This article is a bit dated, published October 28th, 2011 in the Collin County Observer. However, I just read it today, and found it interesting enough to pass along.
John Gerard Quinn was charged with aggravated assault of a public official for pointing a gun at the police when the McKinney SWAT team raided his house in the middle of the night. His conviction could have resulted in a life sentence.
Yesterday, a jury in Judge Chris Oldner’s 416th District Court found Quinn innocent after an eight-day trial.
In the early hours of August 5, 2006 a McKinney SWAT team crashed into and raided his house looking for narcotics. McKinney Officer Jesus Damain Guerrero said that when he saw Quinn standing with a gun in his hand Guerrero fired several shots with one bullet hitting Quinn in his right hand.
The officer explained that he shot Quinn in response to Quinn raising his gun at the him.
Quinn was taken to Parkland Hospital where he was treated and then booked into the Collin County jail. He was charged with two charges of aggravated assault on a public servant and possession of a controlled substance. Quinn posted a $150,000 bond on August 6th.
In February of 2007 the grand jury no-billed Officer Guerrero. And in April of 2007 a grand jury returned indictments against Quinn on a first degree felony charge of aggravated assault on a public servant and a felony indictment of possession of a controlled substance.
At the trial, Quinn charged that the police were covering up their actions. The jury did not believe the officer’s story – finding Quinn innocent.
However, in the narcotics charge, the jury found Quinn guilty of less than 1 gram of drugs. Judge Oldner gave Quinn a sentence of 180 days, probated for two years, and including a fine of $500.
John Quinn is an executive who moved into McKinney several years ago. Quinn lives with his son, Brian, who is in his 20’s, and his girlfriend. After the raid, Brian was charged with manufacturing and delivery of a controlled substance (between 28 g and 200 g). Brian’s case has not yet come to trial.
Was this incident the whole story?
Blind JusticeSome believe the police raid began with a divorce in 1991.
John Quinn sued for a divorce from Laurie Quinn Houston on charges that she was having an extra-marital affair. Quinn was given custody of his two children but several years later, their daughter moved in with her mother. Several times, the mother asked the court to amend the child support agreement. In a nasty prolonged fight Quinn charged that Houston and her daughter lived in a ‘questionable lifestyle’ that was a charged sexual environment.
This divorce became an ugly, sordid battle involving the children. In response to Quinn’s allegations, Houston told the authorities that their daughter told her that Quinn molested her when she was about six or eight years old. Quinn alleged that the “troubled minds’ of his former wife and daughter “concocted a scheme to either get more money from him or divert attention from his daughter’s troubles”.
In 2004, Houston filed a complaint with Denton County Child Protective Services alleging that Quinn had raped his daughter. Denton CPS investigated, including taping interviews with the daughter. Child Protection told the authorities that they were “unable to determine” the rape allegations. In September, the Denton County legal authorities also dropped the investigation saying that they were unable to make a determination.
Unhappy with the progress of the Denton investigation, Houston also filed the same complaint at the McKinney police department. The Denton authorities did tell the McKinney Police that they believed there was no credible evidence, but the Collin County District Attorney went ahead issued an arrest warrant for Quinn four days after Denton dismissed the charges.
The Collin County charges languished. After a fifteen-month delay, the Collin County grand jury no-billed Quinn only after he had successfully been given a writ of habeas corpus by Collin County former Judge Betty Caton.
In March of 2006, Quinn filed a complaint in the Federal Court in the Eastern District of Texas suing DA John Roach, Sr., several individuals in the District Attorney’s Office and the McKinney Police Department (as individuals and in their official capacities). His suit claimed that the county and McKinney denied him his constitutional rights. In his complaint, Quinn wrote, “This case tells a story of deception, immorality, greed, incompetence, and pain that is difficult to believe could actually happen in 21th century America under the watchful eyes of supposedly-well-trained public servants. But it did.”
Five months after Quinn sued the police and DA, the McKinney police smashed his door down, shot him and charged him with 2 counts of assault that could lock him up for life.
The DA did ask federal court to dismiss the suit under his privilege under immunity from suits. On March 7, 2007 the court refused to dismiss the suit, but did give the DA immunity “in his individual capacity”, not in his “official capacity”. But after another motion by the DA a Federal Magistrate dismissed the suit on December 21, 2007, writing, “This is in essence a divorce and child custody case gone bad.” The judge confirmed the dismissal, the 5th Circuit Court affirmed, and the US Supreme Court refused to hear the case.
In July of 2008, Quinn has filed another suit – this time in the 429th District Court. This suit is against the McKinney police for shooting him. But this case has also been moved to the federal court. In January of 2010, the court also put this case on ice until the criminal case is resolved.
The federal court gave notice that if Quinn was found guilty, his suit would be dismissed.
Since a jury has now vindicated John Quinn, he can now move forward with his life and his suit against the McKinney police.
This entry was posted on October 28th, 2011 at 12:29:40 pm and is filed under Observer Opinions, Law, Crime & Punishment, City Hall.
Comment from: Terrill [Visitor] Email
– I love getting the whole story Thanks Bill. And now I want to know what can we as citizens do when the officials within the system go bad and attack citizens legally or personally like this?
10/28/11 @ 15:35
Comment from: Truth Be Told [Visitor] Email
1) It sounds like the McKinney Police Department was serving a search warrant for narcotics. The police need probable cause to do this. So, what was the probable cause?
2)Juries do not find defendants “innocent”. They render a verdict of either guilty or not guilty. Our justice system is designed to give every benefit to the accused. There have been innocent people wrongly convicted, but far more guilty people get set free by juries.
3)When the McKinney SWAT Team came “crashing” into Mr. Quinn’s home I would assume they wore there standard attire with the word “POLICE” all over their clothing. I would also assume they yelled,”Police. Search warrant,” prior to entering the home. If they did not, perhaps it was a “no-knock” warrant, meaning they had probable cause to believe that it would endanger their lives by doing so (i.e. they’re guns and drugs inside).
The Observer comments:
I agree that the law requires that police need “probable cause to endanger their lives….”. But the practice is closer to the truth that a ‘rubber-stamp’ Collin County judge will give the police what the say, with or without “probable cause”.
Heck, since almost every police department feels they need a SWAT team complete with a quasi-military team armored complete with snipers, machine guns and grenades.
….. and since they now have a SWAT team, “well lets give the SWAT group something to do!”
10/29/11 @ 10:25
Comment from: 4 MPD Barney Fife’s [Visitor]
4 Truth Be Told
The SWAT team in this case threw 3 deadly stun grenades into that home and set it ablaze. They shot Mr. Quinn according to their own recordings in 4.5 seconds after the attack signal was given. The stun grenades are specifically designed to emit 185dB’s (check out OSHA sound level standards)8 million candella of light, tons of smoke and heat. Federal courts have ruled that these devices are deadly and are in fact STUN GRENADES – not “firecrackers” as the MPD testified. The effect is to make it impossible for their victims to hear, see, orientate or understand what is happening.
This is the second MPD SWAT attack involving the shooting of a citizen where upon the MPD’s own records and sworn testimony shows they stun grenaded themselves during the attack and then in panic opened up wild fire.
And it’s the second documented time they’ve been caught in a Blue Code Of Silence coverup conspiracy.
There was no probable cause this was a retaliation for them being sued for clearly breaking the law. They admit they broke the law – but you see, unlike any other profession in America they have given themselves legal immunity from thier crimes and thus have no accountability.
You really need to quit believing the hype and start researching the facts and the cost/benefit ratio of wasted tax dollars on Militarized Police forces.
Our community is in danger due to these crminal/inept boys with military toys.
And remember, the same thing can happen to any one of the residents of our community at any time. Next time it could be you or somebody you know or love. When that occurs, please write and tell us all what your “opinion” is.
10/29/11 @ 15:25
Comment from: Tim Baker [Visitor] Email
“3)When the McKinney SWAT Team came “crashing” into Mr. Quinn’s home I would assume they wore there standard attire with the word “POLICE” all over their clothing. I would also assume they yelled,”Police. Search warrant,” prior to entering the home.”
What’s to prevent a group of criminals from doing this?
10/29/11 @ 19:01
Comment from: anon [Visitor] Email
Interesting…an alleged pedophile in Collin County goes free and decides to sue. Then gets busted for drugs and whines that he gets shot in a drug raid. Pedophiles are roaming free all over Collin County and you’re going to turn this into the COPS are the bad guys on this one? Many times, I’d agree. But whenever there’s a pedophile involved, I ask, why did the cops not just finish the job?
10/31/11 @ 14:13
Comment from: Texas Commentator [Visitor] Email
As a forty-plus year resident of McKinney, Texas, I am very saddened to read stories such as this. Through the years, I have personally known many fine officers in the McKinney Police department. In most cases such as this, it is not the bottom line ground troops at fault for this behavior, but the higher ranking officers in charge of the department who in some cases were rejects from the Dallas Police Department. Over twenty-five years ago there was the case of many top line officers being charged with falsing arrests of suspected drug sellers in Dallas. It was found that the evidence was actually baking power placed as evidence against these suspected and arrested individuals. Sadly for McKinney, Texas, many of these top of-the-heap officers, left the Dallas Police Department and came to the McKinney Police Department before actual charges for falsifying evidence came before them. As a well respected business man told me, many years ago, “A Fish stinks from the head down.”
11/02/11 @ 13:32
Comment from: Philip W. Moore, Jr. [Visitor] Email
You say alleged, then wish the cop would have just killed the indisputably adjudicated innocent man who got shot by the police. All I can say to you is that I accuse you of being a pedophile, and that maybe you should get shot. Pretty easy to target you that way, isn’t it? Oh wait, you post your hate-filled diatribes anonymously.
11/02/11 @ 22:32
Comment from: Philip Moore Jr. NOT [Visitor] Email
@Philip W. Moore, Jr.:
So PROUD to be a Texas with all those initials and “Jr” after your name aren’t you? Can’t stand the idea of being just one of The People, an anonymous person. Got to have a name – a name with initials and letters after the name. How arrogant you are…and so typical white male collin county too.
The Collin County Observer recognized:
That you, Mr. Not is an anonymous jackass.
11/07/11 @ 16:08
Comment from: Philip W. Moore, Jr. [Visitor] Email
All I can say is that if you can’t put your name next to what you write, maybe you shouldn’t write anything.
11/08/11 @ 14:42
Comment from: Rick Koster [Visitor] Email
I find it troubling that police departments feel compelled to conduct an armed assault of a domicile for any alleged offense. In a lot of cases it would be quite reasonable for law enforcement to wait for suspects to leave for work, detain them in route and then enter the domicile without any fireworks.
I have a strong feeling that if police at a reasonable hour knocked on the door of most citizens without a violent criminal history, there would be little confrontation while executing a search warrant.
A lot of citizens arm themselves, in accordance with their right under the second amendment of the US constitution, to be prepared against a potential home invasion. How is a citizen to distinguish friend from foe during an midnight armed assault?
Are we destined to repeat the fiasco of Ruby Ridge and Waco’s Mt. Carmel?
11/11/11 @ 17:47
Comment from: Mya [Visitor] Email
People cannot call Mr. Quinn that. He is a good man and he wouldn’t do anyone harm. The police was wrong.
03/15/12 @ 16:40