Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021
Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Tuesday that a murder charge has been dismissed against Houston Police Officer Felipe Gallegos, charged earlier this year in connection with the Harding Street investigation, so that evidence can be re-presented to a new grand jury to determine if an indictment is warranted.
The conduct of a former prosecutor, who handled the case, raised concerns about his judgment and resulted in his termination from the office.
Out of duty and an abundance of caution, all evidence in the shooting will be re-reviewed by a different prosecutor in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office Civil Rights Division and re-presented to a grand jury. Gallegos will have the option of having his version of the facts presented to grand jurors and testifying, should he chose to do so.
All officer-involved shootings in Harris County are presented to a grand jury, so that citizens who represent the community can determine if there is probable cause to support a criminal charge.
Gallegos, who was charged with the murder of Dennis Tuttle, remains charged with Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity, as are nine former members of the Houston Police Department Narcotics Division, Squad 15.
Former Officer Gerald Goines remains charged with Engaging in Organized Criminal Activity, multiple instances of Tampering with a Government Record, Theft by a Public Servant, and two Murder charges for the deaths of Rhogena Nicholas and Dennis Tuttle.
“People’s lives hang in the balance of every decision that we make, and it is incumbent upon me as District Attorney to have this situation re-reviewed to ensure justice in this case, as in every case,” Ogg said.
District Attorney Ogg presented the Motion to Dismiss, which was granted Tuesday afternoon.