerment or reckless homicide. It was a forseeable outcome of the lies he told that someone would be killed.

    Why would the officers pull a “No-Knock” warrant for this case? Magee had no criminal record, no history of violence, and wasn’t even on the police’s radar until the informant fingered him. A simple search warrant would have been more than adequate in this case. Somebody must have wanted to pull the toys out and have a play day.

  • David Allen

    i was facing 35 years for 14 grams of hash and 1/4 ounce of weed that was in the possession of my sister and brother in law. I did 14 months prison time pretrial and was saved by jury nullification

    • ppfaggot

      When was this?

  • Nubby Mcquilicutty

    This is what happens when your power tripping idiots. These guys had ZERO reason for a no knock raid EXCEPT to justify their budget and existence withing the PD. Break into my house without announcing yourself and i will shoot you too. Say “We have a warrant” and ill unlock and open the door.

  • Michael

    Oh he’s white? give him a slap on the wrist and let him go. haha (I’m white as well btw)

  • 55Q

    Paramilitary infantry assault tactics mean the infantry can suffer casualties. Stop breaking down doors with automatic weapons and you won’t die.

    Good job for the jury!

  • thedailychronic

    FYI, this happened last year (Feb. 2014)

  • Hounds of Briggid

    The feds know exactly what the benefits are medicinally! Our gov’tbwas paying for it’s use in Israel for 40+ yrs…

  • zapatero

    Why are cops fat in the U.S.?

    • Xeno82

      For the same reason we have an upturn in suicides, our addiction to antidepressants and fast food.

  • smith

    I feel no sympathy for dead cops from no-knock warrants.

  • phaggotbrah


  • Greg Straw

    I feel no sympathy for dead cops from no-knock warrants. Kicking down doors for plants is a stupid and deadly practice and when brain dead cops just follow orders this will continue.

  • JohnLloydScharf

    I do not have control drugs in my house. If SWAT comes in, I may have to face a jury, but they will hate having to use a colostomy bag and a wheelchair for the rest of their lives. Death is too good for SWAT invading a home.


    Good the war on drugs and No knock warrants it has made common place is idiotic. Maybe it will teach them a lesson. Unfortunately that lesson will be kill the homeowner on sight.

  • Andy

    “The debate rages on as lives continue to be lost.”

    The answers don’t matter when the wrong questions are being asked.

    If government was by consent taxes wouldn’t be compulsory. Pay the tax or go to jail is not consent. It’s extortion — stealing that’s not much different than a common criminal saying, “your money or your life”.

    Asked of a politician or government bureaucrat:If I did business as you do and forced people to give me money, would you consider me a criminal?

    When the government attacks it’s accusing the person it’s attacking with having violated a specific code(s).

    The government’s argument is that if you are physically located within the United States or the State Of ________ (Ohio, Florida, Utah, etc) then constitution and code/laws apply to you.

    Question: What factual evidence do you, Mr. Prosecutor, have to support your claim/argument that the constitution and code are applicable to me and thus have jurisdiction over me?

    That question has been put to hundreds of prosecutors and government officials and none of them have been able to put forth factual evidence that the constitution and code apply.

    Why have the failed every time? Because there is no factual evidence proving the constitution and code are applicable to anyone.

    The debate rages on because people are asking the wrong questions.

    “What’s the difference between the government and the mafia? The mafia doesn’t have a twelve year indoctrination system to convince you it’s not organized crime.” ~
    Brett Veinotte

    • Scott_R

      A government that can at pleasure accuse, shoot, and hang men, as traitors, for the one general offence of refusing to surrender themselves and their property unreservedly to its arbitrary will, can practice any and all special and particular oppressions it pleases.

      Lysander Spooner

  • John


  • Forest Dewberry

    No shit it doesn’t “meet the standards for safe and effective medicine.” It’s fucking marijuana. Generally, people smoke that it to get high, not because they need medical help. Well, I guess I should qualify that by saying I’m not sure if it is an effective medicine or not. But it does not matter.

    One person’s desire to get high in a way that does not harm others (how many people have gotten killed as a result of weed?) should NEVER lead to potentially life – endangering acts. It’s fucking ridiculous. I don’t smoke pot because I don’t like the thought of inhaling burning material. But how do people still think it’s a good idea for law enforcement to go after weed smokers? Honestly. Fucking crazy.

    • BingBongBingBong

      Does alcohol “meet the standards for safe and effective medicine?”

      > People advocating for legalization want it to be legal in the same way alcohol is…

      There are loads of information on who and how cannabis is already helping those in medical states…

      • Forest Dewberry

        I said I think it should be legal…

      • Forest Dewberry

        So I watched this video and I am not fully convinced but I am definitely interested. And I may become fully convinced as I research this.

  • Thing_Toucher

    Hahah, look at that dumb pig.

    • NeonDisease

      He actually looks pig-like.

      Shameful that you can be that fat and still be a cop.

  • Geordiepower69

    One less government tool to persecute the populous.

  • Christopher Schultz

    legalize freedom

  • NeonDisease

    Cop: Is enforcing cannabis laws worth your life?