Police were looking for cocaine in raid that left local man dead

(Photo by Chelsea Edwards)
(Photo by Chelsea Edwards)(KWTX)
Published: Mar. 8, 2019 at 6:37 PM CST
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Killeen police were looking for cocaine and other drugs as well as evidence of drug trafficking during a no-knock raid at a duplex last month that left a local man dead and officers obtained a warrant for a second simultaneous raid on a room at a hotel where they also believed the man could be, according to documents released Friday.

The investigator who submitted the affidavit for the hotel warrant did not request no-knock authorization.

James Scott Reed, 40, died early in the morning on Feb. 27 in an exchange of gunfire with police after Killeen officers executed a no-knock search and arrest warrant at around 6 a.m. at a duplex at 215 West Hallmark Ave.

SWAT officers were met by gunfire as they entered the residence, police said.

Eva Brooks, who was in bed with Reed when police raided the duplex unit they shared, says something came crashing through the window followed by flickering, blinding lights.

"It was like 'boom' and the flares- I jumped that way, and he jumped this way," says Brocks pointing to the sides of the bedroom where broken glass is scattered.

"Somebody said 'shots fired', and he didn't even fire shots. And that's when all of them went to shooting."

She says Killeen police saw her fiancée reaching for his dresser and moments later opened fire.

"I kept saying, 'Scottie, get up- get up Scottie,' but his eyes didn't move," she added, tearing up.

Killeen Municipal Judge Mark Kimball issued the warrant for the raid on the duplex on Feb. 26 on the basis of a police affidavit citing an unnamed informant who “observed James Scott Reed…with a usable quantity of cocaine.”

In the affidavit, Killeen police officer Steven Eaton requested a no-knock warrant because the informant had observed a handgun and a shotgun in the residence and reported that Reed “will keep the firearms close by while inside his apartment.”

Eaton said in the affidavit that he believed “that an unannounced ‘no-knock’ entry is necessary for the safety of both officers executing the warrant and the suspected parties.”

Additionally, Eaton said in the affidavit, Killeen police executed a no-knock warrant on Nov. 17, 2010 in which Reed was listed as a suspect.

“During the execution of the search warrant, James Reed resisted arrest and had to be tased through a window while he was destroying evidence,” the affidavit says.

Reed’s criminal history included convictions or adjudications for a string of offenses ranging from robbery to drug possession to resisting and evading arrest, the affidavit says.

A warrant return shows that officers seized 1.9 grams of a “green leafy substance,” 211.4 grams of “white bar like pills,” 12.2 grams of “yellow bar like pills,” 7.0 grams of “blue in color circular pills,” 8.5 grams of Ecstasy, 2.2 grams of a “white powdery substance,” two cell phones and $1,214 in cash.

Kimball issued a second warrant on Feb. 26 authorizing police to search a room at the Lone Star Inn & Suites at 409 South 2nd St. in Killeen and to arrest Reed and other persons “who may be residing, working or making their escape there.”

The affidavit submitted for the warrant cites an unnamed informant who reported seeing a quantity of cocaine inside the room

The officer who prepared the affidavit for the hotel room search did not seek a no-knock warrant.

In that raid, officers arrested Wendy Lynn Muckelvaney, 38, of Killeen and seized 6.7 grams of a “white rock like substance,” a digital scale, ammunition, two glass pipes, $80 in cash and a counterfeit $20 bill, according to the warrant return.

Muckelvaney remained in the Bell County Jail Friday in lieu of $50,000 bond charged with possession of a controlled substance, according to online records.

Steven Walden with the Carlson Law Firm says judges have to seriously consider potential dangers before signing off on no-knock warrants.

"Is there probable cause first of all for the search warrant, and then going the extra step to find out is there a legitimate and rational decision for the police to enter into a home without first announcing themselves?" he said.