BELTON — Judge John Gauntt made it very clear Thursday that he wanted to set a trial date in the capital murder case of Marvin Guy, who is accused of killing a Killeen police detective nearly three years ago.
Guy’s defense attorney Anthony Smith stated that he wouldn’t agree to a trial date, however, because he didn’t believe that he has received all the evidence needed from the state.
“Here’s what’s going to happen,” Guantt said to a group that included Smith, Assistant District Attorney Paul McWilliams and Carlos Garcia, Guy’s other attorney. “I’m going to set a trial date.”
As Gauntt went on the record and everyone else returned to their seats, he proposed an Oct. 2 trial date. Smith was opposed to the idea.
“Your honor, the state has been asking for a trial date since I got on this case,” Smith said. “When we don’t know what’s there and what’s missing, it makes it very difficult for the defense. We are not agreeing to any trial dates until we receive everything we need.”
The shootout with police occurred on May 9, 2014, and Guy was charged with one count of capital murder and three counts of attempted capital murder after he exchanged gunfire with members of the Bell County SWAT team, which led to Detective Charles “Chuck” Dinwiddie, a leader on the police department’s special weapons and tactics team, being fatally shot in the face.
The shootout occurred when officers tried to serve a no-knock warrant at Guy’s apartment on Circle M Drive in Killeen. Guy has said in past interviews with the Herald that he believed his home was being broken into, and began shooting at police in self-defense.
Smith told Gauntt that the prosecution has failed to provide him with all of the evidence he has requested in a timely manner. He discussed a request he filed in February 2016, and told Gauntt that he did not receive a response until August of that year.
“The Morton Act was passed for a reason,” he said.
Bell County District Attorney Henry Garza has cited the Michael Morton Act in past interviews as something that’s led to a more drawn-out process. In 2013, The Texas Legislature enacted a measure that required prosecutors to give defense attorneys any evidence that is relevant to the defendant’s guilt or punishment. Garza said that’s prolonged things by about six months to a year.
On the other side of things though, McWilliams insisted that the District Attorney’s office hasn’t held anything up.
“We’ve been giving things that we don’t even think we’re required to give them,” he told Gauntt.
Smith fired back at that statement.
“My requesting is not the problem here; the problem is the government and the state withholding evidence,” he said.
A date was set for another status hearing. The parties will meet on May 31 at 9 a.m. for anther status hearing, during which, Smith said, he plans to subpoena members of different agencies, and put them on the stand to find out if there are any other pieces of evidence the defense needs. He did not specify what agencies he will subpoena.
Guy sat between Garcia and Smith wearing thick-rimmed, black eyeglasses and an orange prison jumpsuit. He was not handcuffed, and shook Garcia’s hand upon entering the courtroom. Before exiting, he turned and waved to someone in the back of the room.
McWilliams declined to comment any further on the case, as he threw up his hands when asked questions after he walked out of the courtroom.
“There’s a gag order,” he said. “So what you heard in there ...”