A grand jury on Thursday charged six Houston police officers with a total of 17 counts for their roles in the January 2019 botched drug raid that left a couple dead.
On January 28, 2019, the raid took place under scrutiny after the then-alleged police officer Gerald Goines, who was killed during the raid, lied a search warrant that a confidential informant had bought heroin at home. Goines later acknowledged that there was no informant and that he bought the drug himself, authorities said.
His then-partner, Steven Bryant, 46, is accused of providing false information in a report following the raid that backed Goines ’story about a confidential informant.
Killed in the shooting were Rhogena Nicholas, 58, and Dennis Tuttle, 59, and their dog. Their family and friends constantly denied allegations that the couple sold the drugs. Police found small amounts of marijuana and cocaine in the house but no heroin. During the raid, four officers were shot and injured, and five injured his knee.
Goines had previously been charged with felony counts of murder and tampering with government records. He was charged on an additional felony count Thursday. The charge of felony murder has a life sentence.
The district attorney̵7;s statement said hundreds of defendants arrested by Goines had been notified that there could be problems with their convictions. The defendants were given court-appointed lawyers.
Bryant had previously been charged with tampering with government records.
Three former supervisors and a former senior police officer were also charged with felony charges Thursday.
“The charges stem from allegations including the use of false information to get judges to sign search warrants; falsifying timelines, putting false information in crime reports and falsifying government documents to steal, “according to a statement issued by Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg’s office on Friday.
“These charges reinforce our decision to bring the court against vaccination, greed and corruption in this troubled Houston Police division,” Ogg said. “We look forward to presenting all the evidence in the courtroom to a jury and the people of Harris County.”
The six officers were initially charged on 1 July.
Goines’ lawyer said the charge was unnecessary. “There’s no new information here,” Nicole DeBorde told NBC News. “This time Ogg’s announcement is just another opportunity to talk to the press about the same thing – not a new information release.”
“Mr Goines has been fully compliant with all court orders and is still under house arrest and undergoing corrective surgeries after being shot in the face during the Harding Road investigation,” she added referring to the raid.
Bryant’s attorney did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Goines and Bryant were released from duty after the shooting and later retired.