BELTON — 2,727 days and now eight birthdays have come and gone for a Killeen man who has been held in the county jail awaiting trial on a capital murder charge.
A birthday protest organized by the family of Marvin Louis Guy — who turned 57 years old on Wednesday — was held at the Bell County Justice Center to raise awareness about Guy’s case. He was 49 years old when he was booked into jail on May 10, 2014. Guy is facing the death penalty after being indicted on four capital felony charges. His bonds total $4 million.
Marvin Guy spoke over the speaker phone from jail to the 15 people who gathered on the lawn in front of the county courthouse.
“I’m very appreciative of everybody coming out,” Guy said. “Keep praying for me and I’m staying strong. It’s been a struggle.”
Guy’s brother told the Herald that the birthday gathering has become an annual occasion.
“If we have to come out here every year on his birthday, we will,” said Garett Galloway, Guy’s brother. “It’s important that we come out to show support for him. At a time when he should be celebrating, he’s sitting behind bars. I hope this is the last time we have to do this.”
Guy is accused of shooting a Killeen Police Department detective, who later died, during a no-knock raid on Guy’s residence on Circle M Drive on May 9, 2014.
KPD SWAT Detective Charles “Chuck” Dinwiddie and other officers were shot and Dinwiddie died in a hospital two days later.
Guy has claimed self-defense, saying that he did not know it was police entering his residence, which is why several Second Amendment supporters — including the Elmer Geronimo Pratt Gun Club of Central Texas and Open Carry Texas — were in attendance Wednesday.
The founder of the Elmer Geronimo Pratt Gun Club told the Herald that there were two reasons he was supporting Guy by attending the event.
“One, I’m a Black man; and two, I’m a Second Amendment advocate,” said Nick Bezzel. “Marvin Guy was within his rights to defend himself under the Castle Doctrine. This is something that could happen to me. The best thing I can do is to come out and support his family.”
Some of those in attendance wore “#Free Marvin Guy” T-shirts after the Grassroots Law Project recently added his case to its advocacy campaigns.
“I want people to do more to spread the word about what Marvin is going through,” Galloway said.
Multiple trial dates have been set in Guy’s case through the years, in part because of a succession of defense attorneys.
A trial date cannot be set in Guy’s case until the newest defense team, hired by Guy in April, ascertains that they have received all of the evidence that the state has against their client.
The last status hearing in his case was more than two months ago, on Aug. 12.