January 15, 2020
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced today that a grand jury has indicted two former Houston Police officers for their roles in a botched narcotics raid in which two civilians were shot to death, and four officers wounded.
Gerald Goines was indicted for two charges of Felony Murder and a charge of Tampering with a Government Record, affirming the probable cause charges filed by prosecutors in August.
Steven Bryant was indicted for Tampering with a Government Record in connection with the raid at the home at 7815 Harding Street on Jan. 28, 2019.
“We believe officers lied. People died. And now we need the truth,” Ogg said.
“The grand jury held officers of the law responsible for killing innocent people and their dog in their home. Our Constitution guarantees that Americans should not have to fear their government – and when agents of the government violate our rights, they will be held accountable,” Ogg said. ”Our investigation continues and we anticipate presenting additional evidence to additional grand juries in the future.”
Civil Rights Division prosecutors believe the evidence shows that Goines misrepresented the victims’ drug activity, threat level and other factors used to obtain a “no knock warrant” signed by a municipal judge.
Bryant is accused of misrepresenting facts surrounding the scene and the purchase of narcotics.
Rhogena Nicholas, her husband, Dennis Tuttle, and their dog, were shot to death at their home in Pecan Park, in Houston’s East End.
By issuing indictments for the charges, grand jurors voted that there is probable cause that the crimes had been committed, and that the cases should continue moving forward.
Grand jury proceedings, including what grand jurors were presented, are secret by law.
In addition to the officer-involved shootings, prosecutors are reviewing potential extraneous corruption allegations involving other officers.
They are also reviewing more than 14,000 previously filed criminal cases that involve Squad 15 of the Houston Police Narcotics Division.
Goines was indicted with first degree felonies and faces up to 99 years or life. Bryant faces up to two years in jail.
The Houston Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit handed over in May the results of its investigation to the District Attorney’s Office. The District Attorney’s Office Civil Rights Division is conducting an independent investigation that continues. Prosecutors have worked with the Texas Rangers and other agencies in the ongoing matter.