HOUSTON – Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg announced Wednesday that a grand jury has indicted two former Houston Police officers, known on the street as “Batman and Robin,” 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.
Goines and Bryant are not strangers to the African American community. In fact, they have a reputation of being neighborhood menaces, according to a flurry of social media posts that flooded timelines once their names and photos were released.
Facebook user T. McGee shared,” Listen I will continue to post this because this man had a lot of help from other officers, judges, unions, investigators, and etc. Even though BATMAN had complaint after complaint from POOR black people he was allowed to remain on a police force 3 decades. He and others murdered other victims who happens to be white, but murder is still murder.
His charge should be upgraded as well since he knowingly planted drugs, committed perjury, forged government documents, endangered the public, and terrorized poverty stricken communities for decades.
His bail was $150,000.00 which is peanuts to him with his criminal history and etc. I’m closing by asking where is the outrage from Everyone????… Murder is Murder regardless who commits it..”
“DAMN! KARMA FOR THAT AZZ!” M. Moore posted.
“Awww sh**. They got his funky a**. Feds got a hold to his a**. Sup #Batman. It ain’t fun and games no more huh? I’m still waiting on my dismissal papers from the state. Smh.” J. Comeeaux posted.
Even the DA expressed disbelief on Facebook during that time.
“We have not seen a case like this in Houston,” Ogg said. “I have not seen a case like this in my 30-plus years of practicing law.”