Bell County prosecutors have dropped their efforts to impose the death penalty on Marvin Guy (pictured), an African American man who has been held eight years without trial in connection with the death of a white police officer during a botched no-knock raid in Killeen, Texas in May 2014.

In the pre-dawn hours of May 9, 2022, a SWAT team from the Killeen Police Department ignited a flash grenade and broke a window attempting, unannounced, to enter Guy’s residence to serve a warrant to search for cocaine. Guy fired out the window at what he told the Washington Post podcast Broken Doors he believed were intruders attempting to rob or kill him. Police returned a hail of gunfire, and during the shooting, four police officers were struck by bullets. Two days later, Killeen police Detective Charles “Chuck” Dinwiddie died from his wounds.

Prosecutors charged Guy with capital murder and sought the death penalty. He is imprisoned pre-trial on $4 million bond. Guy maintains that police accidentally shot Dinwiddie during the raid. No drugs were found in the search of Guy’s house.

“This no-knock raid should’ve never happened, and Marvin should not have been arrested,” PJ Martinez, Texas Campaigns Director of the Grassroots Law Project said.

While Guy no longer faces the death penalty, prosecutors continue to seek a capital murder conviction and life sentence against him.

Less than six months before the botched raid on Guy’s house, central Texas police in Burleson County threw a flash grenade and tried to kick in the door to enter the residence of Henry “Hank” Magee during another drug-related no-knock raid. Magee grabbed his semi-automatic rifle and fired it towards the door, killing SWAT office Sergeant Adam Sowders. Police found drugs in Magee’s residence. Prosecutors charged him with capital murder, but a grand jury refused to indict, effectively determining that Magee had acted in self-defense.

In an October 2014 article in Mother Jones reporter Shane Bauer wrote the cases raised “troubling questions about race and ‘no-knock’ police raids.” “The cases are remarkably similar, except for one thing,” Bauer observed: “Guy is black, Magee white.”

Killeen City officials banned no-knock raids in 2021, two years after Killeen police shot James Reed to death and then tried to cover up their role in the killing. Officer Anthony Custance lied to investigators about his role in the shooting before ultimately pleading guilty to charges of tampering with evidence to try to make it appear he had not shot at Reed.

Guy has languished in jail for more than eight years after firing the public defenders office and two other teams of court appointed lawyers whom his supporters say were not aggressively defending his case. In April 2021, the Innocence Project of Texas entered its appearance on behalf of Guy, with its Executive Director Mike Ware serving as lead counsel. Dallas criminal defense lawyer Justin A. Moore is serving as second chair counsel. Trial in the case also has been delayed by the pandemic.