February 4, 2020
A Houston man convicted of drug possession and sent to prison in 2011 largely on the testimony of a now disgraced former Houston Police narcotics officer is actually innocent, Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced.
“Now we know Mr. Goines was lying and using the district attorney’s office as a tool to convict people wrongfully more than a decade ago,” Ogg said. “This case also raises questions about how buy-money was being issued by the Houston Police Department’s narcotics division, and how drug payouts were being supervised and audited.”
Otis Mallet, 64, has maintained that former undercover officer Gerald Goines framed him for drug possession in 2008 and falsely testified against him to persuade a jury to convict him three years later.
During Mallet’s trial, Goines told jurors he was working undercover when he arranged to buy crack cocaine from Mallet’s brother, Steven for $200.
Goines testified that he watched Steven Mallet bike a short distance to his brother, who took a can out of a truck, pulled drugs from it and gave that to his brother in exchange for the money. Goines testified Otis Mallet removed the can from his truck and took it behind a house.
Two neighbors disputed the Goines’ testimony, but jurors sided with the officer. Otis Mallet was convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison. He spent two years behind bars.
The case is the first to unravel under closer inspection of work done by Goines and his former partner, Steven Bryant.
Both are facing charges for their roles in a southeast Houston drug raid that killed the two homeowners, Dennis Tuttle and his wife, Rhogena Nicholas, in January 2019.
After it was that discovered Goines lied about the basis for the raid in 7815 Harding Street, he was indicted for felony murder and tampering with a government document. Bryant was indicted for tampering with a government document.
Because the two are under indictment for lying, Ogg has launched a review of 14,000 cases that Goines and his squad worked over the last five years, but Mallet’s case predates that review.
“Mr. Mallet’s case is significant because it appears that Mr. Goines was operating outside of the law for more than a decade,” Ogg said. “There’s no telling how many cases like this may be out there.”