July 8, 2020
The state’s highest court agreed with prosecutors and defense lawyers by declaring a man actually innocent who was arrested a dozen years ago by now disgraced former Houston Police Officer Gerald Goines.
“In a huge decision, the Court of Criminal Appeals agrees that Otis Mallet is actually innocent,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said.
“Goines’ actions against Mr. Mallet were a stain on the criminal justice system, but it was not indelible,” Ogg continued. “We want to restore people’s confidence in the system as we continue to review every one of Goines’ cases.”
The ruling makes several important findings about Goines and the ongoing probe by the District Attorney’s Office
The Court noted that it was telling that Goines, the sole fact witness at trial and the only witness who said he saw Mallet’s alleged drug deal, refused to testify at a post-conviction writ hearing by asserting the Fifth Amendment when asked to explain facts pertinent to the underlying offense.
Mallet was arrested in 2008 and was sentenced to eight years in prison after Goines testified against him at trial.
Mallet’s case recently came to light because Goines has come under scrutiny for leading a botched no-knock drug raid in south Houston that left two homeowners dead and four officers wounded in January 2019.
Goines has been charged with murder and lying on court documents in the raid of a home on Harding Street.
After Goines and fellow officer Steven Bryant were charged, the District Attorney’s Office dismissed dozens of active criminal cases and announced a review of more than 14,000 past cases Goines and other members of his squad had worked on.
A team of civil rights prosecutors with the District Attorney’s Office has been working for months to uncover faulty convictions.