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A former Houston police officer has been charged with two counts of felony murder in connection with a botched drugs raid earlier this year that the two men and their dog, and four officers were injured, authorities announced Friday.
The Harris County District Attorney’s Office announced the charges against Gerald Goines. A second former Houston police officer Steven Bryant, has been charged with the crime of tampering with evidence.
“In the eyes of the community and of the nation are on this case and it is of vital importance to the public’s confidence and trust that we will not divulge the true facts about what, how, and why the two civilians had been killed in their own homes by members of the Houston Police department Narcotics Squad Of 15,” Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said. “The two charges of the Offence of Murder and for Tampering with a Government Document against the former Officers Goines and Bryant are at the start of the holding of those responsible accountable.
TOP: THE OFFICER LIED IN A STATEMENT THAT THE DEADLY RAID IN HOUSTON
“This is the beginning, the tip of the iceberg in terms of how far and wide we are investigating,” Ogg added. “We’ll find out the truth about this whole thing.”
A makeshift memorial was set up at the front of the Tuttle, and Nicholas’ house after the raid. (AP Photo/Juan Lozano)
The two former military officers surrendered to authorities on Friday afternoon, and it appeared to be in a band. Information about the bond hearing was not immediately known. Goines, faces up to life in prison if convicted, while Bryant faces a maximum of up to two years in state prison.
In The Jan. 28 raid, which resulted in a shoot-out that killed the residents of Dennis Tuttle, 59, Rhogena, Nicholas, 58. Goines was one of the four senior officers killed or wounded. Tuttle, and Nicholas, were alleged to have sold heroin to a claim on their family and friends will be able to be denied. The police found a small amount of marijuana and cocaine in the house, but it is no heroin.
TO PROBE THE CASES OF HOUSTON, TEXAS OFFICERS IN FATAL RAID, RICH
In a subsequent investigation, police have been accused of Goines of lying in a search warrant, the confidential informant’s purchase of heroin at the house. Goines, later acknowledged that there was no informant and that he bought the drugs for himself. Both Goines and Bryant was relieved of duty after the shooting and later retired.
An independent review of the incident, Nicholas’ family, there is doubt about the initial claims by the police that Nicholas was shot and killed by officers, who saw her trying to take it from a fellow officer’s gun.
Legal counsel for the Nicholas family, Michael, Patrick Doyle, of Doyle, llp, in Houston, texas, and Charles C. Bourque of the Pc. Martin & Bourque, LLC, in Houma, La. — in a statement released to Fox News on Friday, saying: “The indictment today of the former HPD, Gerald Goines and steve Bryant are important advances, but they are only the beginning of the pursuit of justice in the police murder of Rhogena, Nicholas, and Dennis Tuttle.”
“The Nicholas family” s quest to uncover the truth of what happened to Rhogena will also continue to be. In our study, it is aimed not only at the HPD Narcotics Squad of 15, but it is also about the attitudes, patterns, and practices of the HPD prior to, during, and after the out-of-control, unjustified implementation of the Rhogena in her own house, the council noted.
“We’re still in with a court decision, and the sworn statements made by HPD Captain, Paul V. Follis, and HPD, Lieutenant, Marsha, Todd, and the HPD division of the police department personnel involved in the administration of the HPD Narcotics Squad of 15,” board said. “We believe that the court has sufficient basis to take the deposition is called upon to investigate a possible wrongful death, civil rights, and other legal rights.”
“Finally, Nicholas, the family is grateful for the work of the Harris County District Attorney’s Office, as well as all city, state, and federal law enforcement personnel to complete the investigation of this terrible incident. They continue to hope that the judiciary will be able to help prevent other families through the trials of life, just as she did,” defence counsel added.
The police respond to the scene of the raid, on Jan. 28 of this year. (Brett Coomer/Houston Chronicle via AP File)
The Houston Police Officers’ Union, later in a statement said, “as a Result of the ongoing criminal investigation, it would not be appropriate for the HPOU to provide any additional comments. … The HPOU is pleased to introduce the District Attorney’s office seems to be in line with the conclusions of the Houston Police Department’s investigation, and that there are no other officers [were] involved in criminal activity in relation to the exercise of the warrants, or the shoot-out.”
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After the shooting, the prosecutors started the investigation of more than 2,000 cases, is bound to Goines, and the entertainment district. In June, prosecutors said their investigation has expanded into a probe of more than 14,000 of the cases handled by the Houston Police Department’s narcotics division.
Ogg said the prosecutors decided to prosecute rather than wait for them to take the case to a grand jury, because they were afraid that the two officers would leave the area and she was concerned for the safety and security of the witnesses.
The case is still set to be presented to a grand jury within the next couple of weeks, and the panel will be able to file against the two officers, other officers, and vice versa, said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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